Work at heights requirements vary by province throughout Canada. For example, Alberta’s requirement for organizations to provide fall protection systems for their work-at-height employees is 10 feet or above and/or the inclusion of other “unusual risks”.
Some of our clients ask what constitutes an unusual risk?
A good question! Let’s see if we can help shed some light on this topic.
An unusual risk is anything that can cause harm or hazard to an employee while they’re working, even if their work is taking place below the specified minimum height requirement by each province as outlined by OH&S.
For example, if there was no fall protection system in use and a worker is working 4 feet off the ground with the potential to fall onto a sloped or uneven surface, this type of scenario could be deemed an unusual risk. It’s an unusual risk simply because if the worker were to fall, even from this distance onto the sloped or uneven surface below, serious injury or even death could result.This means that when an organization is looking at fall protection safety system options to protect their workers, that they also need to give due consideration not only to the provincial minimum height requirements but also take into account all the unusual risks that present themselves for their work-at-height employees.