Compliance with regulatory fall protection requirements is crucial for industries that involve working at heights.
Outlined below are the the general fall protection requirements by province in western Canada - British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba - as to the height at which fall protection is required, and the types of fall protection systems required.
British ColumbiaThe Height at Which Fall Protection Is Required
Fall protection measures in British Columbia are required at and above 3m (10 ft.) or less than 3m if the risk of injury is greater than the risk of getting hurt from the impact on a flat surface.
Types of Fall Protection Systems & Equipment
- If possible, employers must use guardrails per the set requirements or similar fall restraint methods. If guardrails are impractical, they must use another fall restraint or a fall arrest system.
- The employer has to ensure that the work procedures, approved by the Board and aimed at reducing the risk of injury resulting from a fall, are followed, where the use of fall arrest systems is either impractical or would increase the hazard level.
AlbertaHeight at Which Fall Protection Is Required
- Fall protection measures in Alberta are required when a worker is at risk of falling 3 metres or more. They are also required in situations with an unusual possibility of injury if a worker falls less than 3 metres.
- Guardrails must protect permanent work areas if the worker is likely to vertically fall more than 1.2 metres and less than 3 metres.
- A travel restraint system must be implemented if guardrails are not practically possible.
- If a travel restraint system is also impractical in an area, employers must implement an equally effective means to protect the workers from the fall hazard.
SaskatchewanHeight at Which Fall Protection Is Required
- Employers must implement fall protection measures at a permanent or temporary work area where a worker may fall 3 metres or more.
- These measures are also applicable in areas where the worker may fall less than three metres, but there is still a chance of injury.
- The fall protection regulations don’t apply to competent workers involved in connecting structural members of a skeletal steel or a pre-cast structure, connecting a scaffold’s support structure, securing the load on a trailer or a truck, and installing, reattaching, removing or disassembling the parts of a fall protection system.
- A permanent work area must be secured by a guardrail or a similar edge protection barrier where the worker may vertically fall more than 1.2 and less than 3 metres.
- Employers must turn to a travel restraint system when using guardrails or similar barriers does not seem practical.
- If a travel restraint system is also impractical, the employer must resort to safety nets, control zone, or equally effective fall protection measures.
ManitobaHeight at Which Fall Protection Is Required
- Fall protection systems are legally required where a worker can fall a vertical distance of 3 metres or more.
- They also apply to places where, although the fall distance is below 3 metres, the risk of injury is high because of the item or surface on which the worker may land (into moving parts of machinery, water, another liquid, or hazardous substance or object).
- The first line of fall protection should be measures that remove the risk of falling entirely, like guardrails.
- Where guardrails are required for protection, employers must carefully consider the following three elements: the location of each guardrail system or fall protection system used at the workplace, the procedures to assemble, inspect, maintain, and disassemble the system, and the procedures to use for saving a worker after the fall has already occurred.
- Suppose it’s not practical to use a guardrail system. In that case, employers must implement at least one of the following fall protection systems: travel restraint, fall arrest, safety net, or any other system approved by the Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Branch.