Ontario Government: Reduced Worker Injuries Saving Businesses Millions
Updated: Dec 27, 2019
Ontario's government is working to keep those who work-at-heights safe. The government's working-at-heights training program is preventing worker injuries and saving business up to $36 million in health, lost productivity and other costs, says a study by the Institute for Work and Health.
"Our mandatory training program is saving lives in Ontario," said Laurie Scott, Minister of Labour. "Our government's goal is to improve health and safety and prevent injuries and deaths of workers when working at heights."
Falls from heights are a leading cause of work injuries and deaths at construction projects in Ontario. Working-at-heights training program standards are mandatory for workers who use travel restraint, fall restricting, fall arrest, safety nets, work belts and other fall protection systems in the construction sector. As many as 20 per cent of learners are in other sectors. This training prevents many falls in the construction sector as well as in other sectors.
"Working-at-heights training is improving the falls prevention knowledge of workers and their supervisors," said Scott. "We are enabling people to work safer on the job and helping businesses to reduce their costs."
Businesses are benefiting due to an almost 20 per cent reduction in lost-time injury (LTI) claims to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB). The reduction is the greatest among the smallest employers and among six groups of employers with the highest rates of LTI claims.
The training program is part of the Ontario government's commitment in working for the people to reduce burdens on job creators, ensure Ontario remains open for business and open for jobs and improve training programs to prevent worker injuries and deaths.
In 2017, seven workers died due to falls from heights in Ontario’s construction sector.
The study found that working-at-heights training, in 2017, prevented 220 workplace falls from heights across all sectors, with 111 falls prevented in the construction sector.
More than 550,000 Ontario workers across all sectors, the vast majority from construction, have completed the working-at-heights training since the program began on April 1, 2015