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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