Changes to OHS Laws
Effective December 1, 2021, the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act in Alberta has been updated. Bill 47: Ensuring Safety and Cutting Red Tape Act, updates the labor legislation to improve workplace health and safety standards. The updates to the Act simplify the language of OHS laws and regulations, making it easier to understand and follow. The intent of the changes is to make the rules more easily understandable and increase safety compliance.
Attn: Alberta Companies with more than 20 Employees
One of the key changes with Bill 47 is that any Alberta company with over 20 employees must have a safety manual. Employers with over 20 workers are now required by law to have a health and safety program. According to the updated Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Act, “An employer who regularly employs 20 or more workers or on the direction of a Director shall, subject to the OHS Code, establish and implement a health and safety program.” With this change to the OHS Act, it is critical to have a well-written safety manual that is easily accessible and available to all your employees. Safety Manuals are beneficial as they show workers, subcontractors, and regulators you are committed to safety. Workforce Compliance Safety can create a Safety Manual to address the hazards your workers may come across in any industry.
With Bill 47, employers will have more flexibility to create custom safety programs that best suit their workplace. What better way to meet these requirements than to develop a strong, secure, and custom safety program and then automate it to suit your unique company needs? Digitizing your safety program will create a safe and easily accessible safety manual that will significantly improve the process of safety compliance, audits, and overall safety management within your organization.
Workers Compensation Revisions
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. In addition to the OHS Act, the Workers Compensation Act has also been changed due to Bill 47. As per Alberta Workers Compensation Board, a maximum cap has been reinstated on workers’ compensation earnings.
Bill 47 also permits the Workers Compensation Board (WCB) to financially support grieving families affected by first-responder deaths in Alberta by creating the Heroes’ Fund. Eligible families of first responders who sacrificed their lives for public safety will receive $100,000 in compensation. The Memorial Grant Program provides an even larger compensation of up to $300,000 to these families, the funding pertains to firefighters, paramedics, and police officers.
eLearning Training Courses
Changes to Alberta OHS legislation impacts training courses for safety managers, workers, and supervisors. For example, Accident/ Incident Investigation courses reflect the updated legislation so participants understand their role in supporting their health and safety management system. The online Accident/Incident Investigation course is designed to help individuals who will be investigating workplace accidents/incidents understand its purpose and process. Workforce Compliance Safety has created a supplement that is uploaded to this course to provide updated information on the new legislation.
Increase your Safety Management
With the frequent updates to the OHS Act and the Workers Compensation Act, workers need to have access to a current and updated Safety Program. Managing your safety program in a paperless environment where workers can refer to and interact with your company’s safety documentation has never been more timely. According to the Government of Alberta, “Employers, workers and other worksite parties are responsible for their own health and safety, as well as that of everyone at or near the worksite.”
With the proper safety management software, it is much easier to comply with the new OHS laws set in place.
Start training your worker’s online courses with certificates at Workforce Compliance Safety / BIS Trainer.