When working at heights it is imperative to select the right fall protection for a specific task and understand why it is the best choice. A well-known system which is used to help select your PPE is the Hierarchy of Fall Protection.
Update: The Ministry of Labour has extended the Working at Heights training compliance deadline to Oct. 1, 2017.
In Ontario, ALL workers who use fall protection on a construction project MUST complete an approved working at heights program by October 1, 2017. This includes workers who met the fall protection training requirements of the Construction Projects Regulation prior to April 1, 2015.
In Ontario, ALL workers who use fall protection on a construction project MUST complete an approved working at heights program by October 1,2017. Training must be conducted when workers are exposed to a fall hazard as defined by Section 26.2 of O.Reg. 213/91 – Construction Projects. This includes workers who met the fall protection training requirements of the Construction Projects Regulation before April 1, 2015.
As of April 1, 2015, employers must ensure that certain workers complete a working at the heights training program that has been approved by the Chief Prevention Officer (CPO) and delivered by a CPO approved training provider before they can work at heights. For a list of approved training providers that have been approved by the Chief Prevention Officer as meeting the working at heights training program and provider, standards click HERE.
The training requirement is for workers on construction projects who use any of the following methods of fall protection: travel restraint systems, fall restricting systems, fall arrest systems, safety nets and work belts or safety belts.
Workers who have already received training that meets section 26.2 of the Construction Regulation (213/91) had two years to complete a working a heights training program. This two-year transition period began on April 1, 2015, and the deadline of October 1,2017 is quickly approaching.
This training requirement is in the Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training Regulation and is in addition to training requirements under the Construction Regulation. To review the Construction projects, click HERE.
What Does a Working at Heights Training Program Entail?
- The Program Standard requires that working at heights course includes two modules: basic theory and practice.
- Basic Theory Module must be at least 3 hours in duration.
- Practical Module must be at least 3.5 hours in duration.
- Written test – 75% passing grade
- Hands-on test – a satisfactory demonstration
- Training will be valid for 3 years.
- After completing both modules, the employer must supplement the training program with additional information, instruction, and training on workplace-specific policies, procedures, hazards, and equipment related to working at heights.
How Does This Affect YOU?
Do your employees all have fall adequate fall protection training?
Does your employer enforce having fall protection training?
Does the company working on your construction project enforce having fall protection training?
Data for this blog post was found here:
When you consider a job that involves the risk of falling on the job, your mind most likely flashes to jobs that involve scaling tall buildings. But the reality is that a worker has a risk of falling three or more meters, a fall protection system should become a critical component of your occupational health and safety (OHS) practices and procedures.
For many years now, working safely at heights has been at the forefront of issues that regulators and inspectors review for job site safety. Recognizing that even relatively small falls can result in devastating injuries, lost production, and larger fines, employers are more likely than ever to look for different options for fall protection solutions to keep workers safe. In an effort to simplify this goal, however many employers get sidetracked by setting oversimplified goals intended to meet the letter of the law.