Workers Health & Safety Centre

WHSC Working at Heights training gains wider audience

The Workers Health & Safety Centre (WHSC) is now the exclusive provider of working at heights training to thousands of London-area construction workers.
“Considering the significant risks with working at heights, the workers we represent expect quality training,” says Dan Armstrong, training and development specialist, Labourers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) Local 1059. “Too many providers focus on meeting just minimum obligations. Training developed by the Workers Centre focuses on keeping workers safe.”
Beyond their desire for quality training, LIUNA Local 1059 shares with the WHSC the philosophy of workers training workers. “The WHSC is able to train our own members to deliver training,” explains Mike Ropp, training and apprenticeship coordinator, LIUNA Local 1059. “Learning from a known and trusted person who brings real-worksite experience to the classroom leads to essential and life-saving learning outcomes.” 
“The Workers Centre has become our first choice in providing working at heights and other quality training for our members,” says Ropp.
LIUNA Local 1059 represents more than 2,300 construction workers in London, Middlesex, Elgin, Oxford, Huron, Perth and Bruce counties.
Falls from a height are one of the leading causes of death and critical injuries in the construction sector.
WHSC Working at Heights training focuses on all aspects of working at heights and the protection required. Also explored are the legal duties and obligations of employers, constructors, suppliers, supervisors and workers relating to the work, protective equipment and worksite safety policies and procedures. The program is divided into two components—basic theory and a hands-on practicum using fall arrest systems and other protective equipment.

New regulatory changes in Ontario will require employers to ensure untrained or inadequately trained construction workers complete a Ministry of Labour-approved, working at heights training program before they work at heights and use fall protection equipment and systems. This requirement comes 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. Approved training is valid for three years from the date of successful completion. Employers must also maintain detailed records of training. The Ministry will allow however, a maximum two-year transition period for workers whose training already meets the existing fall protection training requirements set out in section 26.2 of the Construction Regulations. In these circumstances, employers will have until April 1, 2017 to ensure workers in their employ complete the more comprehensive Ministry-approved working at heights training program.

Either way, program participants don't need to wait to register for a higher standard of training. The Workers Health & Safety Centre (WHSC) has gained official approval from the Ministry of Labour (MOL) to deliver a new mandatory Working at Heights training program, and is booking approved courses now.
WHSC has been a long-time advocate for mandatory, approved Working at Heights training because of its life-saving effect. WHSC staff served on the MOL working group that developed the Working at Heights training and provider standards.

As Ontario’s legally designated training centre specializing in occupational health and safety, the WHSC continues to develop partnerships with construction industry unions and employers to build our capacity and bring high-quality training to every corner of Ontario.
Want additional information about the WHSC Working at Heights training or how we can help with many of the training obligations mandated by health and safety law in construction and other sectors?
Call:    1-888-869-7950 and ask to speak to a training service representative

Also, be sure to download and share the WHSC Working at Heights product sheet.