Call us toll free 1-800-263-5024       5110 Creekbank Road, Suite 400 Mississauga, Ontario L4W 0A1 Canada

     

We've provided answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.

If you have any questions that you cannot find answers to on our site or if you would like to have your concerns regarding health and safety heard by us, please send us an email at: info@ihsa.ca.

Questions


Answers

1. Am I a member of IHSA?

You are automatically a member of IHSA if you are employed with a firm that pays premiums to the WSIB in Ontario in one of the following rate groups:

  • 134 – Aggregates
  • 497 – Ready-Mix Concrete
  • 551 – Air Transport Industries
  • 553 – Air Transport Services
  • 560 – Warehousing
  • 570 – General Trucking
  • 577 – Courier
  • 580 – Miscellaneous Transportation
  • 584 – School Buses
  • 681 – Lumber/Builders Supply
  • 689 – Waste Materials Recycling
  • 704 – Electrical and Incidental Construction
  • 707 – Mechanical and Sheet Metal
  • 711 – Road Building and Excavation
  • 719 – Inside Finishing
  • 723 – ICI Construction
  • 728 – Roofing
  • 732 – Heavy Civil Construction
  • 737 – Millwrighting and Welding
  • 741 – Masonry
  • 748 – Formwork and Demolition
  • 751 – Siding and Outside Finishing
  • 764 – Homebuilding
  • 830 – Power and Telecommunication Lines
  • 833 – Electric Power Generation
  • 835 – Oil, Power and Water Distribution
  • 838 – Natural Gas Distribution

IHSA members are entitled to receive our products and training courses at a reduced price, many of them free of charge. To confirm your membership status, please contact our Customer Service Department.
Phone: (905) 625-0100  Toll Free: 1-800-263-5024 Fax: (905) 625-8998


2. Which items are legally required to be posted in the workplace?

Construction employers are required by law to have the following items posted in the workplace:

  • Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations for Construction Projects (Q005 available from IHSA)
  • Company's Health and Safety Policy
  • Workplace Violence and Harassment Policies
  • Any Ministry of Labour (MOL) inspector's orders and reports
  • Written emergency procedure (refer to Emergency Response Planning [B030] and Emergency Response Poster [P103] available from IHSA)
  • WSIB poster on how to report injuries (P085 available from IHSA)
  • MOL Health and Safety at Work–Prevention Starts Here poster
  • MOL notification form if the project is valued at more than $50,000 or falls under one of the other conditions in Section 6 of the construction regulation (Ontario Regulation 213/91)
  • Address and phone number of nearest MOL office
  • DANGER signs in hazardous areas (P022 available from IHSA)
  • Location of toilet facilities
  • Valid certificate of first aider on duty
  • Name, trade, and employer of Health and Safety Rep or Joint Health and Safety Committee members, if applicable. (See P029 or P041 available from IHSA)

3. Where can I obtain the Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations for Ontario?

Visit the ServiceOntario website to access the information, services and resources you need to start and run a construction project.

Under Permits, Approvals and Notifications, you'll find links for

  • Building Permits
  • Notice of Project (see also MOL's Electronic Notice of Project)
  • Registration of Constructors and Employers Engaged in Construction (Form 1000)
  • New Home Projects
  • Pre-Start Health and Safety Review
  • Electrical Permits and Inspections
  • Building and Health and Safety Inspections
  • Technical Safety Inspections and Approvals

Some of these forms are required by law and must be posted at the construction site.


4. What training am I required to have to work in Ontario construction?

It is the duty of an employer to "provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker to protect the health or safety of the worker." (Section 25(2)(a) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act)

Specific training requirements depend on the type of construction work you do and the types of hazards you face on a site. Download the Training Requirements Chart for a list of all required training in Ontario.

Every worker should receive Fall Protection (Working at Heights) and WHMIS training, since there is the possibility that they may be exposed to a falling hazard or a hazardous substance.

For the legal requirements of Fall Protection training, refer to Section 26 of the Construction Regulations.

For the legal requirements of WHMIS training, refer to Section 42 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and Sections 6-7 of the WHMIS Regulation.


5. Do I need to update my WHMIS training?

Yes, you must update your WHMIS training at least once a year. The frequency of update and review should be determined by your employer in consultation with your health and safety committee. It may be more or less frequently than annually, depending on whether there is a change of circumstance or a perceived necessity. (Please refer to Section 42 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act for more information.)

To help you update your WHMIS training, IHSA provides the following options:

Note: The WHMIS Review CD-ROM (CD005) is currently unavailable due to technical problems.


6. Do I need a Joint Health and Safety Committee on my construction project?

The Occupational Health and Safety Act requires a Joint Health and Safety Committee of at least two members on any construction project where either of the conditions below applies:

  • Where between twenty and forty-nine workers are regularly employed and the project is expected to last more than three months.
  • Where contractors maintain shops in which the workforce regularly exceeds twenty.
  • At a workplace, other than a construction project, in which the workforce is fewer than twenty but a regulation concerning designated substances applies.
  • At a workplace to which the regulation concerning toxic substances applies.

On projects with fifty or more workers lasting more than three months, a Joint Health and Safety Committee of at least four (4) members must be established. At least one worker and one management representative on the committee must be 'certified' by the WSIB by completing certain training courses. (See What is 'certification'?)

On projects with fifty (50) or more workers lasting more than three (3) months, the Joint Health and Safety Committee can establish a Worker Trades Committee made up of at least one worker representative from each trade at the workplace. This committee would report to the JHSC regarding health and safety concerns of the workers in each trade.

(For more information, download the Health and Safety Representatives and Committee Requirements chart from the "Legal Responsibilities" chapter of our Construction Health and Safety Manual.)


7. Do I need a Health and Safety Representative on my construction project?

The Occupational Health and Safety Act requires a health and safety rep on any project or other workplace where either or the conditions below applies:

  • Where between six and nineteen workers are regularly employed and the work is expected to last more than three months. (For twenty or more workers, see the requirements for Joint Health and Safety Committee)
  • Where six or more workers are regularly employed and the project is expected to last less than three months.
  • Where contractors maintain shops in which between six and nineteen workers are regularly employed and a regulation concerning designated substances does not apply.

(For more information, download the Health and Safety Representatives and Committee Requirements chart from the "Legal Responsibilities" chapter of our Construction Health and Safety Manual.


8. What is 'certification'?

On construction projects with fifty or more workers lasting more than three months, a Joint Health and Safety Committee of at least four members must be established with at least two worker and two management representatives. Of these, at least one worker and one management representative must be 'certified' by the WSIB by completing specific training courses. Construction Certification consists of three courses. (See details below.)

(For more information, download the Health and Safety Representatives and Committee Requirements chart from the "Legal Responsibilities" chapter of our Construction Health and Safety Manual.


9. Which training courses do I need to take in order to become certified?

Construction Certification consists of three courses:

  • Construction Health and Safety Rep - A 5-Day course that covers general health and safety for all workplaces. IHSA also offers a Home-Study version of this course, which can be completed at the participant's own pace.
  • Sector Specific - A 5-Day course that addresses issues unique to the construction industry. Available in classroom format only.
  • Simulated Hazard Analysis - A 3-Day course that requires participants to perform a hazard analysis and health and safety profile on a typical construction workplace. Available in classroom format only.

The courses should be done in the order listed above, but there is no specific time limit for completing the Construction Certification process.


10. Will I be reimbursed for certification training?

The WSIB will not reimburse a worker for time spent in certification training. The WSIB will reimburse the Employer or Union for the worker's base wage and vacation time for the period of time that the worker spent taking the training if:

  • The person must be a designated certified member representing workers on a Joint Health & Safety Committee on a construction project.
  • The construction project must employ 50 or more workers and the project must last 3 or more months.
  • The person must have successfully completed all training.

The following information must be provided:

  • A letter from the person's union stating that the person has been selected as a designated certified member representing workers; and/or
  • A letter from the employer or general contractor stating that the person was selected as a designated worker representative and is the designated certified member representing workers on a construction project.
  • An invoice outlining the hourly rate, (at the rate set at the time of taking the training), from either the employer or union and the total reimbursement amount is requested.
  • An original, signed statement of wages for the period of time that the designated certified member representing workers spent taking the training. A union or employer may claim for a designated certified member representing workers only once.
  • The maximum reimbursement is for 13 days, 8 hours per day and 40 hours per week. Max - 104 hours at the set base rate and vacation when the training was taken.
  • The same reimbursement policy applies to all training formats, including home-study programs and programs accepted as equivalencies.

The worker's union or employer submits a reimbursement application to IHSA; IHSA forwards the application to the WSIB. The WSIB then reimburses the union or employer for base wage and vacation paid to the worker.

Download the Certification Reimbursement Form


11. Where can I obtain approval forms, permits and notifications required for construction in Ontario?

Visit the ServiceOntario website to access the information, services and resources you need to start and run a construction project.


12. Where do I need to use a fall-arrest system?

Where workers cannot be protected from falls by guardrails or travel restraint, they must be protected by at least one of the following methods:

  • A fall-restricting system - designed to limit a worker's free fall distance to 0.6 metres (2 feet). One type uses a belt grab or belly hook that attaches to a safety rail on a fixed ladder
  • A safety net - must be designed by a professional engineer. The system is installed below a work surface to protect any location where a fall hazard exists.
  • A fall-arrest system, which:
    • must include a CSA-approved full body harness,
    • must include a lanyard equipped with a shock absorber unless the shock absorber could cause a falling worker to hit the ground or an object or level below the work,
    • must be attached to a lifeline or by the lanyard to an adequate fixed support,
    • must prevent a falling worker from hitting the ground or any object or level below the work, and
    • must not subject a falling worker to a peak fall-arrest force greater than 8 kilonewtons.

In the event of a fall, these systems must keep a worker from hitting the ground, the next level below, or any other objects below.


13. Where do I need to use a guardrail system?

A worker at risk of falling more than 3 metres (10 feet) must be protected by a guardrail system. If such a system is not practical, then a travel-restraint system, fall-arrest system, or safety net must be used. In many cases, guardrails are the most reliable and convenient means of fall protection.

A guardrail system that meets regulated requirements must be used if a worker has access to the unprotected edge of any of the following work surfaces and is exposed to a fall of 2.4 metres (8 feet) or more:

  • a floor, including the floor of a mezzanine or balcony
  • the surface of a bridge
  • a roof while formwork is in place
  • a scaffold platform or other work platform, runway, or ramp.

14. Where do I need to use a travel-restraint system?

Where work must be done within 2 metres (6 feet) of an open, unprotected edge that presents a fall hazard, a fall protection system must be provided. A travel-restraint system can afford the protection required. The system lets a worker travel just far enough to reach the edge but not far enough to fall over.

The basic travel-restraint system consists of:

  • CSA-approved full body harness,
  • lanyard,
  • lifeline,
  • rope grab to attach harness or lanyard to lifeline, and
  • adequate anchorage (capable of supporting a static load of 2 kilonewtons–450 pounds-with a recommended safety factor of at least 2, that is, 4 kilonewtons or 900 pounds).

15. What class of hardhat do I need to comply with the Construction Regulations?

The following hardhats comply:

  • CSA Z94.1-1992 Class E
  • ANSI Z89.1-1997 Type II Class E
  • ANSI Z89.1-1997 Type I Class E.

Note that under the latest ANSI standard, there are two types of Class E hardhats: Type I and Type II. Type I hats are exactly the same as the old CSA Class B hardhats, which provide limited lateral impact protection. The Type II hats have enhanced lateral protection, like the CSA Class E. So don't assume that an ANSI Class E is equivalent to the CSA Class E. That's only true if it's Type II. In fact, there are very few ANSI Type II Class E hardhats on the market. Those few are clearly labeled "Type II." If your hardhat just says "ANSI Class E," assume it's Type I. CSA has produced a companion document CAN/CSA-Z94.1-92 (R1998) Industrial Protective Headwear. To obtain a copy of this standard and/or the guideline, visit their website at: www.csa.ca or contact them by phone at: (416) 747-4000 or Toll Free at: 1-800-463-6727.


16. What kind of eye protection do I need to comply with the Construction Regulations?

Canadian Standards Association (CSA) standard CAN/CSA Z94.3-99 Industrial Eye and Face Protectors can assist you in classifying hazards and recommending protectors. Appropriate protection according to this standard meets with the intent of the regulation regarding eye protection. CSA has also produced a companion document Z94.3.1-02 Protective Eyewear: A User's Guide. To obtain a copy of this standard and/or the guideline, visit their website at: www.csa.ca or contact them by phone at: (416) 747-4000 or Toll Free at: 1-800-463-6727.


17. What grade of safety boots do I need to comply with the Construction Regulations?

Grade 1 toe protection with sole protection in accordance with Canadian Standards Association Standard (CSA) Z195-02 Protective Footwear complies with the intent of the regulation regarding foot protection. This is indicated by a green triangular patch on the tongue or the ankle of the boot or shoe. CSA has also produced a companion document Z195.1-02 Guideline on Selection, Care, and Use of Protective Footwear. To obtain a copy of this standard and/or the guideline, visit their website at: www.csa.ca or contact them by phone at: (416) 747-4000 or Toll Free at: 1-800-463-6727.