Over 40,000 Canadian workers are injured every year from fall accidents. In Ontario, falls are one of the top causes of workplace deaths. The importance of fall protection systems is clear, but many employers and workers do not realize the importance of training, what it really covers, and how it contributes to a safer work site.
While occupational health and safety (OH&S) legislation vary by province, legislation across Canada requires employers to take every reasonable precaution to protect workers, and provide them with training and information. They must ensure that workers know how to properly use safety equipment, including fall protection. Workers must also be informed of and educated on a fall protection plan, where applicable.
(OH&S) legislation requires adequate measures to be taken if there is the potential for a worker to fall 10 feet (3 metres). Fall protection is required when no other system methods, including guardrails, are possible.
For adequate training, workers need to be advised of applicable OH&S legislation, including legislated due diligence requirements. Confirm with your provincial legislation on specific training certification and fall protection program requirements.
There are different levels of Fall Protection Training.
Some businesses offer fall protection awareness training, as a general introduction to the risks and hazards associated with working at height; this is a useful overview for all employees as a starting point for training. However, it is critical to make sure you, and your employees understand this is not sufficient training for workers who will be working at heights. An awareness training course may be done as online training, while a fall protection certificate course has a hands-on portion, so will be done in person.
A training program that covers the actual use of harnesses, inspecting harnesses, and other aspects of fall protection, with hands-on experience, should be used for these workers before performing any work at heights. Upon successful completion of the entire course, a certificate will be issued, and you may be considered a competent worker, although your employer is obligated to inform you of and educate you on, the specific hazards at your workplace as part of competency.
Fall protection training expires after three years, but it is recommended to do this safety training more often to refresh, especially if you have not worked at heights recently. If in doubt, it is better to refresh your training, given how serious the consequences could be.
A review of the different methods to prevent fall injuries, as well as the advantages of each will be covered. Fall restraint systems stop a fall from happening through methods such as harnesses or other personal protective equipment (PPE) that prevent you from reaching an edge and falling. Guardrails, work positioning, and more may also be discussed. Fall arrest systems stop a fall once it has happened and requires emergency response procedures to rescue the person who is hanging restrained. Consequences of fall injuries are a component of the training course.
One of the first things to be covered is a full review of all components of protective equipment, including the full body harness, anchors and anchorages for connecting fall protection systems. Connecting components, such as a lanyard that absorbs the fall energy to prevent injury or a self-retracting lanyard, fall arresters, and horizontal lifelines will be discussed.
Maintenance and inspection of all components to ensure safety is a critical lesson to be covered.
Personal fall arrest systems and collective fall arrest systems will be discussed. The principles of control zones and work positioning systems are also included. Using ladders at height and ladder safety training is another aspect that should be covered.
Fall clearance, or the distance needed to stop a falling worker from hitting the ground, arresting forces with respect to the free fall distance, and swing falls will be taught. Necessary calculations will be taught, as well.
A critical element is fall protection planning. Techniques and knowledge for identifying unsafe conditions that increase the likelihood of a fall is taught, as well as how to control fall hazards. The safety hierarchy of control is introduced, where elimination of fall hazards, where possible, is preferred, and PPE, as a last line of defence, is least preferred. Fall prevention, so that no fall happens, is used where possible in a fall protection plan.
Elements of good fall protection plans, including safeguarding, safe work procedures involved, and rescue planning will be taught.
TEAM-1 Academy provides you with effective training for you or your employees to perform every job safely. Our competent, experienced teachers are committed and caring. Workers need to know and use proper fall protection procedures and equipment, as part of critical life-saving training.
We offer open enrolment courses as well as bookings for group training, at excellent rates.