Workers Health & Safety Centre

Additional WHSC instructors poised to deliver new Working at Heights program

Additional WHSC instructors poised to deliver new <i>Working at Heights</i> program
The ranks of Workers Health & Safety Centre (WHSC)-qualified instructors ready to deliver the new Working at Heights training program continues to grow.

Recently instructors from the Carpenters Union Local 397 and Unifor Local 222 participated in an instructor upgrade held in Oshawa, Ontario. There they went through the WHSC Working at Heights program for workers, as well as the related instructor delivery program, designed to ensure real learning takes place.

A second instructor upgrade program was also delivered recently by the WHSC in Sudbury, Ontario. Instructors from the Labourer’s International Union of North America, Ontario Public Service Employees Union, Public Service Alliance of Canada, Unifor and United Steelworkers all participated.

With these newly trained instructors the number of WHSC-qualified instructors equipped to deliver Working at Heights training has grown to more than 70.

Wayne Andrus, a WHSC-qualified instructor of 10 years and member of Unifor Local 222, plans to help deliver the new Working at Heights program to members in the community. “This program emphasizes the importance and necessity of using adequate fall protection. Not only is it the law, quality fall protection training really does save lives,” says Andrus.

Andrus points to the experience of Newfoundland and Labrador. This jurisdiction introduced mandatory, approved Working at Heights training on January 1, 2012. Reported fall injuries dropped by 25 per cent in the first 16 months after the requirement was implemented.

Meantime, Mike Northam of the Carpenters Union Local 397 in Port Hope, is one of three health and safety representatives from the local who will be instructing the Working at Heights program to their members in-house. A recent graduate of WHSC’s Instructor Training program, Northam brings 25 years of working at heights experience to the table and is eager to train entry-level workers.

“This mandatory program is especially important for apprentices and new workers who will learn from the get-go about the hazards associated with working at heights as well as the proper way to fit a harness, and tie it off,” says Northam. “Just like wearing a seat belt in the car, we want wearing a harness and tying off to become second nature,” he adds.

Beyond harnesses the program walks workers through a variety of fall protection devices, as well as the legislation governing this protection. The one-day program consists of both a classroom session and a hands-on practicum where instructors and then participating workers will demonstrate the use of these devices.

Falls from heights are the leading cause of worker injury and death in the construction sector. To help put a stop to this unacceptable situation, new regulatory changes in Ontario require employers to ensure untrained or inadequately trained construction workers complete a Ministry of Labour-approved, working at heights training program before they can work at heights and use fall protection equipment and systems. This requirement came into force April 1, 2015. Fall protection includes travel restraint systems, fall restricting systems, fall arrest systems, safety nets and work belts or safety belts.

WHSC Working at Heights training program was one of the first to receive MOL approval.

Supported by our instructors and ever developing partnerships with industry unions and employers WHSC is ready to meet the tremendous demand for this potentially life-saving training. We are running scheduled Working at Heights training programs in communities province-wide, adding courses on an almost daily basis. We are also bringing training to many on site. With enough participants and an appropriate training venue we can do the same for you.

Register now for any one of our scheduled courses. (Courses are listed alphabetically, be sure to scroll to the bottom.)

Please note: Scheduled courses are offered in English. Should you require training in another language, please contact a WHSC training services representative (see below).

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WHSC Working at Heights Training product sheet
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Call 1-888-869-7950 and ask to speak to a training services representative.