Falls on construction projects continue to be the main cause of workplace injuries in Ontario. Framing and roofing operations are particularly vulnerable.
Some duties of workplace parties
Employer obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) include:
- ensuring workers are trained in fall hazards [O. Reg. 213/91, s. 26.2 (1)-(4)]
- appointing a competent person as supervisor [clause 25(2)(c)]
- taking every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker [clause 25(2)(h)], and
- posting a copy of the occupational health and safety policy in the workplace, where workers will be most likely to see it [clause 25(2)(k)].
An employer with six or more workers must also:
- prepare an occupational health and safety policy, review that policy at least once a year and set up a program to implement it [clause 25(2)(j)].
The OHSA sets out specific duties for workplace supervisors. A supervisor must:
- ensure workers work in compliance with the protective devices, measures and procedures required by the OHSA and regulations [clause 27(1)(a)]
- take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of workers [clause 27(2)(c)].
Employers and supervisors must ensure that all of the provisions of the OHSA and prescribed regulations are complied with by all workplace parties.
Health and safety considerations for framing and roofing operations
- Have the specific work-related hazards been analyzed?
- Has specific training been provided to address hazards identified for framing/roofing operations (e.g., fall protection, material handling, Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS), forklift operation)?
- Are emergency and rescue procedures in place at the project in the event of an accident?
- Will any work be performed from ladders, scaffolds and work platforms? (Ensure correct size and use, and workers’ competence.)
- Has the proper equipment been provided for material handling to reduce the risk of overexertion or musculoskeletal disorders? (Consider forklifts, cranes, and other lifting devices.)
- Are workers trained on the safe use of access equipment such as: ladders, scaffolds, work platforms and powered elevating work platforms?
- Is hearing protection required?
- Have any hazardous chemical and other toxic substances been identified, and are there engineering controls and other safety measures in place to deal with them?
When encountering framing and roofing operations at low-rise residential construction projects, ministry inspectors will inspect the specific hazards identified in this fact sheet, making certain that employers, supervisors and workers comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations, especially the sections of the Construction Regulation (O. Reg. 213/91) that apply to these hazards.
More information about safety on construction projects
Call 1-877-202-0008 anytime to report workplace health and safety incidents or for general inquiries about health and safety at the workplace.
Safe workplaces mean productive workplaces