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Ontario evaluating working at heights training program

11 construction workers have died this year from falls on the job
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construction Toronto
Ontario's Ministry of Labour is reviewing effectiveness of work at heights training for the construction industry. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

Ontario is evaluating the effectiveness of the mandatory working at heights training standards to help prevent fall accidents and fatalities at construction sites. Falls from heights are the number 1 cause of traumatic fatalities of construction workers in Ontario. Between Jan. 1 and Oct. 31, 40 workers died in incidents on the job. Eleven of those fatalities were due to falls.

“Falls continue to be a leading cause of critical injuries and fatalities of construction workers in Ontario. By ensuring that these training standards are effective, we will reduce fatal incidents at work by making sure workers receive high-quality, consistent training for this high-hazard activity,” said Minister of Labour Kevin Flynn.

In Ontario, employers must ensure that certain workers complete a working at heights training program that has been approved by the chief prevention officer and delivered by an approved training provider before they can work at heights.

The training standards allow for “high quality and consistent training” for learners, and include a practical component on the appropriate use of fall protective equipment, the MOL said. In order to continue ensuring the safety of workers, the government needs to assess the effectiveness of the training and make improvements to the standards where necessary.

After the review is complete, the Ministry of Labour (MOL) will review the results of the evaluation to determine whether any changes to improve the effectiveness of the WAH training initiative are needed.

Ontario is investing $595,000 to assess the effectiveness of the working at heights training standards.

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