New training requirements for working at heights announced
December 10, 2014
The Ontario Ministry of Labour (MOL) has announced changes to Regulation 297/13: Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training that will come into effect on April 1, 2015. As of that date, workers on construction sites will need to complete a working at heights training program that has been approved by the Chief Prevention Officer before they can work at heights. This training will be valid for three years from the date of completion.
Workers who have already received training that meets the current requirements set out in section 26.2 of the Construction Regulation (213/91) will have two years (until April 1, 2017) to complete an approved working at heights training program. As of now, there are no approved training programs, but anyone who is exposed to fall hazards on the job is legally required to receive fall protection training.
Falls continue to plague Ontario’s worksites. In 2013, 10 workers died in fall-related incidents on construction projects and falls were responsible for 25% of lost-time injuries (LTIs) for IHSA member firms.
In 2013, the Prevention Office released a Working at Heights Training Program Standard and a Working at Heights Training Provider Standard. These standards laid out minimum learning outcomes for working at heights training programs and the requirements for approved training providers.
This focus on reducing working at heights injuries and fatalities through standardized training was a key recommendation of the Expert Advisory Panel on Occupational Health and Safety that was led by Tony Dean in 2010. The Ontario government committed to implementing all of the recommendations proposed by the Expert Advisory Panel.
IHSA will be releasing additional information on the new standards and how IHSA’s Working at Heights—Fundamentals of Fall Prevention training will fit into the future of fall-related training in Ontario.
For more information, including a link to the Training Provider Application Form and Application Guidelines, visit the MOL’s Working at Heights Training page.
If you have any questions, you can contact IHSA directly at 1-800-263-5024 or visit our website at ihsa.ca