Canadian Contractor

Alec Caldwell   

What does “adequate” training in construction really mean?

Canadian Contractor Permits & Legal

You have to be "adequately" trained on Fall Protection, no matter what type of construction jobsite you are working on. If you can't prove you are trained in this area, you risk fines, prosecution and job site closure.

Whats adequateGlassHalfFull_6241928_SMALLER_0If we were to assemble a group of individual construction workers around a table and asked them to describe what the word adequate means to them, I bet we’d have many different takes on it.

Trying to find some clarity to this word, I checked my dictionary. Adequate means “enough,” “sufficient,” decent” and “satisfactory,” among other meanings.  So it’s clear there are many different takes on this word.

Why does the meaning of the word adequate matter, to you, the contractor?

Because, at least here in Ontario, you’re legally required to meet a definition of the word adequate in your safety training.


According to the Ministry of Labour, which upholds the Ontario Health and Safety Act, everyone must be “adequately trained” on safety before stepping onto any construction work site, whether they are employees, sub trades or the self-employed.

These work sites include commercial construction sites, high rises, industrial premises, low-rise residential… and home renovation worksites!

The outcome is adequate means different things to different people and I know the Ministry of Labour (MOL) will use their own interpretation to this word during workplace inspections and investigation after an accident.

Adequately trained means that all those not required to take the new Working at Heights Standard training, still need to take Fall Protection Training. Not being able to furnish proof of training of either, if requested by MOL inspectors, opens the door to fines, job site closure and prosecution. Its all about showing due diligence to protect yourself.

Fall Protection Training has been overshadowed in my opinion by the introduction of the new Working at Heights Standard training course in Ontario. Fall Protection Training covers, legislation, workers rights, slip, trip and falls and is for everyone not working above heights of 3 metres.

I hope this brings clarity and if you have questions on this article, please call us me, toll free, 1 866 366 2930.

By providing education and training, CARAHS reduces your risk of fines, job site closures and prosecution under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act. We are independent of unions and government.

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1 Comment » for What does “adequate” training in construction really mean?
  1. Common Sense says:

    Government spends more time, money, & resources creating programs, and layer upon layer of red tape, processes, and multitudes of positions that do not actual do any work and hinder this countries competitiveness. This week it is , once again, fall protection, next week it is sunscreen, sun hats, lip balm, and the correct and safe way to open a bottle of water. I can hardly wait until shoe tying, nose wiping, and how to not get your feelings hurt on a job site.
    Isn’t it time we, in the construction industry, we all grow a pair and give terms to government. We do not need another program or inspiration creation by some government fool that has never gotten his hands dirty, or another agency or entity to fine and punish companies and their owners. We need paid courses to be offered as an entry requirement to the industry. Any one wanting to enter the trade would have to take the course. Keep it straight forward and do not let the system build it (like government always does) into something fat and top heavy and money hungry. Catch the young people and train them before they get bad habits or into a situation. Years ago I would have suggested this be a mandatory course is high school, but our schools have allowed teachers to influence direction and to deviate from the basics. They have broken all the wheels off wagon to burn as fire wood to keep warm. Something learned on one of their Pro-D days.

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