BOD Decision - 2004/09/14-04 - Fall Protection Requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation
Part 11 of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation contains requirements to reduce the risk of injury or death to workers from falls from elevation.
During its meeting on September 14, 2004, the Board of Directors approved amendments to Part 11. These amendments recognize technological advancements in fall protection equipment, and allow flexibility for adopting alternative and appropriate control measures for fall protection while maintaining a reasonable standard of protection for worker health and safety. They also streamline existing requirements and consolidate them in Part 11 as much as possible.
The cornerstone of Part 11, that employers provide fall protection in accordance with a determined hierarchy, remains substantially unchanged. Detailed requirements are maintained where necessary for worker health and safety.
The amendments to Part 11 include the following:
- Adding a specific obligation for workers to use fall protection equipment provided by the employer.
- Amending the current requirement for fall protection equipment to meet specific Canada Standards Association ("CSA") or American National Standards Institute ("ANSI") standards to require this equipment to meet applicable CSA or ANSI standards in effect when the equipment was manufactured.
- Allowing for two alternative formulas for calculating the appropriate load capacity of an anchor used in either a fall arrest or fall restraint system.
- Removing the requirement that provides an exemption for rescue nets used by firefighters to meet specific standards and engineering certification because it is understood that handheld nets are no longer used by firefighters.
- Retaining the existing wording that requires work procedures used as a means of fall protection to be "acceptable to the Board". In addition, the phrase "and minimize the risk of injury to a worker from a fall" has been added to accommodate situations where a planned fall is to occur (i.e., stunt sequences), and measures are taken to minimize the risk of injury to the worker.
- Keeping the existing requirement relating to temporary guardrail removal. This requirement has been moved to Part 4 (General Conditions) where it is consolidated with existing guardrail requirements.
- Maintaining the existing requirement that describes the need for guardrail and fall protection requirements in certain situations where a worker is elevated above floor level (i.e., working on stilts or a work platform).
- Retaining the existing requirement for a safety belt, a full body harness or other harness to be "acceptable to the Board" when used for fall restraint.