Workers Health & Safety Centre

Ontario Ministry seeks input on Working at Heights Training

Ontario Ministry seeks input on Working at Heights Training
Ontario’s Ministry of Labour (MOL) has launched public consultations on their plans for mandatory working at heights training.
 
To be specific, the MOL is seeking feedback on their draft implementation plan, including related standards and regulations. They have scheduled face-to-face consultation sessions in cities across Ontario beginning in Toronto today.  Those interested in attending a consultation session must register by email.
 
They are also accepting written submissions. The consultation period runs until Thursday, April 24, 2014. (See below for details on consultation sessions and submissions.)
 
The Working at Heights Training Standard was released by the MOL in December, 2013, but because it is not yet officially established there could be further changes. The current draft includes learning outcomes for workers. It also specifies a minimum training duration of 6.5 hours, including a practical component focused on the use and care of fall protection equipment.
 
In addition to the training standard, the MOL is now proposing a draft Working at Heights Training Provider Standard that establishes minimum requirements for providers seeking approval to deliver working at heights training. Further, the MOL is also proposing to introduce new requirements under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (the Act) mandating this training for workplaces governed by the Construction Regulations (O. Reg. 213/91).
 
In their December, 2013 press release introducing the Working at Heights Training Standard, the MOL stated the training “will later be expanded to all sectors”. To this end during the current consultations they are seeking input on the application of the training standard to other sectors.
The MOL is also seeking feedback on a number of specific questions relating to the standards and regulations, including whether or not the training must be renewed every three years.
 
The MOL is expecting the standards will be established and the regulation will be made in summer 2014 though employers will be given three months to gain compliance.
 
The MOL has suggested workers who have already received training meeting the current requirements in section 26.2 of the Construction Regulations at the time the proposed regulation becomes law would have an additional two years to comply (therefore if regulation comes into force on Oct 1, 2014 these workers are exempt until Oct 1, 2016). The Ministry document states that this two year exemption is required because of “current training delivery capacity and would help facilitate compliance with the proposed new requirements.”
 
The MOL also expects to implement the process to approve Working at Heights Training programs this summer, once the government establishes the standard and makes the regulation. Then, once the approvals process is in place, as Ontario’s designated health and safety training centre under the Act, the WHSC will submit a program for approval that gives workers the knowledge and skills to help ensure safer work at heights. Until at least this summer when the MOL starts approving courses, no training provider can claim to offer a course that meets the standard.
 
For further information, please contact a WHSC training service representative.
 
Call:   1-888-869-7950
Visit:   www.whsc.on.ca
Email: contactus@whsc.on.ca
 
Want addition information from the MOL about their draft implementation plan, including related standards and regulations and face-to-face consultation dates?