Ministry of Labour Safety Blitz
Published on: 09/06/2014
REMINDER - On July 1, Mandatory Health and Safety Awareness Training will go into effect for workers and supervisors. Every worker and supervisor must complete the 45 minute online program and have a printed certificate available upon MOL request, as proof of training. The online program can be found at: http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/hs/training/
Ministry of Labour Safety Blitz – Working at Heights/Fall Protection
Be Aware , Ministry of Labour (MOL) inspectors are targeting hazards involving working at heights during a province-wide construction blitz. During July and August, the MOL will focus on Fall Protection & Hazards in the construction industry by enhancing employers’ awareness of their responsibilities under the Occupation Health and Safety Act and the Employment Standards Act. In the event that you receive a blitz, you will want to have proper fall protection equipment and procedures in place. A Fall protection policy from the OSWCA Health and Safety Manual has been included below for assistance.
This policy section is devoted to fall protection and the fundamental issues surrounding working where there is a potential to fall and get injured. Furthermore, this section shall ensure that we meet or exceed all requirements under the OHSA and Regulations for Construction Projects relating to fall protection and personal protective equipment.
This policy section of the program applies to all situations where workers might be exposed to the following hazards:
• Falling more than 3 metres;
• Falling more than 1.2 metres, if the work area is used as a path for a wheelbarrow or similar equipment;
• Falling into operating machinery;
• Falling into water or another liquid;
• Falling into or onto a hazardous substance or object; and,
• Falling through an opening on a work surface.
Note: Where an excavation is properly sloped under the regulations allowing for a maximum of 1:1 vertical to horizontal, the depth of the excavation shall not become a factor in determining fall potential. Any properly sloped excavation is deemed to be a “slide” hazard and not a fall hazard. However, where trench support systems are employed, the fall potential does apply and this policy is required to be followed.
Roles & Responsibilities
The Employer has the responsibility to ensure suitable Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is available and being used and worn properly. Additionally, the employer shall ensure that training has been completed for all workers who might be exposed to a fall hazard, such that the worker has knowledge of appropriate legislation, PPE (and its use and care is understood and used properly in accordance to the manufactures instructions including fit testing as required), site-specific fall hazards and rescue procedures.
Supervisors must ensure the workers have received appropriate training and obtained PPE as required and then are using the PPE appropriately.
Workers must ensure that they obtain the PPE as required and then use it as required.
Additionally, in similar fashion to the required relating to fall protection equipment being supplied by the Employer, it is the Employer’s responsibility to ensure availability, but this may be the worker’s responsibility to obtain and only the employer’s responsibility to ensure that the workers obtain them and “have them available”.
All sites shall be reviewed for possible fall potential hazards and wherever possible corrected via applicable regulatory requirements to eliminate the fall hazard.
All excavations shall meet the regulatory requirements in relation to sloping. Where support systems are used, they shall be installed in such a manner that at the point of access there is a portion of the support system acting as a barrier to the fall hazard.
All workers who will be exposed to a fall hazard shall have the appropriate training to have full knowledge of the fall hazards and the understanding of how the company intends to comply with the regulatory requirements by eliminating the hazard(s) in the workers vicinity.
Where fall protection is required, all workers exposed shall have full training in the requirements for the specific situation including the usage of fall protection equipment as required for the tasks. These workers shall inspect their equipment prior to each use and use the fall protection equipment as it is meant to be used. Additionally, a rescue plan shall be developed to ensure the appropriate personnel and equipment is available and present prior to any individuals placing themselves in a position where the use of fall protection equipment is required.
Fall Protection Equipment shall consist of an approved (to MOL standards) full-body harness with adequate attachment points and a lanyard equipped with a shock absorber as required, affixed to a suitable lifeline, or independent fixed support.
Competent inspections of all equipment shall be completed and where any defects are found, the equipment shall be removed from service.
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