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Suspended Access Equipment

There are different kinds of suspended access equipment (SAE) available, such as various types of swingstages. When determining which type of SAE to use for a particular job, you need to consider

  • building height
  • roof capacity
  • the area available for setup
  • location, type, and capacity of permanent roof anchors
  • if there are no permanent roof anchors, what provisions are necessary to adequately anchor support cables and fall arrest systems
  • whether or not there is a parapet wall
  • electrical hazards
  • the amount of overhang required for outrigger beams.

Once the appropriate SAE has been selected and set up, go through the following safety checklist each time before you use the SAE:

  • The operator is knowledgeable and competent to operate the equipment.
  • All the required components are available, properly rigged, and in good condition.
  • Failsafe devices such as rope grabs, secondary safety devices, and overspeed controls are installed and in working order.
  • Power supplies for climbers are adequate, grounded, and secured.
  • All tiebacks for outrigger and parapet clamps are properly secured to adequate anchor points. Tieback lines must, at a minimum, be of equal strength to the main line and must be secured to an anchor point that is capable of supporting the weight of the suspended load and the supporting system.
  • An adequate number of counterweights are securely attached to the outrigger beams.
  • Fibre ropes are protected from chafing and abrasion.
  • Emergency rescue procedures have been planned, prepared, and communicated to everyone on the jobsite.


Make sure each of these items is checked off before you or any of your workers uses the SAE.


Mandatory Training

Working with suspended access equipment

The Construction Projects Regulation (O. Reg. 213/91) requires employers to ensure that workers who use, install, or inspect suspended work platform systems (SWPSs) or boatswain's (or bosun's) chairs have completed training. The regulation outlines the specific content that must be included in the training program.

IHSA has developed the following training programs that meet the requirements of the regulation and can help employers meet their training obligations:


IHSA has also developed a Suspended Access Equipment - Planners training program. While not mandatory, this training program will help employers meet some of their legal responsibilities for planning SAE work, specifically developing the required documents outlined in the regulation.

We have also created some free resources to help employers ensure they are in compliance with the legislation. Check out the FAQs document and Responsibilities Fact Sheet listed below. You’ll also find some downloadable sample templates that can be used as starting points for developing your own documentation.


Notice of Use of a Suspended Work Platform System

Constructors using a suspended work platform system on a construction project are required to complete an approved notification form and provide it to the Ministry of Labour, Trade and Skills Development (MLTSD). This can be submitted electronically through the Service Ontario website.


Frequently Asked Questions

The FAQs document answers commonly asked questions about the training requirements for workers who use, install, or inspect suspended work platforms and boatswain's chairs. This document explains what IHSA is doing to help employers meet the training requirements described in section 138 and section 138.1 of the Construction Projects regulation. See O. Reg. 213/91, sections 136.1 - 142 Suspended Work Platforms and Boatswain's Chairs.


Responsibilities Fact Sheet

This fact sheet is an overview of the responsibilities of workplace parties relating to suspended work platforms and boatswain’s chairs under the Construction Projects regulation (O. Reg. 213/91).


Required Documents and Sample Templates

Employers who will put a suspended work platform system or boatswain’s chair into service on a construction project must ensure that a competent person prepares the following documents:

See O. Reg. 213/91, section 141.5

IHSA has developed templates to help employers meet their legal obligations for developing the documents outlined in the regulation. NOTE: These templates are a guide only. It is the employer's responsibility to ensure that the content meets the requirements of the regulation and are workplace-specific. You can download these templates and modify them to suit your needs.


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