Rooftop Safety Requirements in Canada

Rooftop safety requirements in Canada are divided by region. Following these requirements can help your company protect an unsafe roof. In our article we published online in June Understanding Rooftop Safety Requirements in Canada - Part 1, we briefly explained the health and safety jurisdictions in Canada and how these jurisdictions are divided.

Fall Protection Regulations Province by Province

As a follow-up, we have located the fall protection regulations for each of the health and safety jurisdictions in Canada.

*The regulations below have been ‘text linked’ to allow you to browse your own jurisdictional (i.e. provincial / territorial / federal) regulations. Please note that the two territories “Northwest Territories” and “Nunavut” have been listed on the same line below, as they share the same health and safety regulations.

  1. Alberta
  2. BC
  3. Canada
  4. Manitoba
  5. New Brunswick
  6. Newfoundland and Labrador
  7. Northwest Territories and Nunavut
  8. Nova Scotia
  9. Ontario
  10. PEI
  11. Quebec
  12. Saskatchewan
  13. Yukon

You may have noticed that ‘Canada’ is listed alongside the provinces and territories. The reason for this is that Canada has certain jurisdictions of its own, such as railways, as they “operate across provincial or international borders.”

Do I Need to Follow the Canada Workplace Health and Safety Requirements in My Workplace?

Yes, if you work for a company specifically covered under the jurisdiction of the federal government in Canada.

You may be familiar with the acronym “OSHA,” the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. This Administration comes from the US Department of Labor, which thus makes the US regulations federally based. Canada differs from the United States in this point, as the system of safety and health regulation in Canada is broken down into jurisdictions.

Between all the provinces and territories in Canada, a general list of rooftop safety requirements surfaces. While not all of the same regulations are found in every region of Canada, some safety regulations* go across the board. These regulations include the need for four particular rooftop safety products.

*Except in the case of PEI where manufactured guardrails must include toeboards unless the guardrails are made out of wire rope.

4 Rooftop Safety Products in Canada

Maybe you know that you need additional safety equipment on your roof. While safety equipment, such as guardrails, can be built with on-hand materials such as wood, you can more easily and safely meet the jurisdictional requirements for using safety equipment by accessing manufactured products. Available manufactured products include: guardrails as fixed barriers, guardrails for roof openings, warnings lines for control zones and rooftop crossovers with handrails.

  1. Guardrails as “fixed barriers”: Roof guardrail systems are useful for managers of places such as conference centres or industrial warehouses who need to allow rooftop access both to employees of various departments and to HVAC technicians now and again.
  2. Guardrails for roof openings: HatchGuard is useful as a fall protection railing for commercial buildings, architectural drawings; and old buildings seeking to get up to code and any commercial building seeking to install a new roof hatch.

  3. Warning lines for control zones: Roof protection systems, such as Tech-Flags, are useful for workers who are performing rooftop tasks such as installing or repairing HVAC systems. *See provincial / territorial regulations for the required measurements for control zones.

  4. Rooftop crossovers with handrails: Custom fabricated crossovers are useful for construction workers and HVAC technicians as these crossovers create a safer passage over rooftop obstructions (such as pipes).

A Few of the Provincial / Territorial Regulations in Canada

We have listed off three regulations from three different jurisdictions in Canada just to give you an idea of what kinds of regulations we are talking about.

  1. British Columbia’s Occupational Health and Safety Regulation requires that  “guardrails... or another fall restraint system” are used “when work is being done at a place (a) from which a fall of 3 m (10 ft) or more may occur, or (b) where a fall from a height of less than 3 m involves a risk of injury greater than the risk of injury from the impact on a flat surface.”
  2. Manitoba’s Fall Protection Guide mandates guardrails for roof openings. Manitoba’s Guide states, “Guardrails must be provided around all roof openings not fitted with permanent or temporary covers.”
  3. Yukon’s Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations mentions the “control zone” as a type of fall protection for a worker.

Worker Falls through Roof (Ontario)

A roofing company in Ontario was fined $57,000 in March 2017 as the defendant “failed to ensure that the worker was adequately protected by a guardrail system….”

According to the Ontario Court Bulletin, “The day before, the work crew had removed heating, ventilation and air conditioning cones and other roofing material from the roof. On the morning of the incident, one of the workers went through an opening in the roof and fell 28 feet onto the concrete floor below, sustaining serious injuries.”

The company failed as an employer to ensure that the “...worker worked in accordance with the measures and procedures prescribed by law.”

How can you make your company’s rooftop safety align with the provincial / territorial / federal safety standards? You can follow four steps to a safer roof.

4 Steps to a Safer Roof

  1. Read the Health and Safety Regulations for your province or territory
  2. Look at your roof and make sure that there are no fall hazards
  3. Contact a rooftop safety company and inquire as to which rooftop safety product(s) would be right for you
  4. Order and install the product (Some companies are even turnkey companies and will complete the entire installation for you.)

Here you have seen some rooftop safety requirements in Canada, and maybe even noticed some requirements that would help your company protect an unsafe roof. As you consider how to address these issues, you may want to check out some of our previous expert articles. You may even want to call up a rooftop safety company and place an order for the necessary safety equipment.

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Related Links

Here is a list of the workplace health and safety regulations in Canada, Province by Province.

  1. Alberta https://www.alberta.ca/occupational-health-safety.aspx
  2. BC https://www.worksafebc.com/en/law-policy/occupational-health-safety/searchable-ohs-regulation/ohs-regulation
  3. Canada http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-86-304/index.html
  4. Manitoba http://www.manitoba.ca/labour/safety/
  5. New Brunswick http://laws.gnb.ca/en/ShowTdm/cs/O-0.2/
  6. Newfoundland and Labrador https://www.servicenl.gov.nl.ca/ohs/
  7. Northwest Territories http://www.wscc.nt.ca/occupational-health-safety/ohs-information/safety-legislation
  8. Nova Scotia http://www.worksafeforlife.ca/Home/About-Us/Occupational-Health-Safety
  9. Nunavut http://www.wscc.nt.ca/occupational-health-safety/ohs-information/safety-legislation (This “legislation governs workplace health and safety in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.”)
  10. Ontario https://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/hs/
  11. PEI https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/legislation/occupational-health-and-safety-act
  12. Quebec http://www.csst.qc.ca/en/Pages/en_legislation.aspx
  13. Saskatchewan http://www.worksafesask.ca/industries/occupational-health-safety/
  14. Yukon http://healthandsafety.gov.yk.ca/

This article is based on the research and opinion of the writer and should not be used as legal advice.