We are finding many of the small construction businesses we deal with are having trouble organizing working at heights training for their employees. One of the main issues facing them is they do not have enough employees to schedule a training session for just their company. These companies generally have less than six employees and none of the large safety companies want to schedule a session at the company's facilities for that few trainees.
Do you have workers who are required to use ladders on the job? If so do you have annual ladder safety training? You may ask why this is important as it is only a ladder and everyone knows how to use a ladder. This recent court case illustrates why ladder safety is required.
Despite the province introducing new Working at Heights standards and training requirements last April, we continue to see workers being injured and companies and owners being fined. Here are a few:
1) A roofing company's owner was fined $14 000 for failing to ensure his workers wore fall protection equipment. Just two days earlier the MoL had fined the company $4 000 for a similar offense.
As I do more and more Working at Heights training I am coming across more companies which are not meeting the basic Ministry of Labour (MoL) requirements for a Working at Heights program. Here are some things you should be doing if your employees are working at heights.
Do you use ladders in your daily or weekly work? Do your require your employees to inspect their ladders every day before they use them? When was the last time you checked to see if your employees were actually inspecting their ladders? Do you have a ladder inspection checklist? The real question is why aren't you doing these things?
Between May 1st and August 31st of 2015 the Ministry of Labour conducted a workplace blitz targeting young and new workers. These are workers between the ages of 14 and 24 and workers who had been working at a new job for less than 6 months. In the first month on the job workers are three times more likely to suffer an injury. During the blitz, the MoL visited 2700 workplaces. 11,470 orders were issued including over 200 stop work orders.
The top three issues identified during the visits are:
A project manager in Toronto has been sentenced to 3.5 years in jail in the deaths of four men on Christmas eve in 2009. The judge in the case said the project manager decided the interests of the company outweighed the risks to the worker's safety. The court heard if the company could finish the repairs by the December 31st it would have received a $50,000 bonus.
Heat Stress, Lyme Disease, West Nile Virus, Hazardous Plants....these are just some of the danger people who spend the summer working outside face. Here are a few times for protection yourself and your workers from these hazards.
On April 1st the Ministry of Labour's new Working at Heights regulations for the construction sector came into effect. Under the regulation anyone working at a height of 3 metres or 10 feet is required to have training by a provincially approved and recognized training partner. Anyone who has taken working at heights training in the past will have two years to comply to the new training standard. Any workers new to the sector will have to have the training before they start working.
Two directors were sentenced to jail time after pleading guilty to safety violations which lead to the death of a worker at the company's Brampton -warehouse. The worker had been using a machine called an order picker, a modified forklift with a platform attached to the back of it. The platform did not have a guardrail and the workers was not wearing fall protection equipment. The worker was found dead on the floor beside the machine.