Introduction

Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Code Review Plan

The OHS Code is a Ministerial Regulation that contains detailed technical requirements to protect worker health and safety at work sites.

  • Parts 1-29 contain health and safety requirements applicable to all industries.
  • Parts 30-41 contain technical health and safety provisions specific to particular industry sectors or activities.

The OHS Code was enacted in 2003 and received its last substantive update in 2009. Between 2011 and 2015, the government worked with employers, workers and health and safety professionals to update the OHS Code. This included stakeholder engagement on the potential changes in 2014. These changes were never enacted.

Since then, the OHS Act requires government to publish a plan for the review of the OHS Code every three years. The three-year plan for the OHS Code for 2020 – 2023, published in September 2020 can be found here.

 

Engagement and OHS Legislative Reform

The Government of Alberta is committed to improving health and safety outcomes for workers while reducing unnecessary administrative burden.  In 2020, the government developed a plan for OHS legislative reform, aimed to:

  • improve health and safety outcomes;
  • ensure rules are easy to understand and apply;
  • empower work site parties and promote the internal responsibility system; and
  • reduce unnecessary administrative burden.

In Summer 2020, the government conducted stakeholder engagement on the OHS Act. This feedback helped inform amendments to the OHS Act which were passed in December 2020.

At the same time, review was ongoing for the regulations under the OHS Act. To review technical provisions for oil and gas and mining industries, two technical working groups with representation from employers, workers and government were formed. The input helped develop recommendations for how these industry-specific provisions could be updated.

 

Participation in the OHS Code Online Survey

This survey is intended to obtain input on proposed changes to the OHS Code, specifically the Parts of the OHS Code identified to be reviewed in Year 1 of the 3-year OHS Code review plan.

The following Parts of the OHS Code are included for this round of consultation:

  • Part 4, Chemical Hazards, Biological Hazards and Harmful Substances;
  • Part 6, Cranes, Hoists, and Lifting Devices;
  • Part 10, Fire and Explosion Hazards;
  • Part 11, First Aid;
  • Part 13, Joint Work Site Health and Safety Committees;
  • Part 15, Managing the Control of Hazardous Energy;
  • Part 16, Noise Exposure;
  • Part 17, Overhead Power Lines;
  • Part 18, Personal Protective Equipment;
  • Part 20, Radiation Exposure;
  • Part 33, Explosives;
  • Part 36, Mining Safety; and
  • Part 37, Oil and Gas

Potential changes to these sections of the OHS Code incorporate:

  • work that was done previously;
  • updates to technical standards and technical requirements to reflect best practices for health and safety;
  • streamlining of requirements to remove duplication and reduce administrative burden;
  • changes to harmonize with the rest of Canada; as well as
  • updates to align with changes in the revised OHS Act.

The feedback of Albertans is vital to this process, but not every Albertan will have experience with or be impacted by every Part of the Code. As such, you are not expected to complete or respond to every section of the survey, only those that apply to you or your industry. After responding to the Parts that are of interest or pertain to you or your organization, we ask that you make sure you reach the completion "Thank you" page by responding "no" to the parts you do not wish to provide responses to.

Each section of the survey will outline the rationale for the proposed change, what section(s) are under consideration, and what the proposed change is, followed by the options to Accept the proposed change, Reject the proposed change, or to Modify the proposed change. This is also followed by a feedback open text box to provide additional input. The potential changes outlined in the survey are for input. Your input will inform recommendations for OHS Code changes.

Please note, where sections of the OHS Act are referenced in the survey questions, they are sections from the new OHS Act, which comes into effect Fall 2021. Further information on the Act changes can be found here: https://www.assembly.ab.ca/assembly-business/bills/bill?billinfoid=11884&from=bills.

Should you have any questions about the survey please email lbr.ohsreview@gov.ab.ca.

 

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Notice

Information you provide to Alberta Labour and Immigration and the OHS and Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) Policy and Legislation Branch is collected under the authorization of Section 33(c) of the Freedom of Information Protection of Privacy (FOIP) Act and is managed in accordance with Part 2 of the FOIP Act. 

The information provided will be used for the purpose of making informed policy and legislative decisions related to possible changes to the OHS Code. Your personal information will not be used or disclosed for any other purpose, without your written consent or unless required to do so by law. Responses should not contain any personal information of individuals such as name, address, phone number, etc.

Should you wish to have your information removed, corrected or have concerns, please contact us at lbr.ohsreview@gov.ab.ca.