Canadian Contractor

Caldwell: Why can’t safety training be standardized Canada-wide?

Why should a contractor have to get new safety training credentials when they go to work in another province? Do safety harnesses work differently in Alberta than they do in Ontario?

August 19, 2016
By Alec Caldwell


Maybe it’s time to get rid of the trade barriers between provinces in Canada, when it comes to safety training for construction workers.

Migrating construction trades move around our country to find work and help in the process of continuing to build our great country. At present many workers are coming into Ontario from Alberta, crossing provincial boundaries with their existing safety training certificates to find these certificates are obsolete in Ontario.

Another example is crossing the Macdonald-Cartier bridge into Quebec from Ottawa: Suddenly your Ontario working at heights training certificate becomes useless when you reach the other side.


Are there different ways to wear a full body harness in Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, BC, Newfoundland and other provinces? Further, can using a lanyard or the three accepted anchor points change? So why is there a need for new training every time you cross a provincial boundary?

It’s called protecting one’s own turf. It’s the very same in the beer industry. When you buy beer in one province, then transport it in your vehicle to another, limitations are put on what quantity you are allowed. Do we have one country here or ten countries?

Here’s a thought. In the Rio Olympics games, they show the total Canadian medal count. They don’t split the count into our separate provinces! So why can’t we follow this same model and have Canada-wide standardized training medals (certificates) for each training requirement?

Maybe it’s time to remove these restrictive measures and the limitations they impose on where contractors work. We need to deliver standardized safety training for every worker countrywide. After all, as someone said recently, “It’s 2016!”

Should safety training be switched to a Canada-wide system? Let us know what you think?

CARAHS is an Ontario Ministry of Labour Approved Working at Heights Training Provider (Pro # 34609)


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2 Comments » for Caldwell: Why can’t safety training be standardized Canada-wide?
  1. Nancy Tucker says:

    I agree that would be great to have standardized across the country. the only issue is that different provinces have different rules and regulations in their Occupational Health and Safety Code, Act and Regulations. Start with making the codes, act and regulations the same across the country and then the training could follow.

  2. Mark Mitchell says:

    Excellent point Alec. And one that irritates me to no end. I just got off the Psychic Hotline with Sir Issac Newton, and he assured me that gravity is 9.81m/s squared in every province. Working at heights training, green books, trade licenses, Arc Flash training, elevated platforms, WHIMS, first aid, and everything else should be as standard as a drivers lic in this country. If we promote trade barriers and protectionism within our own country, we are doomed to stay at the low end of the competitive scale, and the high end of the red tape/bureaucracy scale. Not competing with the rest of the world.

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