Working at Heights Training: Construction Projects (Ontario)
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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.
Regulatory Requirements for Working at Heights Training
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:
- a travel restraint system;
- a fall restricting system;
- a fall arrest system;
- a safety net;
- a work belt;
- a safety belt.
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:
- 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.
- If a worker has completed training before April 1, 2015 that met the requirements of section 26.2 of O. Reg. 213/91 (Construction Projects), that worker will have until October 1, 2017 to complete an approved working at heights training program that is delivered by an approved training provider.
Resources and Tools
The following standards are available, free of charge, online:
- Working at Heights Training Program Standard
- Working at Heights Training Provider Standard
- eLearning Instructional Design Guidelines
The Ministry of Labour accepts applications for training programs and providers for the approval of the CPO. Further information and forms are available online:
- Working at Heights Training Provider Application Guidelines
- Working at Heights Training Provider Application
For more information
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.