Two construction workers discussing how to build at height safely.

In Ontario, Canada, work at height training was made mandatory, and now the results are in: a 19% drop in injuries related to falls from height. This is largely credited to the workers who received the training keeping up the best practices for the two years following their safety course. We note that this report does not look at a reduction in falls, per se, but injury rates, which is a decent metric in place of actual fall reduction statistics.

19% is a significant reduction, and hopefully this reduction will continue year on year. Unfortunately, here in the UK we haven’t seen any difference in the number of falls from height. Why is that? We have the same mandated training requirements, after all.

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Does Ontario Take A different Approach? Not Exactly…

Well, it could be that Ontario does more than the bare minimum in safety training. But then again, mandatory training was only implemented in the last decade, according to the piece we read. Maybe their training materials are more effective? Or maybe employees were more attentive during training – people need to be fully focused during safety training in order to fully understand what they are hearing and for the information to sink in. The news piece quotes the fact that, although they continued with safety practices, 2 years post-training workers had forgotten some of what they had been taught on their safety course.

We know that people are less likely to sign up for health and safety training courses unless they have to. So maybe the issue is not a complete lack of training, but maybe too much time in-between initial training and then mandated refresher sessions much later down the line. Could more frequent mandatory training be the answer?

Invest in work at height training

Work at height safety training is very beneficial to employers and employees alike because the ramifications of falls from height are significant. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Training Reinforces The Legal Penalties Of Neglecting Your Managerial Duties

  • If you are running a construction company, for example, you will be held legally responsible for accidents due to neglect that happen on your watch.
  • You may end up in court if one of your employees suffers an injury from a fall from height in your workplace.
  • There may be hefty fines to pay.
  • And to add insult to injury, if you were the manager that allowed your team to scrimp on work at height safety training and protocol, your reputation will be damaged, likely permanently.

Save yourself the trouble of all of the above and look at Ontario as an inspiration. As a manager, you can go above and beyond the minimum requirements of the law when it comes to safety on your worksite. When you send your team members out on dangerous jobs, the training you have provided them could make all the difference between a job completed safely and a job gone horribly wrong. Invest in additional training and refresher courses where you can – think of it as an insurance policy against all of the things that can go wrong when employees are carrying out work at height.

Contact Ability International

Browse our training courses and take a look at our safety equipment. Alternatively, if you would like to speak to a member of our team, call us on 01832 226445 or fill out our enquiry form.

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