The new Ontario ‘Working at Heights’ legislation looks to be enacted around the June, 2014 timeframe in the Ontario ‘Construction’ regulation 213/91. There will be a 2 year grandfather grace period for compliance attached. (anyone after May 31, 2016 must have the new ‘Working at Heights’ standard which will include a 3 year renewal. That, in itself, is a big change as the original ‘Fall Protection’ record of training (ROT) was non-renewable.)
Training providers MUST complete a package for compliance, under the new ‘Training Provider’ standard and deliver to the Ministry of Labour (MOL) the package for review. Once approved, the ‘Training Provider’ will be recognized by the MOL to deliver the material. This will ensure that the level of training will be elevated to a higher standard than the one that is there at present. The training will be somewhere between 5 and 8 hours in length, depending on the class size. There is a set maximum of 24 students in the ‘Theory’ portion of the training and a set maximum of 12 students for the ‘Practical’ component. (Bring another trainer)
At present, the legislation is not enacted so there is no one out there accredited as an approved provider. This question, along with many others, were asked and answered at the CSA building in Mississauga, Ontario on March 10, 2014 during a scheduled seminar set up by the MOL. Do not be fooled! The MOL stated that they do not recognize anyone as an approved provider until the changes have been made to the ‘Construction’ regulation.
The changes to the ‘Construction’ regulation 213/91 will take place first since ‘Falls’ are the leading cause of death on a construction site. The other 3 sector-specific regulations, including ‘Industrial, 851/90, Healthcare, 67/93 and Mining and Mining Plants, 854, are to be amended in the future. This may take a while or could happen soon.
I have to say that I was pleased to finally see the changes needed in the ‘Construction’ regulations. There are still many deficiencies there such as lack of prescribed training for forklifts, Telehandlers etc. The other sectors require it but not the ‘Construction’ sector. ‘Fall Protection’ on the construction site needs to be improved and only through appropriately-upgraded training and the enforcement of the new standard by the MOL can we hope to achieve any level of improvement. The MOL has to do there part. At present, I see workers still not tied off or attached in an unacceptable way. I watched a person raised by a Telehandler on a 3-sided aspenite man-lift and left there while the driver went for coffee. Does anyone see the problems with this? There are 4 violations of the ACT and regulations? Can anyone quote them all?
Will we finally see a reversal in the upward trend of Fall deaths the workplace, who knows? I surely hope so. Anyone working from heights needs to be protected and properly supervised. Yes, the supervisor MUST play his/her part in the standard as well. Section 27, subsection 1 (a) of the OHS Act states,
The supervisor shall ensure that a worker,
(a) works in a manner and with the protective devices, measures and procedures required by the ACT and appropriate regulation.
The MOL expects the supervisor receive the same training to ensure compliance. They made a point of relaying their concerns in this area and were very vocal about it. The expectation is to have the supervisor ensure compliance through their own company progressive disciplinary program. Can anyone say ‘Due Diligence’?
Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”
HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Fall Protection’ and Working at Heights’. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.