Revisions to the Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Act took effect on December 1st, 2021 and made extensive changes to the requirements for Health and Safety Committees and representatives.
Prime Contractor Responsibilities.
- Health and safety committees and representatives are no longer be mandatory on work sites with multiple employers and a prime contractor.
- Prime contractors are required to coordinate health and safety issues between workers and employers. Prime contractors must also designate a person to ensure cooperation between employers and workers occurs.
- Workers may also access their individual employers’ health and safety committee or representative.
- OHS directors still have the ability to require a committee or representative for any work site.
- If there is no prime contractor, the person in control of the site may voluntarily designate a prime contractor, who assumes prime contractor responsibilities for health and safety.
- If there is no prime contractor, committees or representatives are still required on multiple-employer sites
The method for calculating “number of workers” for deciding if an employer requires a health and safety committee or representative has been simplified. The new calculation now excludes volunteers, and anyone not financially compensated to more accurately represent the number of “regularly employed” persons under normal conditions.
Technical requirements and rules for the committees and representatives were moved from the Act to the OHS Code
The committee and representative rules in the OHS Code now apply to eligible farms and ranches with modified training requirements. Farms and ranches remain exempt from all other parts of the OHS Code.
- The requirement for government approved training courses or training providers was repealed. Employers and workers now have more flexible options for training. Training must still follow the general guidelines outlined in the OHS Code.
- Training requirements will now include all committee members in addition to the committee co-chairs. (Exempt for farms and ranches.)
The new revisions were introduced in order to eliminate duplication, simplify language, and overall make the OHS laws easier to understand and follow.
*December 2021, Changes to occupational health and safety OHS laws https://www.alberta.ca/ohs-act-regulation-code.aspx
Follow us to stay current on future updates on more information on OHS legislation changes and other Safety News!
This update is for informational use only and does not supersede any bylaws or legislation. Please visit your local municipality’s website for applicable up-to-date information for your area.