Ontario Government implementing new safety training standards for working at heights

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The Ministry of Labour has released new workplace training standards to improve safety for workers working at heights.

The Working at Heights Training Program Standard will initially be voluntary and will apply to workplaces in the construction sector, as well as to construction activity in other workplaces. The standard is expected to become mandatory in the construction sector by the summer of 2014 and will later be expanded to all sectors.

Working on the WallThe new standard builds on existing protections in place for those working at heights, establishing a consistent quality level of training for workers across the province.

The standard has a modular format, which includes both practical and theoretical training – Working at Heights Basic Theory and Working at Heights Practical Equipment.

The minimum hours for training delivery are 3 hours for the Working at Heights Basic Theory module and 3.5 hours for the Working at Heights Practical Equipment module.

The training programs will improve knowledge about fall hazards and safety practices, including: proper inspection of equipment for damage, procedures for setting up, relocating or removing protective equipment, and information on workplace protections and workers’ rights.

Electronic learning (eLearning) may be used for the theoretical modular training if done with a qualified instructor, but may not be used for the practical modular training. Distance learning techniques such as training via a live video link may be used for the theoretical modular training, but not for the practical training module.

A written test must be administered at the end of each module or at the end of the whole training program. To successfully complete the training program, a mark of at least 75 percent must be attained. For the practical section of testing, a satisfactory presentation must be performed with the instructor.

The training for both the practical and theoretical module will be valid for three years from the date of successful completion.

Jim LaFontaine, an ORBA Occupational Health and Safety Committee member, participated in the development group tasked with the creation of the standard. ORBA would like to thank him for his time and work on developing the standard.

If you have any questions, please contact Nadia Todorova (nadia@orba.org or 905-507-1107 ext. 225).

Source: ORBA

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