Beginning April 1, 2015, employers in Ontario must ensure that workers on construction projects who may use certain methods of fall protection successfully complete 'working at heights' training that meets training program and provider standards established by the Chief Prevention Officer (CPO).
The Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training Regulation (Ontario Regulation 297/13) under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), has been amended to include mandatory working at heights training requirements. The working at heights training is valid for three years from the date the worker completes an approved training program delivered by an approved training provider.
In addition to these new requirements, employers continue to have a duty under Section 26.2 (1) of O. Reg. 213/91 (Construction Projects) to ensure that workers who may use a fall protection system are adequately trained on the use of the system, and are given adequate oral and written instructions by a competent person.
The new training requirements apply to workers who are required under O. Reg. 213/91 (Construction Projects) to use any of the following methods of fall protection:
Employers with workers who are required by O. Reg. 213/91 (Construction Projects) to use any of the fall protection methods listed above must do the following to ensure they comply with the new training requirements:
The following standards are available, free of charge, online:
The Ministry of Labour accepts applications for training programs and providers for the approval of the CPO. Further information and forms are available online:
It is anticipated that training programs and providers will be approved beginning March 2015.
Note: This document does not constitute legal advice. To determine your rights and obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations, please contact your legal counsel and/or refer to the legislation at http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/statutes/english/elaws_statutes_90o01_e.htm.
While this fact sheet is available to Ministry of Labour inspectors, the inspectors will apply and enforce the OHSA and its regulations based on the facts as they may find them in the workplace. This fact sheet does not affect the enforcement discretion of inspectors in any way.