With on-going needs to ensure a safe workplace, the Alberta government has recently introduced a new role to enforce safety compliance at the work site. They are called occupational health and safety (OHS) peace officers, trained individuals able to issue tickets and penalties to any worksite employer or worker for workplace safety violations. The introduction of the OHS officer is a result of increases in provincial injury rates and high fatality rates in the Alberta workforce over recent years.
10 OHS officers are on the job in Alberta at this time with a total of 143 officers to gain ticketing certification. Altogether, OHS peace officers can issue tickets for 67 different provisions, from WHMIS violations, personal protective equipment violations, fall protection, confined spaces, log book inadequacies at oil & gas well sites, and many more. Upon doing so workers receiving the tickets will be held accountable under Alberta law for the specific violation against OHS legislation for which they’ve been charged. Those ticketed charges can vary in cost, between $100 to $500 per ticket for workers/employers, and up to $10,000 for employer administrative fines. It is important to note that a ticket can only be issued to an individual worker once it is proven that the employer is already in compliance with the safety issue at hand.
Alberta OHS Peace Officers may:
- Issue Tickets for OHS Violations
- Issue Stop Work Orders
- Issue Compliance Orders
- Issue Stop Use Orders
- Ask for Management Meetings
Workers or employers who refuse to pay the ticketed fine may be issued a warrent for their arrest. Taking it one step further, any ticketed violations against a worker or employer are sent to a police database, meaning that any unpaid OHS tickets will come up on police computers in the event of being issued a speeding ticket, or during some other police officer interaction.
Here is a web link to the 67 OHS Ticketable Provisions for your reference.
Here is a web link on details on Administrative Penalties for your reference.