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Working at Heights Training: Construction Projects

Safe At Work Ontario

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) sets out the 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 requirements, employers continue to have a duty under subsection 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.

Regulatory Requirements for Working at Heights Training

Workers

The working at heights 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:

  • a travel restraint system;
  • a fall restricting system;
  • a fall arrest system;
  • a safety net;
  • a work belt;
  • a safety belt.

Employers

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:

  • ensure the worker completes a working at heights training program that has been approved by the CPO as having met the Working at Heights Training Program Standard applicable at the time of the training;
  • ensure the training provider delivering the training program was approved by the CPO as having met the Working at Heights Training Provider Standard applicable at the time of training;
  • ensure the worker’s training is valid and has not expired;
  • maintain a training record for the worker that includes the worker’s name, the approved training provider’s name, the date the training was completed and the name of the approved training program; and
  • make the training record available to a Ministry of Labour inspector on request.

Transition Period

  • If a worker completed training before April 1, 2015 that met the requirements of subsection 26.2(1) of O. Reg. 213/91 (Construction Projects), that worker will have until October 1, 2017 to complete an approved working at heights training program, if the worker is enrolled in a course that is scheduled to be completed before October 1st. The employer must have written proof of the worker’s enrollment.

Resources and Tools

Approved training providers and programs

Working at heights page - applications for training programs and providers; standards; forms and general information.

This resource has been prepared to assist the workplace parties in understanding some of their obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and the regulations. It is not intended to replace the OHSA or the regulations and reference should always be made to the official version of the legislation.

It is the responsibility of the workplace parties to ensure compliance with the legislation. This resource does not constitute legal advice. If you require assistance with respect to the interpretation of the legislation and its potential application in specific circumstances, please contact your legal counsel.

While this resource will also be available to Ministry of Labour inspectors, they will apply and enforce the OHSA and its regulations based on the facts as they may find them in the workplace. This resource does not affect their enforcement discretion in any way.