Falls from heights are a major hazard for workers and one of the leading causes of critical injuries and fatalities in Ontario workplaces.
As of April 1, 2015, amendments to O. Reg. 297/13 (Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training) under the Occupational Health and Safety Act will require that employers ensure certain workers successfully complete a working at heights training program approved by the Chief Prevention Officer (CPO) as having met the Working at Heights Training Program Standard.
The new training will need to be completed by workers on construction projects who are required by 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, or a safety belt.
The minimum duration of this training is 6.5 hours and it includes hands-on practical training.
The amendments also require that the training must be delivered by a working at heights training provider who has been approved by the CPO as having met the Working at Heights Training Provider Standard. The training, once completed, is valid for three years. Workers must successfully complete a half-day refresher course to revalidate. The CPO will issue a standardized proof of completion wallet card.
There will be a two year transition period for workers who, before April 1, 2015, have met the existing fall protection training requirements set out in section 26.2 of O. Reg. 213/91. These workers will have until April 1, 2017 to complete an approved working at heights training program.
The new working at heights training requirements will be in addition to current training requirements in section 26.2 of O. Reg. 213/91.