Workers Health & Safety Centre

Absence of fall protection led to worker death, employer conviction

A Chatham, Ontario employer who failed to comply with fall protection requirements leading to the death of a construction worker must pay $93,500 in fines and surcharges.

According to a May 16, 2023 court bulletin published by the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development (MLITSD), the company was convicted of failing, as an employer, to ensure where a worker is exposed to a fall of more than three metres, and it is not practicable to install a guardrail, the worker shall be adequately protected by a method of fall protection, as required by section 26.1(2) of the Ontario Construction Regulations (O. Reg. 213/91) and contrary to section 25(1)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

The incident took place on July 19, 2021. The 44-year-old worker was on a ladder on a platform with various holes in the floor and unguarded on three sides more than seven metres above the ground. He was in the process of removing an old hopper when a part of it fell onto the platform causing him to fall off the ladder and over the edge of the platform to the ground below.

Working at heights…the law

In addition to fall protection obligations, regulations in Ontario also require employers to ensure workers who work on construction projects complete a working at heights (WAH) training program approved by the MLITSD’s Chief Prevention Officer (CPO). Furthermore, this must be done before they work at heights and use fall protection equipment and systems. And for continued compliance, employers must ensure workers they employ complete an approved WAH refresher program every three years.

It is important to keep in mind too construction projects include more than those on major construction sites. This law also governs projects in manufacturing facilities, schools, shopping malls, offices, film sets and residential homes. In fact, the Ontario government is in the midst of a year-long compliance initiative focusing on falls from heights in single and multi-family residential construction and residential re-roofing.

WHSC WAH training. Gain compliance now!

Working at heights…the training solution

As Ontario’s only government-designated occupational health and safety training centre, Workers Health & Safety Centre (WHSC) is a leading provider of WAH training and WAH refresher training. Our programs are CPO-approved, affordably priced, and delivered by experienced instructors who ensure critical learning is achieved, including:
  • the hazards of WAH, legal rights and duties of all workplace parties, along with relevant regulations governing fall arrest hazards, fall protection equipment and WAH projects,
  • the safe use, inspection, limitations and storage for travel restraint, fall restricting and fall arrest systems,
  • the key components of a fall rescue plan and emergency procedures, and
  • hands-on experience on fall prevention equipment and systems.

Why not train with us this summer and gain critical competence essential to protecting workers and avoiding the ramifications of failing to comply with occupational health and safety law?


Don’t see a date that works for you or wish to discuss onsite WAH training, connect with a training service representative in your area.

Want to know more about WAH, including the legal requirements cited above?
WHSC working at heights resources
Research suggests mandated and standardized WAH training leads to safer work
Construction Regulations [s. 26.1(2)]
Chatham Company Fined $70,000 After Workplace Fatality

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