One of the most perilous types of work you can find on a construction project is working at heights. In 2013, in the Province of Ontario, 10 workers have lost their lives due to fall hazards. Since then, the Ministry of Labour has stepped up and incorporated new standards for Working at Heights Training Workshops, in the hope of better preventing injuries and death at the workplace. The training itself has also become mandatory as of April 1’st, 2015.

3There is good news for workers that have completed a Working at Heights training program before this date and it’s still valid. They can wait until April 1’st, 2017 to be trained under the new, mandatory standards. Everybody else will have to take it as soon as possible to continue working within the law.

When successfully completing the Working at Heights Basic Theory Module, learners will know more about:

  • The rights and responsibilities of employers, supervisors and workers:
  • The learner will be able to describe three rights of the workers, in relation with working at heights, and how to exercise them;
  • All workers must report to their supervisors or employers and inform them about any fall hazards they’ve identified or about any malfunctioning fall prevention equipment that may endanger their lives;
  • An employer cannot force labor in unsafe conditions and threaten his workers with dismissal when they are exercising their safety rights regarding working safely at heights.1
  • Identifying the hazards of working at heights:
  • Learners will be able to list common accidents and trauma that are related to working at heights;
  • They will recognize other types of hazards that may aggravate the consequences of falling from heights, like falling into water, toxic substances, machinery, electrical equipment or other workers;
  • Removing or controlling the hazards when working at heights:
  • The learner will understand the hierarchy of controls (Elimination, Substitution, Engineering Controls, Administrative Controls, Personal Protective Equipment) in relation to working at heights and choose the appropriate method to prevent injuries;
  • Workers have to understand the limitations of the personal protective equipment;
  • Types of warning and physical obstructions:
  • Learners will identify the different warning methods (bump lines, signs) and physical obstructions (guard rails, fences), as well as how to take preventive measures;
  • When removing guardrails or displacing them, they have to know what precautions to take;
  • Ladders and related equipment:
  • They’ll know about the three types of portable ladders or similar construction equipment and their advantages and disadvantages;
  • Workers must identify the situations where ladders would be the safest solutions or other routes of access would be more suitable.

It’s best when what you learn in class can be put into practice. That’s why the training program’s second module is called Working at Heights Practical, where workers learn about:

  • Barriers and similar equipment;
  • Personal fall prevention equipment;
  • Anchor points;
  • Work access gear and stands;
  • Rescue planning.

If you’re an employer in the construction industry in Ontario, you know it’s better to prevent than to treat. Your workers need Working at Heights Training from a CPO approved trainer and Safety First Ltd is more than capable, with plenty of experience in the field.

For more details, visit our website