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IHSA launches Working at Heights fall-prevention training program


October 24, 2010
By Anthony Capkun

The Infrastructure Health & Safety Association (IHSA) released its new fall-prevention training program called “Working at Heights: Fundamentals of Fall Prevention”. It is a one-day, in-class course that addresses the basic fall-prevention information workers need to know to work safely in areas where they may be exposed to fall hazards.

Photo: Ontario’s minister of labour, Peter Fonseca (left) is shown around IHSA’s Skills Development Centre in Mississauga by Greg Williamson, IHSA’s manager, prevention specialty services.

“Last year, in the industries IHSA serves, more than 2300 workers were
injured by falls. In construction alone, 14 workers have died from falls
so far this year. This is tragic, especially when falls are a
preventable hazard. The Working at Heights program is part of IHSA’s
efforts to eliminate falls in the workplace. It is a state-of-the-art
program that came from many hours of hard work by fall-prevention and
training specialists,” said Al Beattie, interim president and CEO of
IHSA.

Peter Fonseca, Ontario’s minister of labour, was on hand to help launch
the program at IHSA’s Skills Development Centre in Mississauga. Earlier
this year, Fonseca asked the health & safety system to explore how
best to prevent falls. A working group was established, which found that
fall-prevention training was not consistent across the province.
Another problem is that workers may complete a classroom-based training
program, but never receive the hands-on component that identifies the
specific hazards at their workplace.

After completing the program, participants will be able to recognize
fall hazards and apply appropriate controls. The curriculum covers:

• common fall hazards
• various methods of fall protection and types of equipment
• working with ladders, scaffolds, elevating work platforms, and suspended access
equipment
• related laws and regulations.

Course material clearly states that hands-on training is also required.
After the in-class session, the employer must train workers on the
specific hazards and types of equipment they will face on the job.

The first session is scheduled for October 28, and sessions will continue throughout the Fall and Winter.

IHSA is one of four health & safety associations that make up Health and Safety Ontario.

CLICK HERE for Infrastructure Health & Safety Assoc. (IHSA).