Blog Post #118 – The Disregard of Fall Protection – Right at My Doorstep

It was an agitated Daniel L. Beal who witnessed a total disregard for human life during the daytime on Wednesday August 03, 2011. At that time, I was covering for our receptionist who was on her own training course (clerical) and I watched three individuals, on top of a restaurant in Peterborough, attempting to install a large replacement air conditioner in the pouring rain.

None of the workers were tied off and no guardrails were installed either. They didn’t even utilize a fall restraint system as an alternative. No, this company had it all wrong from the start. To make matters worse, they employed a young person as part of the team and he would be unaware that his employer and co-workers were not doing everything reasonable to protect him. Training and the provision of fall arrest equipment should have preceded the job.

I, therefore, contact the Ministry of Labour on their hotline and reported the incident. The MOL was quick and an inspector was sent out to review.

It is my understanding that all players have been notified, the restaurant, the landlord and the installers. I also understand that they were read the riot act, or at least the OHSA, describing the company’s responsibilities under section 25 and will give the employer a lesson in the construction regulation 213/91 section 26 which covers all applications concerning FALL PROTECTION. Now, you may ask why the construction regulations would include most of the fall protection requirements for the workplace. Well, FALLS are the #1 killer in construction. Where would you want them to be!

In closing,

I was very impressed with the MOL in this matter. Life is short. Let’s hope the lives of this crew, especially the young one just starting out, will go on for a long time to come thanks to the new information provided to them about their own health and safety.

If you are an employer in the construction sector then read section 26 of the Construction regulation 213/91, subsections 1 through 9. You will be very surprised at the information you did not know existed but are obliged to learn. (if you want to stay in business)

In the future, another blog will be written to spell out the requirements for section 26 of the construction regulation 213/91 in more detail.

In Ontario, there must be some type of ‘Fall Protection’ for a worker who has a chance of falling more than 3 metres or 10 feet.

Remember — In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

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

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