October 12, 2021
Ontario looks to harmonize head protection requirements

The Ontario government is examining changes to head protection requirements for workplaces that fall under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. 

A proposal by the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development proposal would see head protection rules change to a performance-based approach. The change would encompass a wide range of protective headwear, including hard hats, motorcycle helmets, rope access helmets or structural firefighting helmets, depending on the hazard and the activity.

In all situations where there is potential for a head injury, protective headgear would need to be appropriate to protect the worker. Where there is no hazard of head injury, such as in the cab of a vehicle, there would be no requirement to wear head protection in that location. 

The proposal would also allow workplaces to consider other ways to address head injury hazards, for instance by eliminating the hazard or controlling it by using engineering or administrative means.

As well, the ministry will examine whether the proposal would increase, decrease or have no effect on the cost of protective headwear for a workplace.

To help employers comply with possible changes to head protection regulations, the ministry will publish a guideline or an approved code of practice to accompany the proposed amendments.