OSSA to ESC: Frequently Asked Questions

Associated Courses: Energy Safety Canada

In October 2017, Enform Canada (Enform) and Oil Sands Safety Association (OSSA) announced that they merged together to form a new organization called Energy Safety Canada (ESC). The intention of the merger is to form a unified voice to improve safe work performance, create an incident free workplace, and avoid duplication in training.

Here is everything you need to know about the merge and how this might affect you.

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OSSA to ESC Transition Questions

Can I get ESC training at Advantage Learning Solutions?
Yes. Advantage Learning Solutions is an Authorized Training Provider (ATP) for many ESC courses.

What happens to the OSSA courses as a result of the merger?
Following the merger, ESC worked on transitioning all OSSA training courses to ESC courses, with the first course rolling out in November 2019. By the end of January 2021, all OSSA courses will fall under the ESC name.

OSSA certification has not been affected by the merge, and will stay valid until the indicated expiry date. If you are new to the industry or require recertification, you will need to take the ESC courses.

Are the courses offered by ESC different from OSSA?
While the course material may have some small differences, the certification process has not changed. Please see below for a list of the converted courses:

  • OSSA Basic Safety Orientation (BSO) is now ESC Common Safety Orientation (CSO)
  • OSSA Fall Protection is now ESC Fall Protection
  • OSSA Confined Space Entry and Monitor is now ESC Confined Space Entry and Monitor
  • OSSA Fire Watch is now ESC Fire Watch
  • OSSA Mobile Elevating Work Platform (MEWP) is now ESC Mobile Elevating Work Platform (MEWP)

I have an OSSA certification, is it still valid?
Yes, your OSSA certification will remain valid until the indicated expiry date, at which point you will need to recertify through an ESC course.

How long does an ESC certification last?
The duration varies from course to course, please see below for a list of courses and the duration of the certificate:

  • ESC Common Safety Orientation (CSO) – Does not expire
  • ESC Fall Protection – 3 Years
  • ESC Confined Space Entry and Monitor – 3 Years
  • ESC Fire Watch – Does not expire
  • ESC Mobile Elevating Work Platform (MEWP) – 3 Years

What is the difference between an OSSA and an ESC certification?
OSSA certifications were issued prior to the merger and for a specified period of time during the transition and all OSSA certifications are valid until expired. At which point you will need to recertify through an ESC course.

I have certification from OSSA that does not expire, do I need to recertify with an ESC course?
All OSSA certifications are still valid. Recertification is not required at the moment, but may be required in the future.

OSSA to ESC Course Specific Questions

What is the difference between CSO and BSO?
The Common Safety Orientation (CSO) is a new course developed by Energy Safety Canada (ESC) to replace the OSSA Basic Safety Orientation (BSO) as well as the Electronic General Safety Orientation (eGSO), and Petroleum Safety Training (PST).

CSO is intended to be a singular safety orientation for workers new to the oil and gas industry by introducing them to safe work practices. Aiming to eliminate the need for duplicate training, workers who take this course should be able to move between sites seamlessly. While CSO is a common work site access requirement in the oil and gas industry, there may be other orientation requirements specific to your work site. Please consult with your employer for more information.

What is CSTS, and is it the same as CSO?
The Construction Safety Training System (CSTS) is a course designed by the Alberta construction Safety Association (ACSA). The course serves as a general construction site orientation for workers new to the construction industry.

While both CSO and CSTS are orientation level courses, they are separate courses entirely. Different work sites may require the completion of particular courses. To find out which orientation is accepted at your work site, please consult with your employer.

Does wildlife training include bear spray practical?
We are not an ATP for the Energy Safety Canada course as we provide our own Suncor Energy Inc. recognized Wildlife Awareness Intermediate Level course. This course includes the required inert bear spray practical.

Are there any prerequisites to the ESC Mobile Elevating Work Platform (MEWP) course?
Yes, in order to take the ESC Mobile Elevating Work Platform (MEWP) course, you must have completed and have certification from either the OSSA Fall Protection or the ESC Fall Protection course.

Can I take my training online?
Yes, however this must be purchased from ESC directly and you must have access to a computer with a stable internet connection with a web camera, speakers, a microphone and a printer.

How long will the course be?
Course length is dependent on the subject of the training. Please see below for more details.

OSSA Elevated Work Platform – 8 hours. Topics covered include hazard assessment, safe operating procedures, emergency controls and more. Evaluation will include a knowledge test with a written exam as well as practical exercises.

ESC Confined Space Entry/Monitor – 8 hours. Topics covered include monitor basics, codes of practice, working in different atmospheres, etc. Evaluation will include a knowledge test with a written exam component.

ESC H2S Alive – 8 hours. Topics covered include the properties of hydrogen sulphide, potential health hazards, probable H2S locations, and safe work practices and techniques. Evaluation includes a practical test with a self-contained breathing apparatus in addition to a knowledge test with a written exam.

ESC Fall Protection – 8 hours. Topics covered include protection fundamentals, hazard identification/elimination, fall arrest systems, etc. Evaluation includes a written exam, a knowledge test, and a practical test to demonstrate an understanding of fall protection components.

ESC Fire Watch – 4 hours. Topics covered include fire watch planning, classifications of fires and extinguishers, and correct fire extinguisher operation. Evaluation will be based on a practical test where participants extinguish a fire using an approved simulator.

Common Safety Orientation (CSO) – 3-4 hours. Topics covered include personal accountability, life saving rules, worksite maintenance, and other common safe work practices. Evaluation includes both a knowledge test and a written exam.

Do I need to bring anything with me?
All Energy Safety Canada courses require valid government ID.

For the MEWP course, proof of valid OSSA or ESC Fall Protection training, steel-toed work boots and proper work attire for outside evaluations (sleeveless shirts, shorts and skirts are not permitted) are also required. Although loaner sets are available, we strongly recommend use of your own harness/lanyard, hi-vis vest, hard hat, eye protection and gloves.

How can I get a reprint of my certificate?
For OSSA certificates, please contact the original training provider. For Energy Safety Canada please visit the ESC website and follow the steps outlined there, or contact CustomerService@EnergySafetyCanada.com.

Is there a charge to reprint my certificate?
Yes, there is. Please contact your original OSSA training provider or Energy Safety Canada for more details.

How can my employer verify my training?
Energy Safety Canada leads in setting industry-wide safety standards and sets a high bar for quality training.

Employers can ensure the authenticity of your certifications through the ESC online validation tool, and are encouraged to do so. For further investigation or assistance, please email CustomerService@EnergySafetyCanada.com or call 1.800.667.5557.

Do you provide training for any other Energy Safety Canada courses?
Yes, we also provide Energy Safety Canada H2S Alive training (formerly Enform).

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