Monday, April 15, 2013

Changes to Alberta's OHS Act

Changes to Alberta's OHS Act

In addition to Ontario and Saskatchewan's significant changes to their OHS, Alberta's OHS Act changes took effect on December 10th, 2012 when it received royal assent. Bill 6 amends the safety act in six areas as follows:

1. Orders: Bill 6 now allows orders electronically - fax or email, in accordance with the regulation as well as orders served on a person in authority in the organization as they represent the organization.

2. OHS Council: the OHS Council now has the duty to hear administrative penalty appeals in addition to the OHS orders appeals.

3. Creative Sentences: Outstanding amounts of sentence owing to a third party, is deemed to be a fine imposed on that person, enforcing payment under the Provincial Offences Procedures Act.

4. Administrative Penalties: Bill 6 now allows the department the ability to impose administrative penalties for OHS violations. The maximum penalty per violation, per day is set at $10,000. Penalties can apply to workers, contractors, employers, suppliers and to a prime contractor.

5. Prime Contractors: Bill 6 stipulates that where there are two or more employers at a work site whose activities have a health and safety impact on each other, a prime contractor is a requirement.

6. OHS Officers: Officers have the authority to ask anyone at a work site to identify themselves as well as ask the employer to identify its workers. Interference with an officer exercising their power under the Act will be issued an offence under the act.

The Minister of the Environment introduced this bill to address repeat offenders. Repeat offenders are an issue in all provinces. For more information on this bill, go to:

Lynne Bard, BA (Honours), C.H.R.P., CES
Human Resources, Safety & Risk Management Experts
Taking the Complexity out of Compliance
Beyond Rewards Inc.
Phone: 519-821-7440
Cell: 519-830-7480

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