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Working at Heights

The Ontario Ministry of Labour requires that employees working on construction projects that use fall protection receive Working at Heights training (external link)  before they can work at heights. The training program must be approved by Ontario’s Chief Prevention Officer and delivered by an approved training provider.

As part of our commitment to smart risk-taking, Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) assists students and employees in identifying a course with an approved training provider.

Who requires training

Students, faculty and staff should complete this training if they are expected to:

  • Carry out construction-type work (e.g. painting, repairs, dismantling, drilling, installation of machinery, etc.).
  • Use any of the following methods of fall protection (e.g. travel restraint systems, fall restricting systems, fall arrest systems, safety nets and work belts/safety belts) in the course of their work.
  • Supervise or assign work at heights.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the training, participants will be able to:

  • Recognize working at heights hazards.
  • Explain the hierarchy of controls.
  • Discuss safe work plans.
  • Identify and assess when ladders are appropriate as well as learn about proper inspection, care and use of ladders.
  • Describe types of warning methods and physical barriers, and identify when they are required.
  • Discuss limitations, application and storage of different fall protection systems.
  • Calculate fall distances.
  • Demonstrate how to inspect equipment, put on and take off a harness and maintain 100% tie-off.
  • Discuss the differences between permanent, temporary and structural anchors.
  • Select the appropriate fall protection equipment when working on a platform.
  • Explain the roles and responsibilities of workplace parties with respect to a rescue plan.


The Working at Heights training is made up of both theoretical and practical components.

Theory module

The theory module:

  • Introduces participants to the basics of fall protection and ladder safety.
  • Highlights the common hazards of working at heights.
  • Covers the necessary controls required to be safe while working at heights.

Practical equipment module

The practical equipment module:

  • Focuses on the application and use of the different fall protection systems, their components and their limitations.
  • Requires learners to successfully meet the performance outcomes by demonstrating:
    • How to inspect the equipment.
    • How to put on and take off the harness.
    • How to maintain 100% tie-off.

Working at Heights training remains valid for a period of three years from the date of successful completion.

Refresher training can be achieved by successfully completing the practical equipment module. Successful completion of the refresher training will validate a learner’s training for another three-year period from the date of successful completion of the refresher.

Locate a training provider

EHS can help you locate a course with an approved training provider. Contact us at 416-979-5000, ext. 553770 or

Requesting roof access on campus

Only staff and contractors who are authorized by Facilities Management and Development (FMD) are allowed to access roofs on campus buildings. Safety standards are essential for roof access/work and the nature of precautions required must be assessed for each individual job.

Those who need access and are not authorized must first complete the  (PDF file) Flat Roof Access Risk Assessment Form, which assists those who have a legitimate need to access and/or work on a roof to do so safely. The controls listed in the form are to be applied by managers/supervisors to assist them in managing the work of their staff, thereby ensuring that a safe system of work is in place. The risk assessment is also to be shared with staff that should be aware of the hazards.