Act First Safety

By now, you are probably well aware of the new Ontario Ministry of Labour training standard for Working at Heights in the construction sector. But what if you don’t think of your business as falling within the construction sector? If you are an office workplace undergoing renovations or if there are projects such as maintenance being performed you might not instantly think ‘construction’.
Construction is defined under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), and “includes erection, alteration, repair, dismantling, demolition, structural maintenance, painting, land clearing, earth moving, grading, excavating, trenching, digging, boring, drilling, blasting, or concreting, the installation of any machinery or plant, and any work or undertaking in connection with a project but does not include any work or undertaking underground in a mine.” (OHSA, Section 1. (1)).If you have doubts about how the work being performed in your workplace and how the legislation applies to it, you should check with the Ministry of Labour for clarity.

Once you have determined that a working at heights training program is required you should seek an approved training provider to conduct it. Worker training should be completed prior to the start of the construction project. Keep in mind, employers must also follow requirements under O. Reg. 213/91 Construction Projects section 26.2 (1) “An employer shall ensure that a worker who may use a fall protection system is adequately trained in its use and given adequate oral and written instructions by a competent person.”
Construction workers are the most at risk from injury and fatality when working at heights. Therefore, the Ministry of Labour is serious about reducing the number of fall-from-heights incidents.

The training provider standard contains requirements for training providers seeking to deliver an approved working at heights training program. The training provider approval process is rigorous with a well-defined course content and requirements with the objective to keep construction workers safer in the future.

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