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Deadline looms for working-at-heights training

Approved programs must now be approved by the Ministry of Labour.
Starting April 1, employees working at heights must now take safety programming approved by the Ministry of Labour.

The deadline is looming for employers to ensure employees who work at heights have completed safety training approved by the Ministry of Labour.

New guidelines implemented by the ministry come into effect on April 1. At that time, eligible employees will be legally required to have completed working-at-heights safety training programs that have received ministry approval.

Eligible workers include those who use travel restraint systems, fall restricting systems, fall arrest systems, safety nets, and work belts or safety belts.

Mandatory training has been required since 2002, but the training must now be approved by the Ministry of Labour to be considered valid.

The Ministry of Labour announced the new requirements in 2015, following a 2009 incident in which four men died after the swing-stage scaffolding on which they were standing collapsed while working on a Toronto highrise. None were wearing protective fall-arrest equipment.