Responding to a recent rash of worker deaths as a result of falls, Ontario’s Ministry of Labour has stepped up enforcement efforts in the construction sector.
These enforcement efforts
A fall hazards blitz in the construction sector.
A province-wide enforcement initiative targeting hazards of sloped roofing at low-rise residential construction sites.
An after-hours pilot inspection project at construction sites across Ontario.
Calling for every one of us “to do everything within our power to ensure that workers return home safe at the end of every workday” Associate Deputy Minister of Labour and Chief Prevention Officer, George Gritiziotis also promises to deliver on a fall prevention training standard.
Regulations under Ontario’s Occupational Health & Safety Act require safe work procedures and training for workers exposed to fall-related hazards. Specifically, workers required to use a fall protection system must be adequately trained in its use. Additionally, employers must also keep a record of this training and instruction and provide it to a MOL inspector upon request. A proper training standard would spell out specific performance standards for this training.
To help workplaces comply with legal training requirements and implement effective fall prevention programs the Workers Health & Safety Centre already offers two comprehensive training programs: Work at Heights and Fall Protection Program (Construction Sector).
Work at Heights is a three-hour program that equips participants with an understanding of the physical hazards of working at heights and methods of controlling these hazards; relevant legislation; and knowledge of the different types of safety equipment (such as guardrails, and fall arrest protection systems), and their proper use and limitations. It also demonstrates (as an awareness building exercise only) the proper use of a full body harness.
Workers working at heights in the construction sector, require more comprehensive training which is provided in the WHSC Fall Protection Program (Construction Sector). Four hours in length, this program was developed specifically for all workers in the construction sector who are required to work at heights and may have to use fall protection systems.
Participants come away with a full understanding of the types of fall protection; specific components of fall restraint and arrest systems, as well the safe use, inspection, maintenance and storage of ladders and the legal and design requirements for guardrails and bump lines.
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