Canadian Contractor

Alec Caldwell   

No April Fools: Think twice about working above 10 feet after April 1st (Ontario)

The Ontario Ministry of Labour's new rules for working above 10 feet in height take effect on April 1st. No joke.

CARAHS_Logo     Alec's Oct 2014 Photo. jpg Alec Caldwell

This is not an April Fools joke. I’m not sure if you know about the massive change that will be implemented on April 1st this year by your friends at the Ministry of Labour (MOL). It hasn’t been advertised as well as it could have been – but it’s all up on their website for you to find if you had the time to go looking for it.

I wrote about it a few weeks ago, but I just want to make sure that everyone is aware of this new change because there’s only a couple of months until it affects the entire construction and home renovation industry.

The new change is this: all construction workers, employees, sub contractors and home renovators must complete the new Working at Heights training program by April 1st, 2017, if they work above heights of 10ft or more.

But let me explain.

If you’ve already completed a Fall Protection training course or will complete the training course before April 1st of this year (and can prove it), you are in compliance with the MOL. This means that YOU CAN work above 10ft from a work surface, however you have a 2 year transition period (until 2017) where you must then take the new Working at Heights Standard Modules 1 & 2 (Theory & Practical).

After April 1st, those who do NOT currently have Fall protection training (or take a course before this deadline), legally cannot work above heights of 10 ft from a work surface, until they complete the new approved MOL Working at Heights Standard modules 1 & 2 (Theory & Practical).

Taken from the MOL web site:

“As of April 1, 2015, certain workers will need to complete a working at heights training program that has been approved by the Chief Prevention Officer before they can work at heights.

The new training requirement is for workers on construction projects who use any of the following methods of fall protection:
• travel restraint systems
• fall restricting systems
• fall arrest systems
• safety nets
• work belts or safety belts

There is a two year transition period for workers who already meet the existing fall protection training requirements set out in section 26.2 of the Construction Regulation. These workers will have until April 1, 2017 to complete an approved working at heights training program”

Once this new training standard arrives on April 1st, it will be more stringent and the minimum total running time of both Module 1 & 2 will be 6 1/2 hours. The maximum class size on module 2 will also be 12 people. All courses and trainers will have to be MOL certified and I expect that training course pricing will also increase through many suppliers.

Right now CARAHS and many other organizations are still running Fall Protection Training courses before the April 1 deadline, so if you act now, you can beat this deadline and then have 2 years to complete the new standard. As always, CARAHS is here to answer any questions you might have on the above article and you can call us toll free 1.866.366.2930.

Thank you.

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 & Government

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