Bill 47: Ensuring Safety and Cutting Red Tape Act, 2020
This bill amends the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Radiation Protection Act and the Workers’ Compensation Act to simplify language and remove unnecessary barriers for job creators without making substantive changes to workers’ rights and protections.
Bill 47 brings balance to workplaces and helps ensure workers can rely on a sustainable compensation system if they get ill or injured on the job.
Key Changes to the Occupational Health and Safety Act
- Removes duplication and redundancy throughout the act to make it easier to understand and follow for job creators and workers.
- Removes the requirement for health and safety committees and representatives to be on work sites with multiple employers and a prime contractor, such as construction sites
- Prime contractors will be required to have a contact to coordinate health and safety issues between employers and workers
- Occupational health and safety directors will still be able to require a committee or representative be present on any work site
- Renames discriminatory action complaints to ‘disciplinary action complaints’ to avoid confusion with human rights laws
- Allowing occupational health and safety officers to dismiss complaints of questionable merit before starting an investigation
- Clarifies definitions and reporting requirements of potentially serious incidents
- Clarifies rules and definitions around dangerous work refusals to make it easier to follow so that serious health and safety concerns can be resolved more quickly
Key Changes to the Radiation Protection Act
- Incorporates radiation protection laws into the Occupational Health and Safety Act to provide clarity for employers and workers and make them easier to follow
Key Changes to the Workers’ Compensation Act
All workers have access to coverage for work-related psychological injuries through the normal WCB claim process. Presumptive coverage for psychological injuries will only apply to firefighters, police officers, sheriffs, correctional officers, paramedics and emergency dispatchers.
Reversal of costly changes made in 2018 ensure programs and services remain sustainable and affordable. Additional changes include the following:
- Reinstated an insurable earnings cap for injured and ill workers
- Limited presumptive coverage for psychological injuries to firefighters, police officers, peace officers, correctional officers, paramedics and emergency dispatchers
- Other types of workers still have access to coverage for work-related psychological injuries through the normal claim process
- Returned the Workers’ Compensation Board’s responsibility to calculate cost of living adjustments, rather than basing them automatically on the Alberta consumer price index
- Restored a voluntary system for reinstating an injured worker
- Maintained injured workers’ right to choose a physician for a medical exam
- Removed the requirement for employers to contribute to health benefit plans for injured workers who are off work
- Continued to allow the Workers’ Compensation Board to have oversight of the Accident Fund to address the needs of injured workers and employers
- Moved services provided by the Fair Practices Office and the Medical Panels Office to other organizations to reduce duplication and save money
Most changes to the Occupational Health and Safety Act will take effect upon proclamation. Most changes to the Workers’ Compensation Act took effect January 1, 2021.
Changes affecting the Fair Practices Office and Medical Panels Office will take effect April 1, 2021.
- Improving safety for workers and cutting red tape (November 5, 2020)
- Restoring balance in Alberta’s workplaces (July 7, 2020)
WCB Bill 30 Legislative Changes
The Government of Alberta conducted a review of the workers’ compensation system and has passed legislation for enhancements to the system. Some of these changes came into effect in January and April, while other changes will become effective throughout 2018. Stay informed. WCB is encouraging employers and workers to head to their website for everything they need to know about the changes.
OHS System Changes
The Government of Alberta updated the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act which sets the minimum standards for workplace health and safety and outlines the roles and responsibilities of employers, workers and other work site parties. The new OHS laws came into effect on June 1, 2018.
AFPA has attempted to identify key changes in the legislation with the help of materials provided by Alberta Labour and consolidated those key changes into a PowerPoint presentation as follows:
OHS System Changes 2018
Additional resources provided by Alberta Labour can be found as follows:
Work Site HSC and HS Representative
Do I need an HSC or HS representative?
Do you need an HSC or HS representative at multiple work sites?
Joint work site health and safety committees
The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) has developed a free introductory course to help committee co-chairs and representatives learn about their roles and responsibilities.
This course will help employers meet their requirements to ensure committee members and representatives have adequate training.
Participants will receive a two hour credit. A certificate will be issued upon successful completion.
Access to the introductory course can be found as follows: Health & Safety Committees and Representatives
Harassment and Violence
Harassment and violence in the workplace
Workplace harassment and violence prevention plan samples and template
Obligations of Work Site Parties
The role and duties of the prime contractor
Work Right Alberta is a joint Employment Standards and Occupational Health and Safety public awareness campaign intended to:
- promote an instill a cultural attitude of willing compliance;
- generate greater awareness of existing OHS and ES legislation and minimum standards;
- encourage greater compliance with applicable legislation and ‘better-than-minimum’ practices, and
- create greater awareness of Employment Standards and Occupational Health and Safety resources, tools
- and services amongst employers and workers.
For more information visit WorkRight Alberta.
Employer Records Website
The employer records website has been updated and improved to make it easier for Albertans to find the safety information they need. Users can search and sort 155 000 employers by their lost-time claims, disabling injury rates and locations.
For access visit Employer Records.
WorkSafe Alberta Awards
The Work Safe Alberta Awards recognize excellence in the field of occupational health and safety. Sponsored by the Government of Alberta and the OHS Council, the awards focus on those organizations and individuals that have exemplary practices and are leaders in their industry.
After a three-year hiatus, the awards have been refocused and enhanced based on feedback to align with the priorities of the OHS Council and Work Safe Alberta.
Awards are determined in three broad areas: Innovation / Leader / Individual Achievement.
For additional information, click here.
To access the WorkSafe Alberta Awards Brochure click here.
OHS Regulation Amended in 2013 – Highlights
The Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Regulation Amendment came into effect on October 1, 2013. This regualtion was made after a comprehensive review with extensive public consultation.
The amendment regulation changes the OHS Regulation in the following five major ways:
- New requirements on taking action on unsafe work conditions added
- Rules on delivering orders by electronic mens or courier added
- Rules on Board of Exmainers and Minimg Certification revised
- Rules on blater’s permits and minimg certificates harmonized
- Definitions and Standards updated
For additional information, click here.
OHS Act Amended in 2012 – Highlights
Bill 6, the Protection and Compliance Statutes Amendment Act, received Royal Assent on December 10, 2012. The amendment act changes the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act in six major ways. All changes are effective on that date except changes related to administrative penalties, which come into force upon proclamation.
Download the Occupational Health and Safety Bulletin for additional details.
Bill 6 – New Penalties for Health, Safety and Trade Violations
Alberta Human Services is introducing new administrative penalties and significantly increasing fines for penalties that already exist. Administrative penalties are an addition to the enforcement toolbox. Another addition – which will allow Occupational Health and Safety investigators to issue tickets for on-the-spot violations – is expected to come through regulation in 2013. For additional details, click here.
2011 Employer Records
The 2011 Employer Records are now available. View them here.
On Site Audit Review (OSAR):
OSAR is a research project designed to evaluate the work of certified auditors who conduct audits for employers seeking a Certificate of Recognition (COR). The OSAR process is an independent review of audit findings.
On-site reviewers will visit selected employer work sites and gather information which will then be compared to the findings in the original auditor’s report. The on-site review will focus on key aspects of the auditor’s process and is not intended to be a complete re-audit of the employer. Click on the link below to review the details on the OSAR Pilot Project findings.