The Certificate prepares students for employment as Technicians in the field of Occupational Health and Safety. Students gain the knowledge and skills required to monitor and assess the safety of people at work and related workplace hazards. In addition to the fundamentals, students will explore the management skills required to support and lead workplace safety programs.

Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, workplaces must prepare, and review at least annually, a written Occupational Health and Safety policy and maintain a program to implement that policy. This certificate program is designed to assist participants in fulfilling this legal requirement by providing guidelines and assistance in defining Health and Safety objectives and developing policies and procedures.

This program will interest individuals with responsibility for Health and Safety (e.g. Supervisors, Safety Coordinators, Occupational Health Nurses, Joint Health and Safety Committees, etc.) that require broader legal and technical knowledge to function effectively in their occupation.

The OHS Program meets the Formal Education Requirement of the eligibility criteria (Pathway A) for the Canadian Registered Safety Technician (CRST) set out by the Board of Canadian Registered Safety Professionals (BCRSP). Please see About the CRST Certification on the BCRSP website for more information.

This certificate does not meet the educational requirements for the CRSP (Canadian Registered Safety Professional) designation. See About the CRSP Certification on the BCRSP website.

More information is on the Associations page.

Career Opportunities

Occupational health and safety technicians work in business, industry and government to develop systems that identify and control workplace hazards that may cause harm to people, equipment, material and the environment.

This program will benefit Occupational Health and Safety specialists working for small to medium sized employers, HR representatives, members of Joint Health and Safety Committees, (JHSC) and those seeking a better understanding of health and safety issues and principles.

Graduates of the program may be employed in a wide range of industries including manufacturing, warehousing, construction and public services. Positions may include:

  • Co-ordinators
  • Consultants
  • Certified Work Representatives
  • Health and Safety Officers
  • Inspectors
  • Safety Advisors
  • Workplace Environmental Specialists

Entry Requirements

Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) OR Equivalent OR 19 years of age or older.

You do not need to apply to begin this program. Start by ensuring you meet the admission requirements listed above and then register for the courses listed on the Curriculum page when they are offered

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Due to COVID-19, all Part-time Studies courses are being offered online until further notice, in one of the following two formats: online virtual classroom and online self-directed. Click Availability below to see current offerings.


Industrial Hygiene

This course covers the anticipation, recognition, evaluation and control of chemical, physical and biological hazards arising in or from the workplace. Workplace Hazardous Information System (WHMIS) and other relevant legislation are also included. You must achieve a grade of 60% to pass this course.

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Legislation for Health and Safety

This course covers the various jurisdictions, how to locate specific OHS legislation, the interface between statutes, regulations, codes and standards, the obligations of employers and employees, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act and Regulations, filing claims, entitlement decision making, benefits, appeals and re-employment. You must achieve a grade of 60% to pass this course.

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Environmental Management: An Introduction

This course facilitates the development of analytical and evaluation skills required in the management of environmental issues. Students gain a better understanding of the complexity of environmental policies, legislation procedures, and familiarity with the implications and effects of environmental management strategies. The application and development of site inspections and program auditing are explored to assist in the recognition and analysis of potential environmental risks as they would apply in the development of an environmental management system. You must achieve a grade of 60% to pass this course.
This course can also be counted as one credit in the Environmental Management Certificate Program.

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Management Labour Concerns in Occupational H&S

This course examines emerging trends and current management issues, concepts, and practices pertaining to the field of occupational health and safety. Discussion focuses on several functional characteristics within organizations that pose unique challenges for the practitioner attempting to effectively manage resources, both material and human. You must achieve a grade of 60% to pass this course.

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Fire Protection

This course provides students with specific knowledge related to fire and life safety. Topics include the chemistry and physics of fire, building design for life safety, and other aspects of fire and life safety. Applicable legislation related to fire and life safety is also covered. You must achieve a grade of 60% to pass this course.

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An overview of ergonomics principles highlights basic worksite investigation and familiarization with basic principles relating to anatomy, biomechanics, physiology, manual material handling, cumulative trauma disorders, and office ergonomics. You must achieve a grade of 60% to pass this course.

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Occupational Health and Safety


However, it is recommended that students begin their studies with HRM701, Introduction to Human Resources Management, if they plan to pursue the Human Resources Management Graduate Certificate.

The student will explore the nature and dimensions of the regulation of health and safety in the workplace by government legislation as well as the role of agencies such as the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. In addition, the many positive health and safety initiatives made by proactive employers will be examined.

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Upon successful completion of the 7 courses, students are eligible to request to graduate.

Note: Not all courses are offered each semester. Students may begin studies in any semester.

Program Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program, the graduate will be able to:

  1. Conduct risk and hazard audits to develop workplace safety programs.
  2. Ensure compliance with relevant and current health and safety legislation (e.g., WHMIS, Occupational Health and Safety Act, Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, Canada labour Code).
  3. Analyze potential environmental risks and develop strategies to minimize them.
  4. Apply basic knowledge of fire protection, fire detection and suppression.
  5. Promote a safety culture by applying the principles of industrial hygiene, ergonomics.
  6. Co-ordinate a health and safety program by preparing for emergencies.
  7. Prepare documentation of investigations, incidents, injuries and claims.
  8. Define the roles of management and labour related to occupational health and safety.

Credit for Prior Learning

Prior Learning Assessment

Earn college credits for what you already know!
Prior Learning Assessment is a method of assessing and recognizing learning that is equal to college level learning, but has been gained outside a traditional classroom (through work experience, volunteering, outside study, etc.). If you can prove that the knowledge you have gained meets the outcomes of a Seneca course, then credit will be awarded.

How does the PLA process work?
Prior Learning is demonstrated through a "challenge" process. The process measures learning through a variety of methods which may include tests, portfolio assessment, interviews, demonstrations, essays, and work samples. The method used will be determined in consultation with a Program Coordinator.
For more information and to determine if you are eligible for PLA, please call the Program Coordinator.

The process may take from 6 to 8 weeks.

Note: Not all courses can be challenged. For more information go to PLA website or contact your Program Coordinator.

Transfer Credit

Many students who enter Seneca College will have earned academic credits in post-secondary educational institutions which they may be able to apply toward completion of a Seneca College program.

Requests for Transfer Credit must be for a specific course and must be accompanied by an official transcript and course outline. A minimum grade of "C" (60 percent) is generally required for a course to be considered for Transfer Credit.

Download a Transfer Credit Request form. An official copy of your transcript and applicable detailed course outlines should be attached and submitted. Please note it may take 4 to 6 weeks for a Transfer Credit decision.

More Information

Please visit the Office of the Registrar.


When you meet all program requirements and become eligible for a certificate, diploma, or degree, you must inform the Registrar by completing a Graduation Application form and paying the graduation and alumni fee. Certificates, diplomas, and applied degrees are issued twice a year in the Fall (October) and Spring (June).

For further information including deadlines and fees, please visit the  Convocation website or contact the Convocation Office at 416-491-5050 ext. 77461.

Minimum Performance for Graduation

A student will be eligible to graduate from a certificate, diploma, advanced diploma or graduate certificate program if they have achieved a minimum graduating GPA of 2.0.

Residency Requirements

A Faculty of Seneca College may recommend a student for a certificate, diploma or degree only after the student has earned a minimum of twenty-five percent of the credit for that program at Seneca.


Seneca has received accreditation from the Board of Canadian Registered Safety Professionals (BCRSP). The OHS certificate is an approved academic program for the CRST (Canadian Registered Safety Technician) designation under Pathway A.

The Governing Board has approved the eligibility criteria for the CRST as follows:

Pathway A:
Formal Education Requirement: Have successfully completed a one-year OHS certificate program from a recognized educational institution.

Technical Practice: Have had one year of OHS work experience (at least 35% OHS duties) immediately before submitting an application. OHS experience must be 12 months within the last 24 months as validated by the QRC.

All applications for certification are submitted to the BCRSP. See Applying for Certification for more information.

Program Contacts

Cherry Langlois
Program Assistant
416-491-5050 ext.22523

Tina Kotsiomitis
Academic Program Manager
416-491-5050 ext.22515

For more information about this program, fill out the following form.