Blog Post #822 – History of Working at Heights

New Standard Introduced

Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine

The province of Ontario is implementing a new voluntary workplace training standard to help prevent falls and improve the safety of employees working at heights.

The Working at Heights Training Program Standard, announced on December 19, 2013, applies to workplaces in the construction sector and construction activity in workplaces covered by the Ontario ‘Construction’ regulation 213/91. It is expected to become mandatory by the summer and will later be expanded to all sectors through a phased approach.

Training programs designed to meet this standard will improve knowledge about fall hazards and safety practices, including topics such as: proper inspection of equipment for damage; procedures for setting up, relocating or removing protective equipment, such as guardrails; demonstrations and hands-on training on fall arrest equipment; and information about workplace protection and workers’ rights.

The standard comprises two modules: The Working at Heights Basic Theory Module and the Working at Heights Practical Equipment Module. The first module contains foundational knowledge for workers, and the second contains applied knowledge and hands-on demonstration of personal protective equipment.

Other highlights of the standard include:

• Delivery requirements;
• Timing – duration of the training for both modules;
• A list of required equipment to be used during the second module;
• Evaluation methods of learners; and
• A three-year validity date after successful completion of the training.

Jonathan Rose, director of communications for Ontario Labour Minister Yasis Naqvi, says the government, through the Chief Prevention Officer, has worked hard with all of its safety partners to implement the panel’s recommendations.

“The content for the standard was recommended and developed by a cross-industry development group composed of labour and employer representatives and other safety partners,” Rose adds.

My opinion

The standard finally went into action on April 1, 2015. In fact, the closing date for construction workers having their ‘Record of Training’ (ROT) has also slid by. As of October 1, 2017, everyone a part of the ‘Construction’ sector that works at heights must be certified.

I have to say that HRS Group Inc., worked very hard to attain their ‘Approved Provider’ status and I am proud of the entire staff that worked on the project including Scott Robinson, a former safety professional key in the development stage of the project. I also have to thank Angela Beal for the content and structure of the program. It is easy to deliver the course when you have the material sync’d with trainer’s manuals, student manuals and the power-point presentations.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Thanksgiving. I hope that all are working safely now and in the future and that the ‘Working at Heights’ program has aided in improving the safety culture in your company and on your worksite.

Ensure your workplace is a safe place.

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.

We can also be reached at

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

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