I hear 4 and 5 hour working at heights classes are sneaking back in the training system.
You have been doing this for years, you know it all, right? I know its boring, or, these people weren't meant to be in a class room for a full day. Some of the comments I have heard by some trainers who cave to workers pressuring them to speed up the class and get them out early.
In reality many workers have never been properly trained about; guardrails, floor covers, travel restraint, what is a fall restriction system, how to properly wear and adjust a harness, how high does the tie off anchor have to be to make sure I don't hit the ground or floor below? These are all good questions and ones that need to be covered in working at heights training in order to be successful and reduce the number of construction deaths.
Case in point, I had an experience several years ago on a high rise project, where I saw most of the experienced workers not wearing their harness properly. After some encouragement, I finally convinced the site supervisor to shut down the job for 1/2 hour and allow me to perform a safety talk for all workers on site, regarding how to don a harness. With approx 60 workers in attendance, some new and a couple of workers who had been working in construction for over 50 years. The first consensus among most workers was, what is this guy going to tell me that I don't already know? Well to my surprise after the safety talk, two of the 50 year workers approached me, shook my hand and thanked me for the instructions, they said, "in 50 years in construction, nobody ever showed them how to properly don a harness."
I think If the trainer makes the session dynamic and steers away from boring, workers can handle sitting for a whole day on a relevant topic that will help prevent injury or possibly kill them..
AWP's Workers Now Must Be "Prevented from Ejection"
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
New Construction Regulations Section 148(1)d now requires all workers to be prevented from ejection while in an Aerial Work Platform (AWP).
In the past, typically the worker would be provided with a 6' lanyard to attach to the designated tie off point, usually somewhere near the floor of the AWP. The 6' lanyard would allow the worker a bit of movement in the lift. However if the worker was thrown out of the lift, a 6' lanyard is long enough to allow ejection from the AWP.
Therefore the construction industry must adopt a new method(s) of tying off while in a AWP's.
I think one easy quick solution to the issue is Self Retracting Lanyard's (SRL's).
SRL's come in a variety of sizes and configurations and are built to lock up when a sudden motion is detected such as falling. SRL's will almost always lock up within a maximum of 600 mm of lead out, and usually less. As a worker is about to go over the rails of an AWP, the unit will normally lock up before the worker is over the rails, that is provided the worker is not standing on the rails!
Always tie off to the designated tie off point within your AWP, if you cannot find it, consult the manual. FYI Operators manauls must be provided under the construction regulations. Some lifts designated for use inside industrial plants may not have tie off points. If you are on a construction site, let the rental company know, so they send you the right lift with proper anchor points.
Contractors must research new methods and write new procedures to match the new regulations.
For your convenience, we have attached a searchable PDF copy of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Construction Regulations 213/91 current as of May 3, 2017
To Save, Either; Open the doc and save to your computer or smart phone.
Or right click and choose save target and choose your location to save.
To search the document for your safety question or issue, in acrobat reader, under edit choose 'find' or the magnifying glass for mobile apps, then type the keyword that best describes what you are looking for in the text box, and hit enter or search, hit next until you find the section you are looking for.
A quick 1-2 on The Act (OHSA) VS Regulations (213/91)
Remember you are looking in the Act for items that are common for all employers regardless of type of workplace. Example, H&S representatives, MOL entry rights, Violence and Harassment & Fines.
You should be looking in the regulations when it is a construction specific issue. Example, Scissor lifts, construction ladders, exavations, PPE, all construction specific issues.
The Act is the Law and the reg's are the sector specific rules.
Hopefully this helps you navigate the OHSA and construction regs a bit better - Lou
Lou LeBlanc at 2:43 PM
WAH MOL Deadline Extended, But...
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Under pressure from worker and employer representatives, the MOL's Chief Prevention Officer has extended its Working at Heights Deadline to October 1, 2017.
But dont cancel your training yet, this extension only applies to workers who;
Have proof of taken working at heights or equivilant prior to April 1, 2015
Are booked for a class; and
Has proof of registration.
If the worker does not have a record of training for fall protection prior to April 2015, the worker still must have met the April 1, 2017 deadline.
The proof of registration must be available to a MOL inspector upon request and must include the following information;
The name of the worker
The name of the approved training provider
The date on which the approved training is scheduled to be completed
The name of the approved training program
Hopefully this helps clarify the Miinistry of Labour Working at Heights Extension
Lou LeBlanc at 5:38 PM
All Fall Protection Training Prior to April 2015 Expires
Tuesday, February 28, 2017
To clarify the April 1, 2017 Ministry of Labour (MOL) deadline for Working at Heights training for construction workers.
As of April 1 2015 all Working at Heights Training providers in Ontario must obtain MOL Approval in order to train Working at Heights.
Prior to April of 2015 there were no* MOL approved working at heights training providers, therefore any training cards dated prior to April 1, 2015 are no longer valid. (* with the small exception of the 5 training providers who were approved in March 2015)
Employers were given 2 years to obtain new MOL approved training and that deadline is April , 2017.
If you or your workers were trained in 2015 go to the MOL list of approved trainers and if your training provider was registered prior to the date on your card, you have taken approved training. Now you just have to update it every three years.
BuildSafe was approved by the Ministry of Labour to train Working at Heights on July 17, 2015. Therefore under MOL regulations any cards issued in March of 2015 or prior, all expire on March 31, 2017, regardless of any expiry date that is on the card.
Hopefully this clarifys the MOL Working at Heights deadline of April 1, 2017
As many; Framers, Drywaller's, Tapers and Painters know 2 & 3 rung step stools have been a point of contention by MOL inspectors for many years.
In 2015, the ladder regulations were revamped and in November a new definition of a 'step stool' has appeared for the first time.
“step stool” means a self supporting, portable, fixed or foldable ladder, not adjustable in length, and having,
(a) a height of 800 millimetres or less, excluding side rails, if any, above the top cap,
(b) flat steps, but no pail shelf, and
(c) a ladder top cap that can be stood or stepped on;
In my opinion this new definition should clear up any confusion about use of 2 & 3 step stools that are under 800mm and where the manufacturer allows standing on the top.
Remember section 93(3) if you are following the manufacturer's instructions on any piece of equipment, there is no reason you should have to worry about MOL charges. Should charges happen anyway, you may have a valid defence, provided you were working in adherence with the manufacturer's instructions.
As seen in Werner Ladder manufactures picture, they do allow to stand on the top of their 'work stand'.
What I am referring to is construction regulation 26.1(2)
(2) Despite subsection (1), if it is not practicable to install a guardrail system as that subsection requires, a worker shall be adequately protected by the highest ranked method that is practicable from the following ranking of fall protection methods:
Practicable is the word that allot of people are a mis-interpreting for practical.
Practical means; sensible, useful, easiest for the situation,
Practicable simply means 'that is possible'
Therefore in the regulations we cannot simply choose the easiest or most practical method on the list, we must choose the highest ranked method that is possible regardless of difficulty, if guardrails can be installed, they must be installed.
There is allot of fear mongering going on out there from trainers trying to scare you into hiring them, just stay calm!
No it is not past due to train your workers in WHMIS (2015). Ontario legislation was only updated effective July 1, 2016.
Trainers should, now and over the next two year transition period, be showing workers the old & new symbols, talking about the 2 new classifications as well as the old classifications, showing the 16 part (material) safety data sheets (SDS's)
In approx. 2 years (Mid 2018) all products entering the workplace should now be in compliance with the new changes, so we would them be tapering down showing the old WHMIS symbols and MSDS in WHMIS training.
In a nut shell thats what you need to know regarding changes in WHMIS Training.
Lou LeBlanc at 4:15 PM
How will the GHS change WHMIS?
Monday, September 19, 2016
Looking from the big picture viewpoint, GHS does not change the basic concept of WHMIS.
DON'T BE FOOLED by those who sound like a Philadelphia Lawyer explaining the GHS changes in language too complicated for the average worker to understand.
Some of the finer details will change like symbols and main classifications, but on a high level, WHMIS is and has been always about;
1-How the materials will harm workers,
2-How to protect yourself,
3-What to do in case of an emergency; and
4-Where to get more information.
As you can see anyone who is familiar with WHMIS will quickly understand the basic concept remains the same. Some (not all) of the basic changes are as follows;
Hazard Symbols are now in a red diamond shape to draw attention better and a few symbols have been updated.
We now have 2 basic hazard classifications;
Physical Hazards, or something that harms you mainly from the outside, (example getting burned by fuels); and
Health Hazards, or something that mainly harms you from the inside, example (inhalation of toxic gasses)
To stay consistent with the rest of the world, we finally went to the 16 part format safety data sheet (SDS). (the word material was dropped from MSDS) Canada has adopted 12 parts as mandatory as other sections are covered under different Canadian laws.
So at the end of the day WHMIS 2015 or WHMIS 1988 is an Information System about hazardous materials found in workplaces.