Before 2009, drywallers were not allowed to use construction stilts, in Ontario, under any circumstances.

In 2009, the laws were changed and stilts were finally allowed. There were, however, a large set of requirements in the new regulation 443/09.

Below is a list of the requirements that have to be met prior to their use:

1) No leg extensions, other than stilts, shall be present or used at a project;
2) Stilts cannot be used except for the following uses:
– Drywall finishing work;
– Installation of insulation; and/or
– Installation of vapour barriers.
3) Stilts shall not be used on a scaffold or to climb up or down stairs;
4) Stilts used shall be:
– Be commercially manufactured;

– Be made of unpainted metal;
– Be in good working condition; and
– Be suitable for their intended use.
5) Stilts may be used to a maximum height of 76 centimetres (30 inches) as
measured from the work surface that the user of the stilts would otherwise
stand on to the top of the foot plate;
6) Stilts can be used on a work surface that is:
– It is made of rigid material;
– Is level or does not have a slope of more than 3 per cent;
– All openings on the work surface are adequately covered or guarded;
– All open sides of the work surface are adequately guarded;
– It is free of debris or anything else that may be a hazard to a worker on stilts;
– All obstructions that cannot be removed are adequately guarded, placed or secured to prevent a worker on stilts from being injured;
7) If stilts are used in a work area for which section 26.1 and 26.3 require a
guardrail system, the guardrail system shall be modified by adding;
– An additional top rail is 76 centimetres above the existing guardrail, or
– The guardrail is set at a height above the existing top rail equal to the height of the stilts being used in the work area;
– An intermediate rail is located midway between the additional top-rail and the existing top-rail;
8) A modified guardrail system described in the previous section shall be
capable of resisting any load it could be subjected to by a worker on stilts;
9) An employer shall ensure that a worker who uses stilts is trained in their
use by completing an adequate training program that:
– Enables the worker to demonstrate proficiency in the safe and proper use of stilts;
– Provides instruction on the relevant requirements of this Regulation; and
– Provides instruction on; a) mounting and dismounting, b) adjusting stilts to suit the individual worker and the work, c) walking on and working with stilts while maintaining balance and stability, d) inspecting stilts for damage and defects, e) maintaining , servicing and storing stilts, f) conducting an inspection of the work area before commencing work to identify hazards for stilts use, g) correcting any hazardous condition identified under section f) and, h) setting up tools and materials to ensure they are adequately accessible when using stilts;
10) No worker shall use stilts at a project unless he or she has successfully
completed a program described in subsection (9) and carries proof of
completing the program at all times when using the stilts;
11) A worker using stilts at a project shall inspect the stilts for damage, wear,
corrosion and other defects the first time each day that the worker uses the
12) An employer shall ensure that a worker does not use stilts that are damaged,
worn, corroded of defective and no worker shall use such stilts; and
13) Stilts shall be stored, serviced and maintained in accordance with the
manufacturer’s instructions.

HRS Group Inc. has a ‘Construction Stilts’ competency program ready to go. Please inquire at (705) 749-1259 for classes and/or our certified trainers can travel to your facility to complete your requirements. Your workers will be certified for a 3 year period from the date of training. Our recommendation is have a supervisor also receive the same training to cover the employer under section 25, subsection 2(c) “The employer shall appoint a competent person as a supervisor.” Training is a large part of any level of competency.

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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