Managing the upcoming changes to Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Act

By: John Artym, Vice President of CHAMP

As you are probably aware the Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Act is currently being reviewed, proposed changes have been shared for comment and Bill 30 has received first reading in the Legislative Assembly. Putting aside the legislative process for review and approval, it is important that organizations, managers, and workers all take the required time to assess the changes, identify any gaps in their Health and Safety Management Systems and consider strategies for implementation.

Understanding the “Why” for the proposed changes may help your teams determine/assess your gaps and develop your Corrective Action Plans.

Things to Consider: Do you have adequate authorities, responsibilities and accountabilities? How effective are your management systems? How engaged is your workforce? What are you measuring?

Some of the key areas being reviewed include:

  1. Responsibilities of Work Site Parties.
    1. How do you define “Health and Safety”? Do you consider psychological and social wellbeing? What about “Fit for Duty”, preventing violence or harassment at the worksite?
    2. How do you define worksites and who are your supervisors of the said worksites?
    3. Are your Supervisors competent?
  2. Health and Safety Program or Management systems.
    1. How are you engaging your workers? How do you communicate the hazards at your worksites? Do you have a Joint Work Site Health and Safety Committee?
    2. How are you planning to implement the Right to Refuse Dangerous Work? What actions are required when you shift from the “obligation” to the “right”?
  3. Reporting of incidents and OH&S responses.
    1. What type of incidents must be reported? What are the changes to the thresholds for reporting (hospital Admissions vs.2-day requirement or potential to cause a serious injury)? Who needs to be involved in the investigation?
    2. Additionally, the WCB Act has numerous proposed changes: Workers and Employers Code of Rights, establishment of an Occupational Diseases and Injury Advisory Committee, etc.

Ultimately the proposed changes are about preventing Occupational illness/diseases and injuries. The challenge for organizations is how to successfully implement.

For more information on this topic I personally recommend visiting these links:
http://www.assembly.ab.ca/ISYS/LADDAR_files/docs/bills/bill/legislature_29/session_3/20170302_bill-030.pdf

https://www.alberta.ca/ohs-changes.aspx#top

https://www.bennettjones.com/en/Publications-Section/Updates/Dramatic-Revision-of-the-Alberta-Occupational-Health-and-Safety-Act

Author: chemscape

Michael Phibbs, CIH ROH MBA, is a Certified Industrial Hygienist by the American Board of Industrial Hygiene and Registered Occupational Hygienist by the Canadian Registration Board of Occupational Hygienists. Mike owns Deerfoot Consulting and has authored 1000's of Material Safety Data Sheets. Mike also owns Chemscape Safety Technologies which offers Chemical Hazard & Risk Management Technologies including MSDS management services with msdsBinders, as well as online WHMIS and TDG training courses.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s