According to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, approximately one in six lost-time injury claims result from a fall in Canada. Moreover, falls are the number one cause behind fatal injuries for the construction industry in Ontario. As such, legislative bodies and regulations including Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act enforce strict laws, policies and procedures when it comes to fall hazards, training and prevention. So, if you’re involved with or work in the construction industry in Ontario, whether it is in a managerial capacity or as a laborer, you must be aware of the laws and regulations surrounding working at heights and be officialy certified.
OHSA sets out a number of rules and regulations when it comes to working at heights in Ontario. These regulations promote fall prevention and seek to reduce height-related hazards by requiring workers to be certified via working at heights training programs. Specifically, OHSA specifies that anyone required to use any of the following methods of fall prevention (as determined by Ontario Regulation 213/91) must participate in a working at heights training program: a travel restraint system, a fall restricting system, a fall arrest system, a safety net, a work belt or a safety belt.
A working at heights training program must meet a number of criteria in order to comply with OHSA requirements. The criteria set out by OHSA ensure that a working at heights training program meets the requirements set out by the legal standard including strengthening workplace safety culture, educating workers about fall hazards, providing workers with knowledge about the purpose and use of personal fall protection equipment and reducing the number of fall-related injuries in Ontario.
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To achieve the goals of the standard, a training program must include both a theoretical and practical component. These modules must be completed separately and a trainee must receive a passing grade in both to receive their certification.
For the theoretical portion of the training program, the following information must be covered:
Meanwhile, the practical portion of a training program must cover the following:
Beyond specifying who needs to be trained and what needs to be included, OHSA also specifies the responsibilities of employers. Generally speaking, employers are required to comply with all applicable regulations specified in the OHSA and take all reasonable steps to reduce hazards within the workplace. As it specifically relates to working at heights, employer’s responsibilities include:
As of September 1st, 2019, we are happy to offer a comprehensive working at heights training program in cooperation with Ken Schippling, owner of 1 Contact Safety. Our courses include a full 8-hour certification course for first-time trainees, as well as a 4-hour renewal course for workers that were previously certified. The course materials covered in our training courses include topics such as:
As you can see, our training program covers all the necessary components specified in OHSA including both the practical and theoretical training modules. What’s more, these materials are delivered in an energetic and engaging fashion by a certified trainer with 15+ years of industry experience. For more information about our training courses or to book a spot in our next course, please visit our working at heights training page. For more information about Ken or 1 Contact Safety, please visit the company website here.