Workers Health & Safety Centre

MOL seeks input on proposed changes to suspended access equipment laws

MOL seeks input on proposed changes to suspended access equipment laws
The Ministry of Labour (MOL) is seeking public input on a proposal to amend requirements related to suspended access equipment set out in the Construction Projects Regulation.
The proposal applies to all buildings and structures at which suspended access equipment may be used and where the Regulation (Reg. 213/91) applies. It does not, however, apply to activities covered in the Window Cleaning Regulation (Regulation 859).
The proposed changes are described in the document MOL Suspended Access Consultation Proposal (see link below). The ministry invites the public and stakeholders to submit written comments on the changes described in the consultation proposal no later than June 22, 2015.
Written submissions received during the consultation period will be considered in the final preparation of the proposed amendments.
Key proposals include the following: 
  • Enhancing operational, design, technical and engineering requirements;
  • Introducing training requirements for suspended access equipment operators and workers;
  • Strengthening inspection, testing and maintenance requirements;
  • New references to national standards related to design, installation, inspection and maintenance;
  • Introducing new requirements for roof plans and work plans; and
  • Introducing a new requirement for notifying the ministry prior to putting suspended access equipment into service for the first time at a project.

New requirements for worker training

The ministry proposes, among other things, to introduce new mandatory training requirements ensuring that any worker working on a suspended work platform system or boatswain’s chair receives instruction in the hazards, legislation, components, functions and limitations of the suspended work platform or boatswain’s chair, as well as how to read a proposed work plan.
In addition, the proposal suggests workers must also be able to demonstrate proficiency in using, inspecting and maintaining personal fall protective equipment; rigging procedures; identifying and selecting appropriate fixed supports from a roof plan; and the safe operation of the suspended work platform system or boatswain’s chair according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Finally, the MOL also proposes employers must ensure workers have taken refresher training (with written proof of completion) on the safe operation of a suspended work platform system or boatswain’s chair as often as is required and at least every three years.
The majority of the ministry’s proposed requirements reflect recommendations developed by a labour-management committee for the construction sector (established under Section 21 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act).
Falls from heights are the leading cause of traumatic worker deaths and injuries in construction. New regulatory changes in Ontario, require employers to ensure untrained and inadequately trained construction workers complete a MOL-approved working at heights training course.
This training must be done before workers begin work at heights and use fall protection equipment and systems.
The Workers Health & Safety Centre’s (WHSC) Working at Heights training program is one of the first to receive MOL approval. Our comprehensive one-day program is offered in communities across Ontario.
Want to know more about the MOL’s consultation on proposed changes to suspended access equipment health and safety requirements?
Want to know more about WHSC Working at Heights training program and scheduled courses?
Want additional information about how the WHSC can help your workplace comply with the extensive training obligations mandated by health and safety law?
Call: 1-888-869-7950