Workers Health & Safety Centre

Lack of training contributing to fall hazards, Ministry finds

Lack of training contributing to fall hazards, Ministry finds
Seven workers were killed and 66 suffered critical injuries as a result of working at heights-related incidents in construction in 2017, according to Ontario’s Ministry of Labour.
This same year, the last year for which incident statistics are available, Ministry inspectors issued 12,649 orders under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and regulations involving working at heights violations on construction projects. A more recent targeted initiative in June, 2018 resulted in 2,100 orders at more than 700 construction projects. Of these, 191 were stop work orders where the situation posed an immediate danger to the safety or health of a worker(s), including lack of, or inadequate, training. 
This most recent Ministry initiative was designed to ensure employers are aware of and complying with their obligations to protect workers, including adequate training and competent supervision. Inspectors were also looking to ensure workers were using fall protection properly. According to the Ministry, the results indicate “falls hazards continue to be a key concern at construction projects. Inadequate training or a lack of training is an important contributor to such hazards.”
In addition to compliance orders issued by the Ministry, employers and supervisors who fail to meet their fall protection obligations can face fines and jail sentences.

Working at heights training

For greater clarity, beyond the legal obligation to provide adequate fall protection training as set out in Ontario construction regulations, by law employers must ensure construction workers complete a MOL-approved working at heights training program before they start work at heights and use fall protection equipment.
This initial Working at Heights training is valid for three years from the date of successful completion of an approved program. For continued complianceemployers must ensure workers they employ complete an approved WAH refresher training prior to the expiration of this three year period. Successful completion of this training will re-validate WAH training compliance for three years.

WHSC Training for compliance and competence

Workers Health & Safety Centre has been the leading provider of MOL-approved Working at Heights training since it first became mandatory. Our comprehensive one-day program is:
  • priced competitively ($120/person plus HST),
  • designed to ensure critical learning is achieved,
  • delivered by experienced instructors from the trades, and
  • supported by complete training records and replacement cards when needed.

To ensure access to this life-saving and mandatory training, the WHSC continues to add training dates in cities across Ontario over the coming months for WHSC, Ministry-approved WAH Training and WAH Refresher Training.
Don’t see a date that works for you or want additional information?
Call 1-888-869-7950 and ask to speak to a WHSC training services representative. With enough participants we can bring this training directly to your work site or facility.

Need more WAH information still?
Check out our online Working at Heights information resources.
Need to know more about mandatory training in the construction sector?
As Ontario’s legally designated training centre specializing in occupational health and safety, WHSC continues to develop partnerships with construction industry unions and employers to build our capacity to bring high-quality training to every corner of Ontario. In fact, we offer many programs specific to the needs of the construction sector ranging from Forklift and Skid Steer Operator to Propane and GHS WHMIS.