Are you looking at heights training but wondering about the many options? Let me break it down by explaining the difference between Working at Heights and Fall Protection.

What is Working at Heights Training?

Let’s start with Working at Heights. This program has become a regulatory requirement for people who work in the construction industry within Ontario. It is now mandatory for any construction worker that works with fall protection equipment to have completed the Working at Heights Ministry of Labour–approved course.  This training requirement is part of the O. Reg. 297/13: Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training. This is not the same as Fall Protection, however, many companies, employers and contractors unfortunately still refer to the training as Fall Protection or Fall Arrest Training, which creates some confusion. It’s important to know that the Working at Heights MOL-approved training is the only valid training for the construction industry now in Ontario.

What is Fall Protection Training?

If Working at Heights is the standard, who would need a Fall Protection training course? Fall Protection training courses are still useful because in Ontario mining operations, industrial establishments, health care and residential facilities sector, and other workplaces that are not designated under the Construction Projects regulations are required to take Fall Protection training. Also, there are only two provinces that have regulated mandatory training programs related to the use of fall protection equipment: Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador. All other provinces do not have requirements that specify a specific training standard to be met.

People are often unsure whether they – or the particular project they’re working on – falls under the regulations of the construction industry or not. I recommend that you check out how the MOL defines “construction” in the OHSA.  This is determined on a case-by-case basis, subject to the specific workplace conditions and an initial assessment of the given project. If you have a question about your requirements, contact your provincial jurisdiction in charge of health and safety for information, or please feel free to contact our office for help.