CPO Statement on Recent Spike in Falls from Heights
Published on: 05/05/2015
In the past three weeks, the number of falls from heights in this province has been absolutely unacceptable. We have had too many fatalities and critical injuries.
These workplace incidents are needless, intolerable tragedies that must stop!
We are continually seeing people lose their lives as a result of falls in construction. What's most tragic is that these people are simply trying to earn a living. Instead they are risking their lives.
It's the law that individuals who work at heights wear appropriate fall arrest equipment and take working at heights training.
For employers that don't comply, the ministry will apply the full force of the law.
We have to break the cycle of fatalities in our construction sector.
As of April 1, 2015, employers must ensure that certain workers complete working at heights training that has been approved by the Chief Prevention Officer.
The training requirement is for workers on construction projects who use any of the following methods of fall protection:
• travel restraint systems
• fall restricting systems
• fall arrest systems
• safety nets
• work belts or safety belts
Our health and safety inspectors have been concentrating on fall hazards during their inspections, with a special focus on sloped roofing work in the residential construction sector. Inspectors will also be checking for proof of training for those who are working at heights.
Everyone has a responsibility for safety.
I am calling on all supervisors, employers, unions, and regulators to substantially increase their efforts for health and safety at construction workplace in Ontario.
We all have a responsibility to do everything within our power to ensure that workers return home safe at the end of every work day.
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