Suspended Access Equipment- New OHSA Regulation Amendments in Effect January 1, 2017

According to the Ministry of Labour, the improper use of suspended access equipment continues to be a cause of workplace injury.

The Ministry of Labour proposal describes suspended access equipment as “one or more work platforms or a seating surface suspended by wire ropes from an overhead anchorage (e.g., roof anchors) that can be lowered or raised along the façade of a building or structure by hoisting devices. Swing stages and boatswain’s chairs (also known as bosun chairs) are examples of suspended access equipment.

In order to strengthen the requirements related to suspended access equipment, the Ministry of Labour proposed changes to Ontario Regulation 213/91 (Construction Projects).

The proposal was approved by the Government of Ontario and the new amendments to O. Reg. 213/91 (Construction Projects) under the Occupational Health and Safety Act came into effect January 1, 2017.  These changes relate to the operation of suspended access equipment and apply to all buildings at which suspended access equipment is used and where the regulations apply.

The amendments to O. Reg. 213/91 (Construction Projects):

  • amend wording and definitions in the Regulation to clarify requirements;
  • impose new requirements respecting training, roof plans, site-specific work plans, and Ministry notification;
  • enhance previous requirements relating to design, operational, technical and engineering requirements; and,
  • amend existing inspection, testing and maintenance requirements.

The main changes can be found in Sections 136.01 to 142.06 of the Regulation.

The amendments to O. Reg. 213/91 (Construction Projects) follow previous amendments to other regulations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act that required “working at heights” training for employees that use certain methods of fall protection. [Note: Please see our previous blog, dated April 1, 2015, which addressed the above-noted changes to the Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training Regulation, which required “working at heights” training.]

Condominiums that use suspended access equipment should review the regulations to ensure compliance with the new requirements.

Stay tuned to Condo Law News for more blogs about Occupational Health and Safety issues in condominiums.

For more information visit the Ontario Ministry of Labour website.