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Related Post

Ontario Enhances Safety: Revamped Standards for Working at Heights Training

Updated: Oct 17, 2023

Ontario is championing workplace safety with significant updates to its mandatory working at heights training programs. As the province seeks to fortify its position as a leader in occupational safety, it's also increasing funding to safety associations by a substantial $12.5 million.

Construction workers up on high scaffolding wearing proper PPE including harnesses for safety
Safety when working at heights

Training providers now face an April 1, 2024 deadline to modernize their programs to align with the revised training program and training provider standards. This shift emphasizes the province's commitment to ongoing safety advancements. As Monte McNaughton, the minister of labour, immigration, training, and skills development, highlights, "Every worker in Ontario deserves to come home safely to their family at the end of their shift.”


This renewed focus is timely, given a tragic incident in Chatham, Ontario in 2021. A construction worker, working at a hazardous height, fell and lost his life due to the employer's failure to meet fall protection requirements. The company faced a significant fine of $93,500, underscoring the gravity and repercussions of non-compliance with safety protocols.


Such incidents illuminate the need for rigorous training and safety protocols. Since the inception of the training in 2015, over one million workers have completed the working at heights training in Ontario. Updates to the program aim to enhance the safety knowledge of participants across various settings, from managing damaged equipment to safe operations near skylights and ladders.


Associations that will benefit from the increased funding include the Infrastructure Health & Safety Association, Public Services Health & Safety Association, and Workplace Safety & Prevention Services, among others. Last year, these associations conducted more than 64,000 training sessions, testifying to their critical role in safety education.


Industry leaders have shown strong support for the province's efforts. Adam Melnick, the director of Canadian Affairs for the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, lauds the government's initiatives. Similarly, Blair Allin, Canadian Health and Safety Representative for the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, believes that ongoing review of training standards ensures workers receive up-to-date knowledge.


Ontario's stance on working at heights is clear: continuous improvement in training and rigorous enforcement of safety regulations are paramount. As the province moves forward, the collaboration between the government, training providers, and employers will remain crucial in ensuring a safe working environment for all.

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