Workers Health & Safety Centre

Crane safety laws respond to union and other stakeholder input

Recent amendments to regulations under the OHSA for Construction Projects covering tower and mobile cranes, hoisting and rigging operations and more.
More rigorous testing of cranes along with enhanced inspections, record-keeping and reporting requirements must now be adhered to on Ontario construction projects.  
Recent amendments to regulations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) for Construction Projects (O. Reg. 213/91) covering tower and mobile cranes, hoisting and rigging operations and more are meant to better protect workers and the public. Many changes are a result of recommendations developed by a working group reviewing tower crane regulation, which included construction sector unions and other crane industry stakeholders.  

New rules now in force

Most amendments came into force on January 1, 2024, and include:
  • clarifying and expanding the role of professional engineers in the design, erection and inspection of tower cranes,
  • expanding inspections beyond structural components to include electrical, mechanical, hydraulic components and control systems,
  • clarifying and expanding the role of competent workers who must inspect tower cranes daily, weekly and monthly,
  • introducing new and updated references to relevant CSA standards relating to the design, inspection and operation of tower and mobile cranes,
  • expanding requirements pertaining to an owner’s crane log and a new requirement for operators to keep a crane log,
  • introducing a new requirement for employers to provide a means of ensuring clear and direct communication from signaller to the operator where clear line of view is not practicable, and
  • addressing changing technology, including operational needs for self-erecting tower cranes and clarifying use of cables, slings and rigging.

Register for WHSC training today!
Amendments were also made to the OSHA Regulation spelling out requirements for notices and reports under Sections 51 to 53.1 of OHSA with respect to fatalities, critical injuries, occupational illnesses and other incidents, including what may be considered near miss circumstances. (O. Reg. 420/21). New requirements involve mandatory notification to the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development (MLITSD) of a failure to control a crane or a load, including any rigging failure, at a construction project. An engineer’s written opinion on the cause of the incident must be included. And this notice must also include the steps taken to prevent recurrence.
Additional amendments will come into force on January 1, 2025, including clearing requirements for overlapping cranes and comprehensive inspections of cranes every ten years.
This action comes in the wake of several related tragedies and near misses on Ontario work sites in recent years and one especially notorious incident in Kelowna B.C. where a crane collapse killed four construction workers and a fifth person working in a nearby office building. 
Intended to provide greater clarity the Ministry also released late last week a technical guideline for crane requirements on construction sites.

WHSC construction sector training

Ontario’s official government-designated training centre, Workers Health & Safety Centre (WHSC) is a leading provider of OHS training for the construction sector. Some programs such as Construction Rigging and Hoisting are essential, others are mandatory, such as WHMISWorking at Heights, along with training for supervisors, joint health and safety committee members and worker health and safety representatives helping to prepare them to act on their significant rights and obligations.

Deeply discounted, limited-time training

For a limited time, WHSC is offering unparalleled discounts for many of these critical health and safety training programs. Part of this special offer is the WHSC Construction Health and Safety Awareness program designed to equip participants with a thorough understanding of significant hazards common to construction projects, as well as related health and safety legislation and effective control measures, both aiming to help protect construction worker health and safety.
Also included in this unbeatable offer is our newest program Worker Health and Safety Representatives – Construction. Under OHSA, employers on Ontario worksites who regularly employ more than five workers must ensure at least one health and safety representative (HSR) is selected from among the workers. Worker HSRs have most of the same rights and powers as members of joint health and safety committees (JHSCs) on larger worksites lasting more than three months. They and their coworkers can be exposed to equally hazardous work conditions. Among other things, health and safety representatives have the legal right and power to inspect the workplace, investigate injuries and recommend control measures. This two-day comprehensive training program is designed to help health and safety representatives on construction sites fulfill their important role and to support their prevention efforts. Participants will gain a full understanding of health and safety law as it applies to all parties on site. They will also learn the skills necessary to develop a proper inspection procedure, to conduct an effective investigation, and to help establish, maintain, and review a worksite health and safety program.
If interested, act today as this offer ends on March 31, 2024, or once dedicated government funding runs outs. Register now for a scheduled option in a real-time, virtual classroom, ideal for training one or a few learners. A few scheduled, in-person training opportunities are also available in our Hamilton and Markham training facilities. If you have a larger number to train and a suitable training venue, or Zoom account of your own, we can bring the training to your organization at no cost.


Expanded Low- to No-cost training offer. 
Construction Sector Training Product Sheet.

Check out our complete catalogue and schedule of in-person and virtual training

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Crane regulation amendments resources:
O. Reg 241/23
O. Reg 242/23
O. Reg 420/21: Notices and Reports under Sections 51 to 53.1 of the OHSA—Fatalities, Critical Injuries, Occupational Illnesses and Other Incidents
MLITSD Technical guidance on requirements for cranes at construction projects