Ontario evaluating working at heights training program
11 construction workers have died this year from falls on the job
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.
Ontario proposing to triple maximum OHSA fine to $1.5 million
Fine against supervisors, directors could be quadrupled to $100,000
Dec 6, 2017
The Ontario government has introduced legislation to triple the maximum fine under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) against corporations to $1.5 million per charge, and quadruple the maximum fine against individual persons — such as workers, supervisors or directors — to $100,000 per charge.
The proposed amendments are, one might say, buried in Schedule 30 to Bill 177 that would implement certain “budget measures." Perhaps for that reason, they have received very little attention. The bill is called, Stronger, Fairer Ontario Act (Budget Measures), 2017.
The bill received second reading on Nov. 30 and has now been referred to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs.
The bill would also change the limitation period for laying charges under the OHSA, which is currently one year.
The new limitation period would be the later of one year or “the day upon which an inspector becomes aware of the alleged offence.”
That seems to mean that for accidents that employers are not required to report to the Ministry of Labour, the limitation period would continue running until the MOL finds out about the accident, which could be years later when an inspector drops in for an inspection of the workplace.
Occupational Exposure Limit (OELs) Updates
Effective January 1, 2018, Regulation 833 and O. Reg. 490/09 are amended by (O. Reg. 287/17) and (O. Reg. 288/17) to reflect the adoption of new or revised occupational exposure limits (OELs) or listings for 21 chemical substances based on recommendations by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH). These changes were included in the Ministry’s 2016 consultation “Proposed Changes Affecting the Control of Hazardous Substances under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.” An overview of these changes is given below:
- Addition of specific listings for 4 substances in regulation: Cyanogen bromide, Ethyl isocyanate, Peracetic acid and Phenyl isocyanate.
- Revisions to exposure limits or listings for 17 substances currently regulated: Acetone, Atrazine, Barium sulfate, 1-Bromopropane, Ethylidene norbornene, Lithium hydride, Methomyl, Methyl formate, Methyl isocyanate, Naphthalene, Nickel carbonyl, Oxalic Acid, Pentachlorophenol, Pentane, and Trichloroacetic acid, 1,2,3 – Trichloropropane, and Triethylamine.
In addition to the changes noted above, effective January 1, 2018, the Ministry has moved forward with the adoption of proposals that were the subject of earlier consultations. These changes include the adoption of a more protective OEL for the substance beryllium, the adoption of the ACGIH method for addressing exposures to the aliphatic hydrocarbon gases (C1 – C4), and changing the minimum oxygen content in section 138(1) of Regulation 851 – Industrial Establishments from 18% to 19.5% as set out in (O. Reg. 289/17).
There is a new Employment Standards Poster to be posted in all workplaces.
Copies can be downloaded HERE
Hard copies can also be ordered from the MOL
Ministry of Labour prosecutions
Workplaces and workplace parties that violate Ontario’s employment and workplace health and safety laws could face convictions, fines – or even jail time. Readers can visit the ministry’s website to read court bulletins on some of these convictions. In the past several weeks, some of the convictions include:
- Toronto Metal Fabrication Company Fined $50,000 After Worker Injured By Machine
- Toronto Crane Company Fined $95,000 After Worker Fatality
- Windsor Roofing Company Fined in Young Worker Fatality
- Toronto Company Fined $60,000 for Ignoring Orders to Address Safety Violations
- Thomson Construction Fined $50,000 After Worker Suffers Critical Injuries From Fall
Ontario is increasing the general minimum wage to $11.60 on October 1. This latest rate is the result of changes to legislation that was passed in 2014 to tie annual minimum wage increases to the province’s Consumer Price Index. Ontario recently introduced legislation that, if passed, would raise the general minimum wage to $14 per hour on January 1, 2018, and then to $15 an hour on January 1, 2019. Annual adjustments to the minimum wage based on the rate of inflation would resume in October 2019.
Read more at the MOL website HERE
I work at heights, What do I Need to Take?
At ICSS we offer both an MOL approved Working at Heights course and a fall protection course - so what's the difference and what do you need to be taking?
I Work in Construction...
I work in another workplace...
Redmond, WA – Genie Industries, a manufacturer of lifting and material handling equipment, on July 21 issued a safety recall for certain aerial lifts, stating that the platforms may drop because of premature wear of the upper wear pads.
The organization discovered that weld debris in the boom tubes could trigger early corrosion of the pads.
The potentially affected devices have the following serial numbers:
- SX15015H-101 to 161
- SX15016H-162 to 228
- SX150H-500 to 501
- SX18014-101 to 196
- SX18015-197 to 313
- SX18016-314 to 317
- SX18016H-318 to 360
- SX180H-600 TO 602
Users with these devices are directed to order a replacement wear pad kit through the Genie website. For SX150 models, the kit product number is 1280093GT. For SX180 models, the kit product number is 1280092GT.
JUNE MOL REPORT: The Ministry of Labour’s Provincial Co-ordinator reported the following to the
Provincial Labour-Management Committee: There were no fatalities in the construction industry in June
2017.Overall however, year to date fatalities total 7 compared to 5 last year. There were 22 critical injuries
in June 2017, comprised of 10 in single family residential, 1 in road building, 1 in commercial, 2 in
institutional, 4 in multi-residential and 1 in sewer and water main. The majority of the critical injuries
continue to be resultant from falls.
The Provincial Co-ordinator also provided some insights into the Ministry’s Supervisor Awareness and
Accountability blitz at the half way point. The blitz is designed to raise awareness of a supervisor’s
responsibility under the OHSA and to hold them accountable. Supervisors are their employers
representatives on construction projects and their responsibilities include occupational health and safety.
Employers should review and continue to invest in supervisors knowledge, training and experience in
relation to their work
ICSS has now partnered with Intuition First Aid to provide a variety of First Aid training options in the Kingston area.
Contact us for more info at email@example.com
Standard First Aid & CPR
Comprehensive two-day course offering first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) skills for those who need training due to work requirements or who want more knowledge to respond to emergencies at home. Includes the latest first aid and CPR guidelines. Meets federal and a variety of provincial/territorial regulations for Standard First Aid and CPR. Exceeds competitors standards by including injury prevention content.
Emergency First Aid & CPR
One day course offering an overview of first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) skills for the workplace or home. Includes the latest first aid and CPR guidelines. Meets OHS regulations for Basic First Aid. Exceeds competitors standards by including injury prevention content.
CPR & AED
Half day course offering an overview of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) skills for workplace or home. Includes the latest CPR guidelines and meets OHS regulations. Exceeds competitors standards by including injury prevention content.
Marine Basic First Aid
Two day course offering an overview of first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) skills for the marine/fishing industry. Course meets the requirements of Transport Canada outlined in Transport Publication (TP) 13008. Designed for any person who wants to obtain a rating certificate, endorsement, or a Master or Chief Mate limited certification, and for those providing first aid on board a vessel engaged on a near-coastal voyage, class 2, or on a vessel on sheltered waters.
Blended delivery relies on a combination of in-class, face-to-face instruction with online instruction. Theory and information is conveyed to participants outside of the classroom through an online component, which allows for the in-class component to concentrate on skill development and application of theory. Great for employers that have limited time to spare.
Standard First Aid & CPR and CPR/ AED courses can be re-certified before the expiration date on current certification. Training must have been with Canadian Red Cross previously and a valid card is required as proof.
Ontario MOL clarifies interpretation of 'critical injury’
Considers amputation of more than 1 finger or toe critical injury.
Mar 21, 2017
The Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act requires employers to report fatalities and “critical injuries” to the Ontario Ministry of Labour.
The Ministry of Labour has recently released clarification on its interpretation of “critical injury” — in particular, clauses 1(d) and (e) of the definition of “critical injury.” It is important to note that this is not an amendment to the definition of “critical injury"; rather, it is an update to the Ministry of Labour’s internal interpretation, which interpretation courts do not have to accept.
Section 1 of Ontario Regulation 834 under the OHSA defines “critical injury” as an injury of a serious nature that,
(a) places life in jeopardy,
(b) produces unconsciousness,
(c) results in substantial loss of blood,
(d) involves the fracture of a leg or arm but not a finger or toe,
(e) involves the amputation of a leg, arm, hand or foot but not a finger or toe,
(f) consists of burns to a major portion of the body, or
(g) causes the loss of sight in an eye.
Clause 1(d) states that a “critical injury” includes the fracture of a leg or arm but not a finger or toe. The Ministry of Labour has clarified that it interprets the fracture of a leg or an arm to include the fracture of a wrist, hand, ankle or foot.
In addition, while clause 1(d) excludes the fracture of a finger or a toe, the Ministry of Labour takes the position that the fracture of more than one finger or more than one toe does constitute a “critical injury” if it is an injury of a serious nature.
Clause 1(e) provides that a “critical injury” includes the amputation of a leg, arm, hand or foot but not a finger or toe.
While the amputation of a single finger or single toe does not constitute a critical injury, the Ministry of Labour interprets the amputation of more than one finger or more than one toe to constitute a “critical injury” if it is an injury of a serious nature.
Notwithstanding the fact that the Ministry of Labour’s interpretation of “critical injury” is just that — the ministry’s interpretation, not the law — employers should be aware of the ministry’s interpretation in order to avoid a failure-to-report charge under the OHSA.
Article Written by:
Chelsea Rasmussen is an associate at Denton’s’ Toronto office, practicing in employment and labour law.
Bill 132, the Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act (Supporting Survivors and Challenging Sexual Violence and Harassment), includes several amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act to enhance employer responsibilities with respect to harassment that occurs in the workplace, including sexual harassment. These amendments came into effect September 8. The ministry has developed new resources to help workplaces comply with the new requirements.