Working at Heights Law Ontario
Working At Heights Legal Requirements in Ontario
Working at heights law in Ontario sets out the requirements that must be met by training programs submitted to the Chief Prevention Officer (CPO) for approval. It should be read in conjunction with the Working at Heights Training Provider Standard, which sets out the requirements that must be met by training providers seeking approval by the CPO to deliver an approved working at heights training program. This Working at Heights Training Standard is designed to support consistent and quality training for workers in the Province of Ontario, with respect to core competencies required for working at heights.
The training based on this standard could be customized to address the specific hazards of a sector and the common equipment and machinery used in that sector, as long as the learning outcomes outlined in this standard are achieved.
Our CPO Approved Training provides workers and supervisors with the necessary knowledge required to safely work at heights and prevent fall related accidents. Participants will be instructed on how to correctly select, inspect, maintain and use a wide variety of fall protection components and systems. Safe-Tech programs meet or exceed all relevant CSA Standards, applicable Federal/Provincial regulations and Ministry of Labour Guidelines.
On-site Working at Heights Training are available at client’s location in both full or refresher format throughout Ontario including Belleville, Brampton, Burlington, Cambridge, Cobourg, Hamilton, Kitchener, London, Markham, Mississauga, Niagara Falls, North Bay, Oakville, Peterborough, Sarnia, Toronto, Waterloo, and Windsor. Public/Off-site programs are available at several locations throughout the GTA.
Is Working At Heights Training Mandatory in Ontario?
As of April 1, 2015, the new Working at Heights Training Standard became mandatory for all Ontario construction projects regulated by the Regulations for Construction Projects. The new standard legislates specific requirements for specialized working at heights training, as well as for training providers. The Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training Regulation (Ontario Regulation 297/13) under the occupational Heath & Safety Act clearly sets out Working at Heights as a mandatory requirement.
Working at heights training are valid for three (3) years from the date of successful completion of an approved program. In order to maintain the validity of training, learners must take a refresher training within three (3) years of the date of successfully completing a CPO approved working at heights program. Furthermore, sub-section 26.2 (1) of O. Reg. 213/91 (Construction Projects) states that employers will continue to have a duty to ensure that their workers who may use a fall protection system are trained properly through oral and written instructions provided by a competent person.
Please note that the Occupational Health and Safety Act defines a workplace as any land, premises, location or thing at, upon, in, or near which a worker works. Therefore, the Occupational Health and Safety Act considers a construction site as the workplace for construction workers. Hence, employers should follow the construction regulations falling under the Act. Further, the regulations clearly state that working at heights is a mandatory requirement in Ontario.
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Who Needs Working At Heights Training?
Employers need to develop safety procedures for each task that requires a worker to work at a height greater than three metres. These procedures should take into account what is needed to protect the worker from a fall. Workers need to know these procedures and review them before starting the tasks. Workers on construction projects who use fall protection devices must take a working at heights training. The training must be:
- Approved by the Ministry of Labour’s Chief Prevention Officer
- Delivered by a training provider who has been approved by the Chief Prevention Officer
- Taken before a worker can use fall protection
Under 213/91: Construction Projects, you need to take this training if you work on a construction project and are required to use any of the following methods of fall protection:
- Travel restraint system
- Fall restricting system
- Fall arrest system
- Safety net
- Work belt
- Safety belt
This training requirement is in addition to the equipment-specific training required by section 26.2 of 213/91. Workers do not have to complete approved working at heights training if their workplaces are not covered by 213/91.
How Long Is Working At Heights Training Valid For in Ontario?
Working at heights training is valid for 3 years after the successful completion of an approved program. After 3 years, workers need to successfully complete a refresher program to keep their training valid for another 3 years. To be eligible for a refresher training, workers must have previously successfully completed both modules of an approved working at heights training program. You can check eligibility status using our eligibility checker tool. A training provider who has been approved by the Chief Prevention Officer can deliver a refresher traininig training. Employers must keep records of both working at heights training and fall protection training. As an employer, you must make a training record available to a Ministry of Labour inspector on request.
For working at heights training, you may keep either:
- A copy of the worker’s proof of completion document
- A record that includes the: worker’s name, approved training provider’s name, name of the approved training, date on which the training was successfully completed
What Height Is Considered Working At Heights and Require Fall Protection?
Employers need to develop safety procedures for each task that requires a worker to work at a height greater than three metres. These procedures should take into account what is needed to protect the worker from a fall. Workers need to know these procedures and review them before starting the task. Ontario’s health and safety associations have training and other resources available to help you decrease hazards related to working from heights.
Work at height means work in any place where, if precautions were not taken, a person could fall a distance liable to cause personal injury. You are working at height if you:
- Work above ground/floor level
- Could fall from an edge, through an opening or fragile surface or
- Could fall from ground level into an opening in a floor or a hole in the ground
- Work at height does not include a slip or a trip on the level, as a fall from height has to involve a fall from one level to a lower level, nor does it include
- Walking up and down a permanent staircase in a building
Proof of Training Completion
There are 3 ways employers can check that a worker's training is valid.
- Accept a proof of completion record that was issued by either:
- the Chief Prevention Officer
- a training provider who has been approved by the Chief Prevention Officer
- Access a worker's training information, with the worker's consent, by creating a free and secure account through SkillsPass™.
- With the worker's consent, contact the Ministry of Labour to confirm that the worker's training is valid.
Workers can also get a digital copy of their training records online by setting up a free and secure account through SkillsPass™. You will need your:
- address provided when you registered for training
- year of birth
- email address and phone number (mobile, if possible)
To Replace a Lost or Damaged Record
If your training record was lost or damaged, you can either:
- get your digital record online from SkillsPass™ – it can be shared and printed
- contact your training provider to obtain a copy of your training records or proof of successful completion document