Q – How often should I be trained in working at heights?
A – Industrial Sector – It is the Employer who determines the type, frequency and level of training required for their employees. Best practice is to ensure entry level employees are trained prior to undertaking tasks involving working at heights and refresher training occurs every three years.
Construction Sector - There is a new Working at Heights training program and provider standard in place and is in effect as of April 1, 2015. All workers in the Construction Sector will require training to the new standard. Refer to the Ministry of Labour Website for more information. Training certificates will be issued by the Ministry of Labour and will be valid for 3 years. The new standard at this point is voluntary for all other sectors.
Q – Is a rescue plan required for working at heights?
A – The Construction Regulation O-Reg 213/91 requires a rescue plan to be in place for construction projects where workers are using fall arrest systems. The Industrial Regulation 851 does not mention this. Section 25(2) (h) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act states that the employer must take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of the worker. That said, a rescue plan for working at heights would be considered industry best practice in all situations.
Q – Can I use any ladder on a construction site?
A- As of July 1st, 2016 type II and III ladders are not allowed on construction sites. Companies should ensure that on Type I, IA and IAA ladders are used. The reason for this change is that in most cases, an average worker using a ladder with a tool belt could weigh 250 lbs. Type II and III ladders do not support that weight.
Q – I am about to use a swing stage (suspended platform/access equipment) for work on a high rise building. Is there anything I should know?
A – January 1st, 2017 introduces new requirements for swing stages. Prior to putting these devices into service for the first time, the Ministry of Labour must be notified. Increased inspection, testing and maintenance requirements, new training requirements, enhanced design requirements, roof plans and work plans also come into effect.
Q - How often should I train my employees that are operating forklifts?
A – The CSA Standard for Forklift Requirements CSA-B335-2015 recommends that operators be trained at least every three years. This new standard (replaces the 2004 version) has been updated and harmonized with design, classification and maintenance requirements of ANSI/ITDSF B56.1 and ANSI/ITSDF B56.6 in the United States. (ANSI – American National Standards Institute) (ITSDF – Industrial Truck Standards Development Foundation)
Q- I have my new working at heights certificate. Does this mean I can operate equipment designed to work at heights (elevated work platforms, scaffolding, suspended access equipment, bosun chairs, etc.)?
A – No. Training is required for all access systems that are used in the workplace. Manufacturers Instructions must be adhered to as all equipment models will be different. It is recommended that documentation is in place to prove the Manufacturers Instructions have been read, understood and will be followed.