Ministry of Labour releases new training standard for people working at heights

Jan 10, 2014

Worker on roofEmployers of people who work at heights now have a training standard that they can adopt to prevent falls and improve safety. The just-released Working at Heights Training Program Standard is intended for workers who use travel restraint systems, fall restricting systems, fall arrest systems or safety nets.

Despite province-wide enforcement and awareness campaigns, workplace falls remain a leading cause of injury and death. The new standard aims to reduce the number of fall related incidents, injuries and fatalities by establishing a threshold of high quality, consistent training for people working at heights that will strengthen workplace safety culture and improve worker knowledge.

The standard was developed with input from across various sectors that included business, organized labour, health and safety organizations, and other experts.

Voluntary for now, the standard will apply first to workplaces in the construction sector, as well as workplaces in which construction activity takes place. The Ministry of Labour expects the standard to become mandatory in these sectors by summer 2014, and in all sectors at a later date. Affected workplaces will be given time to comply with the mandatory training requirements.

What’s in the standard

The standard sets out learning outcomes, duration and mode of instruction, as well as evaluation methods for working at heights training programs. Key components include:

  • Module 1: Basic Theory - foundational knowledge for workers. Expected duration: 3 hours.
  • Module 2: Practical Equipment - applied knowledge and hands-on demonstration of personal protective equipment (PPE). Expected duration: 3.5 hours.
  • delivery requirements - modes of delivery including maximum class size.
  • a list of required equipment for Module 2.
  • methods for evaluating learners.

The training will remain valid for three years after learners have successfully completed it.

The ministry will begin consulting with stakeholders early in the year on applying the program standard to all sectors, and on a standard for training providers and its implementation. Criteria for those delivering the training will appear in a separate training provider standard. This standard will include instructor and evaluator qualifications, record keeping and reporting requirements.

Find out more by reviewing the Working at Heights Training Program Standard.