Working at Heights and Ready Mix Drivers

Posted June 13, 2017 in Safety

The Concrete Ontario Health and Safety Committee has been diligently working with the Ministry of Labour to clarify member concerns on interpreting the Working at Heights (WAH) Training requirements.

Feedback from the Ministry of Labour Training & Awareness Branch is that Working at Heights Training is not required for ready mixed drivers by their company.

All members should address Working at Heights issues with both their employees and their customers. These discussion should take place prior to bidding any work, prior to entering into any contracts for the supply of concrete to a project and prior to the supply of concrete to the actual job site. Pre-construction meetings offer an excellent opportunity to address all of the various safety concerns that ready mix drivers and quality control personnel may have and can significantly improve safety practices on each project for all construction team personnel.

Ministry of Labour requirements for Working at Heights Training

You only need to take WAH training if you are required by the Construction Projects Regulation to use one or more of the six types of equipment listed below.

The regulation requires first that guardrails are used if possible. If guardrails are used that meet the requirements of the regulation then WAH training is not required.

The Working at Heights Training requirements apply to the employers of workers on construction projects who are required by O. Reg. 213/91 (Construction Projects Regulation) to use any of the following methods of fall protection:

  • travel restraint system
  • fall restricting system
  • fall arrest system
  • safety net
  • work belt
  • safety belt

This training requirement is in addition to existing training requirements for workers who use fall protection systems on construction projects, as set out in the Construction Projects Regulation (O. Reg.213/91).

The Construction Projects regulation says the following with regard to working at heights:

26. Sections 26.1 to 26.9 apply where a worker may be exposed to any of the following hazards:

  1. Falling more than 3 metres.
  2. Falling more than 1.2 metres, if the work area is used as a path for a wheelbarrow or similar equipment.
  3. Falling into operating machinery.
  4. Falling into water or another liquid.
  5. Falling into or onto a hazardous substance or object.
  6. Falling through an opening on a work surface.

26.1 (1) A worker shall be adequately protected by a guardrail system that meets the requirements of subsections 26.3 (2) to (8). O. Reg. 145/00, s. 12.

(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:

  1. A travel restraint system that meets the requirements of section 26.4.
  2. A fall restricting system that meets the requirements of section 26.5.
  3. A fall arrest system, other than a fall restricting system designed for use in wood pole climbing, that meets the requirements of section 26.6.
  4. A safety net that meets the requirements of section 26.8.

If at any time their is a concern in regards to application of the Working at Heights Regulations the Ministry of Labour has a 24hr hotline staffed by regulations and labour experts:

Health & Safety Contact Center: 1-877-202-0008

Working at Heights Training Regulation has been extended to October 1st 2017.