Falls Awareness Week
A man is hurt falling off a ladder

Unfortunately, falls are still one of the leading causes of fatalities and critical injuries across Ontario. In the industries served by the Infrastructure Health and Safety Association (IHSA), the number of lost-time injuries caused by falls in 2011 rose by 3.2 per cent from the previous year. Those statistics show that we need to do more to reduce falls in our industries.

Make sure all your workers have received fall prevention training. If you’re in the construction business, that’s mandatory. Visit IHSA’s Working at Heights training program page for more info.


Focus on Falls Magazine

Order or download a copy of our summer IHSA.ca Magazine, which has a special section on falls, including ladder safety, safety for roofers, and what supervisors can do to prevent falls.



If your workers face fall hazards, you’re required to provide them with fall-protection training. Register them for IHSA’s Working at Heights - Fundamentals of Fall Prevention. We also offer a Working at Heights Instructor Workshop.




Visit our Fall Prevention & Working at Heights page. There you'll find posters, safety talks, and other helpful resources.


Preventing Falls from Heights

  • Guardrails and floor opening covers should be your first choice when it comes to preventing falls. They offer the best protection because they actually eliminate the fall hazard if they’re set up properly. With guardrails in place, you can’t fall because there is no open edge. With secured floor opening covers in place, you can’t fall because they eliminate the opening.
  • From time to time, you may have to remove one or more guardrails to allow a delivery or access to certain equipment. Remember that before a guardrail is removed, everyone working in the fall hazard area must be protected by another form of fall protection (such as a travel restraint or fall-arrest system). As soon as it’s possible, put the guardrails back.
  • When it’s not possible to use guardrails, use a travel restraint or fall-arrest system and ALWAYS tie off to a suitable anchor point.
  • Avoid working from ladders. Use a work platform whenever possible.
  • Always maintain three-point contact when you’re going up or down ladders and when you’re climbing on or off vehicles or equipment.

Preventing Slips and Trips

  • The best way to prevent slips and trips is to practice good housekeeping. Keep pathways and work areas clear of materials and debris.
  • With snow and ice during the winter months, you need to take extra care to prevent slips and trips. Keep walkways, access areas, and stairs clear of snow and ice. Use salt or sand in those areas and ensure your boots provide good traction.
  • Stack materials neatly and secure them so that they can’t fall into pathways or work areas. Make sure the surface they are on can support their weight.
  • Make sure that cords from power tools and lights don’t pose a tripping hazard. Fasten the cords to the floor or keep them away from pathways and work areas. Unplug them when they aren’t in use.

IHSA Resources


Safety Talks

Supervisors often conduct on-site safety talks. A five-minute safety talk is hands-on way to remind workers that health and safety are important on the job and can help workers recognize and control hazards. IHSA’s Safety Talks manual (V005) contains over 100 talks. Visit the Safety Talks page or download the sample talks below.


Articles and Documents


See also: Construction Health and Safety Manual page.


MOL Resources


Prevent Falls on Construction Projects


Slips, Trips, and Same-Level Falls

More Resources