As of June 1, 2018, Alberta has implemented Bill 30 — an overhaul of the province’s previous health and safety regulations. The new bill will ensure that Albertans have three basic rights:
- The right to refuse dangerous work
- The right to know
- The right to participate
This landmark legislation now allows workers of Alberta to exercise the same rights as other Canadians. By granting these new rights, the Act will serve to promote health and safety in the workplace as well as provide compensation and support when needed.
Bill 30 has been in the works for some time now. Not only have employers had the opportunity to participate in public forums to voice their questions and concerns, but a number of large provincial organisations (including ENFORM, the ARHCA, CHBA – Edmonton, ACSA, AMHSA, MHSA and AHSA) have had extensive opportunities to be involved in the consultation process that has led to the finalization of this Bill.
In addition to the Bill itself, these organisations have also developed implementation and training programs for their memberships. As we go forward, it is the duty of the employer to adopt and implement changes in how workplace health and safety is managed on a day to day basis in order to conform to the legislation. Additional highlights of the legislation include:
- Improved health and safety programs
- Work site health and safety committees and representatives
- Harassment and violence policies
- Obligations and responsibilities of worksite parties
- Duties of government and OHS Council
- Reporting incidents and medical assessments
- Compliance and enforcement
- WHMIS 2015 compliance
- Offences and penalties
Those who have been proactive in modernizing their workplace health and safety protocol will find that the implementation phase of Bill 30 shouldn’t be difficult or costly. However, workplaces that have resisted these new changes may find this to be a challenging transition.
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