March 15, 2015
Falls from heights are a major hazard for workers and one of the leading causes of critical injuries and fatalities in Ontario workplaces.

A new training requirement will focus on the construction sector because the number of fatalities due to falls from heights on construction projects is disproportionally large compared to other workplaces.

As of Apr. 1, 2015, new training will be mandatory for workers on construction projects who use any of the following methods of fall protection: travel restraint system, fall restricting system, fall arrest system, safety net, work belt or safety belt. Workers must be given adequate oral and written instructions by a competent person.

The new requirements must be met in addition to existing training for workers who use fall protection systems on construction projects, as set out in the Construction Projects Regulation.

A two-year transition period will apply to workers who received adequate training in the use of fall protection systems, prior to April 1, 2015.

Whether a particular activity is considered to be maintenance or construction will continue to be determined on a case-by-case basis, subject to specific workplace conditions and an initial assessment of the situation.

Employers will be required to maintain a record of a worker’s approved working at heights training. The employer must make a training record available to an inspector on request.