Ontario’s health and safety training will be made available online.

This means 50,000 employers will not have to pay for travel and accommodation for workers to attend a five-day classroom course.

“This simple change will make a big difference, especially for rural and northern businesses like those in our area,” said Parry Sound-Muskoka MPP Norman Miller. “Allowing workers to take the courses online will save the businesses money in travel and accommodation expenses and save the workers time away from their families.”

The change will apply to the training for Joint Health and Safety Committee members. Generally, workplaces with 20 or more workers are required to have a Joint Health and Safety Committee with one certified worker member and one certified employer member.

According to the list of approved trainers on the Ministry of Labour website, right now the closest trainers to Parry Sound-Muskoka are in Orillia, North Bay and Sudbury.

Allowing the option of training to take place solely online – in addition to the existing options of a classroom, distance and blended learning – reduces travel and accommodation costs for businesses. These changes will reduce burdens and costs to businesses while ensuring standardized high-quality training is accessible to all workers across Ontario.

The province says the online initiative will save employers up to $5 million per year.