Updates to Health and Safety Legislation in Alberta (Canada)
Jul 10th, 2018
The Canadian province of Alberta made updates to the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act and the OHS Code on June 1st. A summary of some significant changes is below:
- Health & Safety Representation – All organizations employing 20 or more persons are now required to have a joint work site health and safety committee (HSC), and organizations with 5-19 employees must have a health and safety representative. Specific requirements regarding the composition of the HSC, including its duties, and the designation of health and safety representatives are outlined in Part 3 of the Act.
- Duties of Employers and Contractors – Changes were made to the legal roles and responsibilities of employers, supervisors, workers, contractors and suppliers, including a requirement for employers to ensure their supervisors are competent.
- Written Health & Safety Programs – There is now a requirement for organizations with 20 or more employees to maintain written health and safety programs that address 10 key areas listed in Part 5 of the Act, including a mandatory review of the programs every 3 years.
- WHMIS 2015 – The WHMIS 2015 Canadian standard was incorporated into the Alberta OHS Code with the June 1st updates. The new WHMIS standard involves many changes to align with the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals, including new pictograms and terminology.
- Workplace Harassment: – All organizations in Alberta are now obligated to have prevention plans for both workplace violence and harassment. The updates mean Alberta’s OHS Code is the most complex Workplace Violence and Harassment legislation in the country. More information can be found in Part 27 of the Code.
For more information on the Alberta OHS updates, please click here.