Alberta’s new OH&S Act – in force as of June 1, 2018 – brings major changes to the OHS regulatory landscape in Alberta and aligns Alberta’s OH&S legislation with other Canadian jurisdictions. Numerous updates have also been made to the OH&S Regulation and OH&S Code to align them with the Act. Plus, several key Parts of the OH&S Code have been fully updated, including Part 13 (Joint Work Site Health and Safety Committees & Health and Safety Representatives), Part 27 (Violence and Harassment), and Part 29 (reflecting WHMIS 2015 requirements).
Some examples of the major changes to the Act include:
- Part 1 (Obligations of Work Site Parties) of the OH&S Act updates the scope of duties and adds several new parties. Duties of employers, workers, contractors, prime contractors, and suppliers are updated; duties of supervisors, owners, service providers, self-employed persons, and temporary staffing agencies are newly added.
- Enshrinement of workers’ OHS-related rights in the Act (Section 2, Purposes), including the right to know, the right to participate, and the right refuse dangerous work.
- New requirement under Section 37 of the Act for employers (with more than 20 workers) to establish a written OHS program, with 10+ legislated program elements.
- New requirement for employers (with more than 20 workers) to establish a joint work site health and safety committee.
- Employers with 5 to 19 employees must designate a health and safety representative.
- Employers with fewer than 20 workers must involve workers (or the health and safety representative, if one is designated) in hazard assessment, elimination, and control.
- Multiple updated provisions on the reporting of serious incidents and potentially serious incidents; for instance, Section 40(2) of the Act sets out a new requirement to report injuries that result in a worker being admitted to a hospital. (This replaces the previous threshold of having to be in hospital for two days.)
- Updated provisions on the right to refuse dangerous work and a prohibition on discriminatory action.
- New definitions on violence and harassment; employers and supervisors have a duty to ensure workers are not subject to nor participate in workplace harassment or violence, and workers have a duty to not cause or participate in harassment or violence. Plus, violence and harassment prevention plans are required, in line with the updated Part 27 of the OH&S Code.
- An updated, two-level appeals process.
- Updated requirements to provide workers with readily available OHS information, such as legislation, practices, and procedures.
- Key updates on a range of compliance and enforcement topics, such as orders (compliance orders, stop work, and stop use orders), inspections and investigations by OHS officers, acceptances, and approvals.
- New employer duty to provide a written report on steps taken to comply with an order.
- New provisions to expand the scope of creative sentencing.
The HANDI-GUIDE is a practical tool for workers, supervisors, and employers. Throughout, the HANDI-GUIDE provides timely insights and interpretation on the scope of these new legislative realities.
This edition includes:
A Foreword on the new legislation written by well-known Edmonton OH&S lawyer David Myrol was added to this edition.
The current version of the (new) OH&S Act, plus regulations under the Act, including the updated OH&S Regulation and OH&S Code.
Seven interpretive chapters, with updated commentary and legislative references, to help you understand and interpret the law, including:
- A Regulatory Update, with discussion of many key topics, such as compliance and enforcement; joint committees and HS representatives; OHS program requirements; violence and harassment prevention plans; WHMIS 2015 content; update on convictions, offences, penalties, and ticketable OHS contraventions; and much more
- Chapter 1 - Key Responsibilities of Work Site Parties
- Chapter 2 - Due Diligence for Employers
- Chapter 3 - OHS Actions for Supervisors
- Chapter 4 - OHS Actions for Workers
- Chapter 5 - Joint Work Site Health and Safety Committees
- Chapter 6 - Online OHS Resources
Note: Under Part 2 (Availability of Information) of Alberta's OH&S Act, employers have a duty under Section 14(3) to ensure a paper or electronic copy of the OH&S Act, regulations, and the OH&S Code are readily available for reference by workers, joint work site health and safety committees, and health and safety representatives.
Alberta Labour (OHS Branch), responsible for administering the OH&S Act, has advised that they recognize the acceptability of the official published versions from Alberta's Queen's Printer, as well as copies as published by Thomson Reuters in the HANDI-GUIDE.
Multiple copy discounts available