In Ontario, the Occupational Health and Safety Act requires workers who must use certain fall protection equipment on construction projects to complete Working at Heights (WAH) training approved by the Chief Prevention Officer. The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development is proposing to amend O. Reg. 297/13 (Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training) to recognize alternative methods of fall protection training.First, the proposal would allow for the recognition of Fall Protection training approved by WorkplaceNL as an acceptable alternative to Ontario's training, which would support labour mobility and eliminate duplicative training while maintaining a high level of worker health and safety.Second, the proposal would expand an existing exemption so that it applies to more workplaces owned and operated by an automobile manufacturer or assembler, thereby eliminating the need for those auto sector companies covered by the current exemption to have two separate training programs for some workers who are directly employed by them.
It is expected that recognizing fall protection training approved by WorkplaceNL would reduce the costs for construction businesses and individual workers, by eliminating the duplicative training requirements and would also support labour mobility.Similarly, the proposal to expand the auto sector exemption is expected to result in cost savings for the affected automobile manufacturers and assemblers by eliminating duplicative training requirements. An industry association estimates that for its members, 11 workplaces would be affected as well as approximately 750 workers.