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Government of Alberta to Implement a Three Phase Review of the Occupational Health & Safety Code

This blog post is a follow-up to our previous two-part blog post (Part 1, Part 2) and webinar discussing sweeping changes to Alberta's workers' compensation and occupational health and safety legislation. At the time of the webinar, it was unknown when precisely the new Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Act ("new OHSA") would come into force.

Earlier this week, the Alberta Government announced that the new OHSA will come into force in the fall of 2021 (exact date not provided). In addition, it has commenced a public consultation process from March 30 to May 10, 2021 regarding updates to the Occupational Health and Safety Code ("OHS Code").

The new OHSA overhauls the occupational health and safety landscape in Alberta and requires significant changes to the OHS Code. As a result, the Government has initiated a three-phase comprehensive review of the OHS Code. The first phase focuses on those parts of the OHS Code identified as requiring the most immediate updates and content due to changes arising from the new OHSA:

  • Part 4 – Chemical hazards, biological hazards and harmful substances
  • Part 6 – Cranes, hoists and lifting devices
  • Part 10 – Fire and explosion hazards
  • Part 11 – First aid
  • Part 13 – Joint work site health and safety committees
  • Part 15 – Managing the control of hazardous energy
  • Part 16 – Noise exposure
  • Part 7 – Overhead power lines
  • Part 18 – Personal protective equipment
  • Part 20 – Radiation exposure
  • Part 33 – Explosives
  • Part 36 – Mining safety
  • Part 37 – Oil and gas

As part of this first phase, the Alberta Government is seeking feedback from the public through an online survey that closes on May 10, 2021. Interested parties can access the survey here. More information about the OHS Code review, including details about what parts of the OHS Code will be reviewed in the second and third phases, is available through the Alberta Government's website.

We anticipate that much like the consultation process on the Workers Compensation Act and old Occupational Health and Safety Act, there may be focus groups held at some point with stakeholders to ascertain how the OHS Code can be amended to better meet their needs. We would be happy to assist your business in responding to the current survey or participating in any focus groups that may arise.

Please contact Michelle Jones or Jennie Buchanan for any assistance you may require in participating in this survey.

Webinar On-Demand: Alberta OH&S Legislation Changes: Is your workplace ready?

Labour & Employment Blog, Part 1: Changes to the Alberta Workers' Compensation Act Coming into Force on April 1, 2021

Labour & Employment Blog, Part 2: The New Occupational Health and Safety Act

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Lawson Lundell's Labour and Employment Law Blog provides updates on the most recent legal developments impacting the Canadian workplace and offers practical tips for employers. We cover a range of topics, including labour relations, employment law, collective bargaining, human rights, employment standards, employment equity, workers' compensation, business immigration, privacy, occupational health and safety and pensions and employee benefits. 

Legal Disclaimer: The information made available on this webpage is for information purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on as such. Please contact our firm if you need legal advice or have questions about the content of this webpage. 

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