A Look At Alberta’s Updated Occupational Health and Safety Act

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It’s no secret that the world of work is ever-changing and on June 1st 2018, Alberta has made some changes as well. The province has reviewed and made changes to the Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Act for the first time in over 40 years. The Occupational Health and Safety Act sets standards for health and safety practices in Alberta workplaces. The OHS Act changes were set in place to further protect Alberta workers. 1,300 survey responses and written responses from Albertans to Alberta Labour influenced the changes made on the Act.

What changes have been made?

Alberta has made an effort to clarify and expand the OHS Act to ensure full safety coverage of both employers and workers in Alberta. A few regulations that have been changed or added to the OHS Act include,

  • The OHS Act now requires employers with over 20 workers to establish a health and safety program that must be reviewed and updated every 3 years. Employers with under 20 workers must involve all workers in hazard assessment.
  • Employers are now required to report “potentially serious” or “near-miss” incidents to Alberta Labour.
  • Incidents resulting in a worker being hospitalized must now be reported to Alberta Labour regardless of hospitalization length, replacing the 2-day hospitalization threshold.
  • The OHS Act now requires a health and safety representative to represent workers for employers/work sites with 5 to 19 workers.
  • The OHS Act must now be reviewed by the Minister and Government of Alberta every 5 years.

Click here to view the complete OHS Act and its changes, effective June 1, 2018.

So, what does this mean for Alberta’s workers?

Safer workplaces! Safety is the responsibility of an individual and everyone around them. Being aware of and reporting the hazards in your workplace, and being educated on their Health and Safety Regulations and Programs is a crucial part of maintaining safe workplaces. However, knowing your rights as a worker is the first step. Review the updated OHS Act and make sure you are compliant with all the new regulations.

What’s the next step for Alberta Employers?

If not already, it’s time to create and/or beef up your Health and Safety regulations. The safety of your clients, customers and workers is top priority. If you’re unsure if your company’s health and safety regulations meet Alberta Occupational Health and Safety requirements, Manpower can help! Contact Manpower and schedule a consultation with our Health and Safety Team for audits, Health and Safety inspections, evaluations, strategies and more.

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