Working at heights is a mandatory requirement in Ontario

Yes, indeed! Working At Heights is a mandatory requirement in Ontario.

Therefore, if your workers are working at heights of 3 meters (10 feet) or more, effective Apr 01, 2015:

  • The company should comply with Working At Heights training requirement
  • This is a mandatory requirement in Ontario as per the MOL
  • Working At Heights training should be only through MOL-approved training provider

What does Occupational Health and Safety Act say with regards to employer’s duties?

This is a good starting point before we delve deeper into fall protection training. Sec 25 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act sets out general and specific duties for an employer.

Some of the key general duties include the following:

  • Taking all reasonable precautions for protecting workers’ health and safety
  • Ensuring that the company maintains all equipment, material, and protective equipment in good condition
  • Providing workers with information, instruction, and supervision for protecting their health and safety
  • Cooperating with the Joint Health and Safety Committee

The key specific duties include the following:

  • Complying with all the regulations made under the Occupational Health and Safety Act
  • Developing and implementing an OHS program and policies
  • Providing Joint Health and Safety Committee with health and safety reports

Moreover, sub-section 1 of sec 23 of the OHS Act lists out the duties of a constructor. The key duties of a constructor include the following:

  • Ensuring the company complies with all the measures and procedures prescribed by the OHS Act and its regulations
  • Ensuring every employer and worker engaged in a construction project complies with the Act’s regulations and requirements

Working At Heights as a mandatory requirement in Ontario

The Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training Regulation (Ontario Regulation 297/13) under the OHS Act clearly sets out WAH as a mandatory requirement.

Moreover, the regulation clearly specifies the training requirements for the working at heights program. Training will have a validity period of three years from the date of completion from MOL-approved training provider.

Furthermore, sub-section 26.2 (1) of O. Reg. 213/91 (Construction Projects) states that employers will continue to have a duty to ensure that their workers who may use a fall protection system are trained properly through oral and written instructions provided by a competent person.

Further, please note that the Occupational Health and Safety Act defines a workplace as any land, premises, location or thing at, upon, in, or near which a worker works.

Therefore, the Occupational Health and Safety Act considers a construction site as the workplace for construction workers. Hence, employers should follow the construction regulations falling under the Act. Further, the regulations clearly state that working at heights is a mandatory requirement in Ontario. CLICK HERE to register for Working At Heights program.

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