The government of Alberta is accepting feedback from the public on its new occupational health and safety act until April 9. The act makes sweeping changes, including new rules for workplace harassment and violence and joint work site health and safety committees.
The input will help shape specific rules around these new requirements to ensure the legislation is fair and balanced.
“Creating a culture that prioritizes health and safety strengthens workplaces and our economy. When workers feel protected, morale and productivity improve. I encourage everyone to share their views on how to make these new requirements work for all Albertans,” said Minister of Labour Christina Gray.
As of June 1, the new OHS act will define harassment and violence in all its forms, including sexual and domestic violence, and require employers and supervisors to take reasonable steps to protect workers and to investigate incidents. The act stipulates employers must have an appeal process for workers disciplined for bringing harassment and violence issues forward.
The act has a big focus on joint work site health and safety committees (JWSHSCs), requiring such a committee on work sites with 20 or more workers. If the workplace has five to 19 workers, a worker health and safety representative — with similar powers as a JWSHSC —much be chosen.
Specific rules regarding harassment and violence, as well as training and operation of the joint work site health and safety committees, will be added to OHS regulations on June 1.