On June 1st Bill 30: An Act to Protect the Health and Well-Being of Working Albertans and its regulations will be implemented. The Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) legislative changes enshrine three basic rights of workers in Alberta:
- The right to refuse unsafe work protects workers from any form of reprisal for exercising this right, including loss of compensation or benefits.
- The right to know ensures workers are informed about potential hazards and have access to basic health and safety information in the workplace.
- The right to participate ensures workers are involved in health and safety discussions, including participation in health and safety committees.
The legislative changes include mandatory worksite health and safety committees and representatives similar to what are in place in other provinces based on the following criteria:
- Larger employers (20 or more workers) will be required to have a joint worksite health and safety committee for work lasting 90 days or more.
- Smaller employers (5-19 workers) will be required to have a health and safety representative for work lasting 90 days or more.
- An employer can use an alternative approach to meeting these requirements with approval from an OHS director.
For more information on the OHS legislative changes and how they impact employers go to www.alberta.ca/ohs-changes.