Workers Health & Safety Centre

WHSC working at heights training resumes with COVID precautions

Have you been waiting for access to essential and mandatory Working at Heights (WAH) training delayed by the COVID-19 crisis? If so, your wait is over.
Workers Health and Safety Centre (WHSC) has begun scheduling in-person WAH and WAH Refresher training in a few Ontario communities, while ensuring strict adherence to COVID-19 precautions recommended by public health authorities.
The COVID-19 crisis has impeded access to WAH programs as many training providers, including WHSC, cancelled classes in response to the crisis. With lower transmission rates and Stage 3 re-openings, we are now ready and able to help support individuals who need this training and employers who have significant related obligations.

Employer training obligations

All Ontario employers are required to provide workers with information, instruction and supervision and take every reasonable precaution to ensure fall protection.   
Construction sector employers have more specific obligations to provide adequate fall protection. They must also ensure a construction worker who may use a fall protection system is adequately trained in its use and given adequate oral and written instructions by a competent person [Construction Reg., s. 26.2(1)]. Since 2015, “adequate” in Ontario means employers in the construction sector must also ensure construction workers complete a working at heights (WAH) program that meets training standards, is approved by the Ministry of Labour’s (MOL) Chief Prevention Officer and delivered by an approved provider, all before they start work at heights and use fall protection equipment.
Approved WAH training is valid for three years from the date of successful completion. For continued compliance, employers must ensure workers they employ complete an approved WAH refresher training every three years thereafter.
In response to the COVID pandemic, the Ontario government announced a one year extension to comply with WAH Refresher training for those who completed initial WAH training between February 28, 2017 and August 31, 2017. According to the Ministry of Labour, mandatory renewal training for more than 120,000 workers was due to expire during this time period.
These workers will soon need access to WAH Refresher training to ensure continued compliance. So too, however, will the many workers trained after September 1, 2017 required to adhere to the three year renewal requirements. Recognizing this double cohort will test the capacity of the training delivery system, the WHSC, a leading provider of WAH approved training, is ready to help.
We are also here to help ensure access to training for new hires and those with new assignments who must complete the initial WAH training before working at heights.

WHSC, at your service, now

With limited scheduled training for both in-person WAH and WAH Refresher training at this time, you are encouraged to register today to ensure access.
We will explore scheduling additional classes along with options to bring training directly to clients where practical and safe.  
As suggested above, WHSC scheduled, community-based training will adhere to essential precautions recommended by public health authorities, including reduced classroom participants to ensure adequate physical distancing and mandatory mask use while in class.
And like all WHSC programs, both WAH training programs are:
  • priced competitively,
  • 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.

Don’t see a WAH training date that works for you or need more information?
Contact a WHSC training service representative at a location nearest you. 

Need more information still?
Check out our online Working at Heights resources
Need assistance with COVID related training and information needs?
Check out our virtual training opportunities
Check out our online COVID resources