Buildsafe Construction Safety Services Inc.

Read The Words Carefully

What I am referring to is construction regulation 26.1(2)


(2) Despite subsection (1), if it is not practicable to install a guardrail system as that subsection requires, a worker shall be adequately protected by the highest ranked method that is practicable from the following ranking of fall protection methods:



Practicable is the word that allot of people are a mis-interpreting for practical.


Practical means; sensible, useful, easiest for the situation,


Practicable simply means 'that is possible'


Therefore in the regulations we cannot simply choose the easiest or most practical method on the list, we must choose the highest ranked method that is possible regardless of difficulty, if guardrails can be installed, they must be installed.

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Some people are still stuck in the good ole days. What I mean by that is, once upon a time a man's word was a man's word and if you asked for verification, it meant you didn't believe the man, and if you didn't believe the man, you are calling the man a liar. That old school mentality has to change and can take up to another generation or two, to come around to what is really needed for a due diligence defence to be effective.


Example, I recently had a situation with an individual, where I had to verify certain equipment was in place as per the regulations. Prior to the scheduled meeting, I believed I was going to find everything was in place, but as the safety coordinator, I am required by law to exercise my 'due diligence' by verifying and documenting that the equipment was in fact in place and in compliance. The individual I was dealing with, as professional as they appeared, turned out to have an old school mentality and had a really big chip on their shoulder for being made to display the equipment for verification, and they actually said, "I should have taken their word that they had all the equipment".


This showed me that the individual I was dealing with did not have a real understanding of 'proof of due diligence.' The documentation I was writing up with details of the equipment, was my proof of "due diligence" or that I took 'reasonable care'  by verifying and documenting that the equipment was in compliance, and I can't just make that up out of thin air, or by taking a man's word like the good ole day's.....

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Lou LeBlanc
July 12, 2017
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