Safety Equipment & Training for Roofing Contractors in Canada

Contractors need proper training and safety equipment before climbing onto roofs. The following is Roofers Plus’ interpretation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. It may vary from one province to another; your own research is necessary.

Occupational Health and Safety Act regulations apply to all, roofers, inspectors, et al.
All employees who work at heights above 10’ (3 metres) are to be protected from falling. In some cases we will also implement fall protection at a lesser height if there is a danger or hazard present in the area below. A written fall protection plan is required in order to:

  1. Help to prevent falls
  2. Assist workers & supervisors in identifying the fall hazards of the site before work begins at heights
  3. Assist in the selection of an appropriate fall protection system or systems
  4. Assist in rescue procedures if a fall should occur

If the task requires fall protection employers must provide each employee with his or her own personal CSA approved and up-to-date fall arrest equipment. This is to include a safety harness, as well as a lifeline, lanyard and rope grab.

The fall arrest system must be inspected and maintained after each and every use to ensure that there are no cuts or frayed areas in this equipment.

A competent instructor will provide training in the proper use of each piece of the fall arrest equipment. Training will include the Basics of Fall Protection program issued by CSAO, which has been approved for use by the Ministry of Labour of Ontario.

Mandatory Fall Protection

All supervisors and workers must make themselves familiar with Section 26 of the Regulations for Construction Projects which outlines the circumstances where fall protection is required.

Fall protection application applies where a worker is exposed to any of the following hazards:

  1. Falling more than 3 metres
  2. Falling more than 1.2 metres, if the work area is used as a path for a wheelbarrow or similar equipment
  3. Falling into operating machinery
  4. Falling into water or another liquid
  5. Falling into or onto a hazardous substance or object
  6. Falling through an opening on a work surface

Section 26.1 of the Construction Regulations states that “A worker shall be adequately protected by a guardrail system that meets the requirements of subsections 26.3 (2) to (8).”

Section 26.2: Despite subsection (1) if it is not reasonably possible to install a guardrail system as that subsection requires, a worker shall be adequately protected by at least one of the following methods of fall protection:

  1. A travel restraint system that meets the requirements of section 26.4
  2. A fall restricting system that meets the requirements of section 26.5
  3. A fall arrest system other than a fall restricting system designed for use in wood pole climbing that meets the requirements of section 26.6
  4. A safety net that meets the requirements of section 26.8

Always remember that if you are not certain of what type of fall protection is required for a particular situation, ask your supervisor for direction.

Employer Responsibilities:
Ensure a written worksite specific fall protection plan is in place.
Ensure that a fall protection system is being used.
Ensure that guardrails are used when practicable.
Ensure a fall restraint system is in place when applicable.
If a fall restraint cannot be used, ensure a fall arrest system is in place.
Provide appropriate Control Zone procedures if the above are not appropriate.
Ensure supervisors and workers are trained.
Ensure all equipment is safe, maintained, inspected and used correctly.
Investigate any anomalies in the system and make recommendations so that such anomalies will not recur.
Update the program as needed.
Follow up on our program.

Supervisor Responsibilities:
Ensure the program is prepared for each site.
Ensure the program is being implemented.
Inspect the program as it is used.
Review the program.
Investigate any anomalies and make recommendations to prevent recurrence.
Investigate all workers' reports of anomalies to the system.
Keep a log of all workers trained for the fall protection program and topics that were covered before they work in the fall protected area.
Ensure all workers have a copy of the fall protection program.
Inspect, maintain and use the equipment in the recommended methods.
Ensure that all workers are provided with the appropriate equipment.
Observe workers, work practices and site operations, providing correction when necessary.

If you are thinking of putting adjusters on the roof you need to have fall arrest training performed by a competent instructor. As an employer, you are required to provide your employees access to:

  • Fall arrest policy
  • Electrical hazards
  • Training records
  • Post-fall recovery plan
  • Due diligence checklist
  • Emergency procedures
  • Daily checklist
  • Policies in place

At Roofers Plus Canada safety is our 1st priority. Please contact us with your questions or comments or to schedule a free estimate.

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P.O. Box 25

Priddis, AB T0L 1W0







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