In a recent court case from November 2017, a worker was fined $13,000 and the workers supervisor was fines $15,000 stemming from an accident that resulted in a dead construction worker.
The worker was a crane operator, he sent a text to the supervisor that the crane was a danger. The supervisior sent back a text saying if it is a danger it should be shut down. 12 days later, the crane tipped over and crushed and killed another worker.
The crane operator was fined $13,000 for not doing anything about the situation, the supervisor was also fined $15,000.
This case goes directly to the point that we are all responsible. When you see a dangerous condition, are you able to cleanly answer to youself, 'what did you do about the dangerous condition that you just identified?'
I have attached 2 links for the ONTARIO CONSTRUCTION HEALTH AND SAFETY REGULATIONS AND THE OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY ACT. Using these links will ensure you have the most up to date official version of the Act or Regulations.
To make yourself a current searchable version of the OHSA and construction regulations 213/91, I would Suggest to open either document through the link(s) below, when into the Ontario government e-laws website, near the top left of the page there should be a print option, suggested to print as a PDF and save to your hard drive/phone/ tablet.
To search the PDF document for your safety question or issue, in acrobat reader, under edit, choose 'find' or the magnifying glass for mobile apps, then type the keyword that best describes what you are looking for in the text box, for example; guardrails, scaffolds, excavations, and hit enter or search, continue to hit next until you find the section you are looking for.
A quick 1-2 on The Act (OHSA) VS Construction Regulations (213/91)
Remember you are looking in the Act for items that are common for all employers regardless of type of workplace. Example, - H&S representatives, - MOL entry rights, - Violence and Harassment, - penalties, - toxic substances, - workers right to refuse, - reprisals prohibited, - notifications of injury to the MOL. As you see all of these items apply equally to all workplaces and they are all from the Act.
You should be looking in the regulations when it is a workplace specific issue. again our case, specific to construction. For example, - Scissor lifts, - ladders, - harnesses, - excavations, - PPE, - guardrails, - housekeeping, - scaffolds, - propane use. As you can see the construction regulations deal with construction specific safety issues.
The Act is the Law and the reg's are the sector specific rules.
Hopefully this helps you navigate the OHSA and construction regs a bit better - Lou
Lou LeBlanc at 12:37 PM
OHS Fines Increase Substantially
Friday, December 15, 2017
December 14, 2017
The Ontario Government just made a move to raise the stakes in Ontario Health and Safety by raising fines.
Employer fines are raised from $500,000 per offence to $1,500,000 per offence.
Fines for individuals were raised from $25,000 to $100,000 per offence.
This should send a message that the province wants to eliminate workplace fatalities in Ontario.
Other changes in the OHSA include,
Notification if a committee or a health and safety representative, if any, has identified potential structural inadequacies of a building, structure, or any part thereof, or any other part of a workplace, whether temporary or permanent, as a source of danger or hazard to workers.
Language change and new section (53.1) for the reporting party of a reportable incident.
The time frame to which the MOL must lay charges within has been modified to ‘1 year from when the MOL becomes aware of a contravention’, not when the incident took place.
Lou LeBlanc at 12:32 PM
Certified Trades In Ontario Construction
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
To the best of my knowledge this is a list of Mandatory Certified construction trades in Ontario.
Ontario College of Trades Mandatory Certified Construction Trades
Electrician Construction & Maintaince
Hoisting Engineer 1
Hoisting Engineer 2
Hoisting Engineer 3
Refrigeration and Air conditioning Mechanic
Residential (Low Rise) Sheet Metal
Residential Air Conditioning
Sheet Metal Worker (ICI)
TSSA Mandatory Certified Trades in Construction
Lou LeBlanc at 2:59 PM
4 Hour Working at Heights Classes
Monday, October 16, 2017
I hear 4 and 5 hour working at heights classes are sneaking back in the training system.
You have been doing this for years, you know it all, right? I know its boring, or, these people weren't meant to be in a class room for a full day. Some of the comments I have heard by some trainers who cave to workers pressuring them to speed up the class and get them out early.
In reality many workers have never been properly trained about; guardrails, floor covers, travel restraint, what is a fall restriction system, how to properly wear and adjust a harness, how high does the tie off anchor have to be to make sure I don't hit the ground or floor below? These are all good questions and ones that need to be covered in working at heights training in order to be successful and reduce the number of construction deaths.
Case in point, I had an experience several years ago on a high rise project, where I saw most of the experienced workers not wearing their harness properly. After some encouragement, I finally convinced the site supervisor to shut down the job for 1/2 hour and allow me to perform a safety talk for all workers on site, regarding how to don a harness. With approx 60 workers in attendance, some new and a couple of workers who had been working in construction for over 50 years. The first consensus among most workers was, what is this guy going to tell me that I don't already know? Well to my surprise after the safety talk, two of the 50 year workers approached me, shook my hand and thanked me for the instructions, they said, "in 50 years in construction, nobody ever showed them how to properly don a harness."
I think If the trainer makes the session dynamic and steers away from boring, workers can handle sitting for a whole day on a relevant topic that will help prevent injury or possibly kill them..
AWP's Workers Now Must Be "Prevented from Ejection"
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
New Construction Regulations Section 148(1)d now requires all workers to be prevented from ejection while in an Aerial Work Platform (AWP).
In the past, typically the worker would be provided with a 6' lanyard to attach to the designated tie off point, usually somewhere near the floor of the AWP. The 6' lanyard would allow the worker a bit of movement in the lift. However if the worker was thrown out of the lift, a 6' lanyard is long enough to allow ejection from the AWP.
Therefore the construction industry must adopt a new method(s) of tying off while in a AWP's.
I think one easy quick solution to the issue is Self Retracting Lanyard's (SRL's).
SRL's come in a variety of sizes and configurations and are built to lock up when a sudden motion is detected such as falling. SRL's will almost always lock up within a maximum of 600 mm of lead out, and usually less. As a worker is about to go over the rails of an AWP, the unit will normally lock up before the worker is over the rails, that is provided the worker is not standing on the rails!
Always tie off to the designated tie off point within your AWP, if you cannot find it, consult the manual. FYI Operators manauls must be provided under the construction regulations. Some lifts designated for use inside industrial plants may not have tie off points. If you are on a construction site, let the rental company know, so they send you the right lift with proper anchor points.
Contractors must research new methods and write new procedures to match the new regulations.
Under pressure from worker and employer representatives, the MOL's Chief Prevention Officer has extended its Working at Heights Deadline to October 1, 2017.
But dont cancel your training yet, this extension only applies to workers who;
Have proof of taken working at heights or equivilant prior to April 1, 2015
Are booked for a class; and
Has proof of registration.
If the worker does not have a record of training for fall protection prior to April 2015, the worker still must have met the April 1, 2017 deadline.
The proof of registration must be available to a MOL inspector upon request and must include the following information;
The name of the worker
The name of the approved training provider
The date on which the approved training is scheduled to be completed
The name of the approved training program
Hopefully this helps clarify the Miinistry of Labour Working at Heights Extension
Lou LeBlanc at 5:38 PM
All Fall Protection Training Prior to April 2015 Expires
Tuesday, February 28, 2017
To clarify the April 1, 2017 Ministry of Labour (MOL) deadline for Working at Heights training for construction workers.
As of April 1 2015 all Working at Heights Training providers in Ontario must obtain MOL Approval in order to train Working at Heights.
Prior to April of 2015 there were no* MOL approved working at heights training providers, therefore any training cards dated prior to April 1, 2015 are no longer valid. (* with the small exception of the 5 training providers who were approved in March 2015)
Employers were given 2 years to obtain new MOL approved training and that deadline is April , 2017.
If you or your workers were trained in 2015 go to the MOL list of approved trainers and if your training provider was registered prior to the date on your card, you have taken approved training. Now you just have to update it every three years.
BuildSafe was approved by the Ministry of Labour to train Working at Heights on July 17, 2015. Therefore under MOL regulations any cards issued in March of 2015 or prior, all expire on March 31, 2017, regardless of any expiry date that is on the card.
Hopefully this clarifys the MOL Working at Heights deadline of April 1, 2017