New Rules Protect Workers and Ensure They Have the Same Rights as other Canadians

On behalf of Osuji & Smith posted in Employment and Labour Law on Thursday, June 21, 2018

On June 1, 2018, came into effect new rules of The Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety Act as an improvement of the OHS system to better protect people in their workspace. Every year, hardworking Albertans are killed or injured on the job. After months of consultation with employers, labor and industry groups, and workers; Alberta has stronger workplace health and safety laws which are considered the first significant updates in over 41 years.

What are the new rules that protect Alberta workers?

The right to refuse dangerous work
The right to know potential hazards
The right to participate in their health and safety

Health and Safety Program also includes employers with 20 or more workers at a work site must have a written health and safety program; employers with less than 20 employees at a work site must involve workers in hazard assessment and control.

Other changes to Alberta’s OHS laws now in effect include:

  • Employers must report “potentially serious” incidents.
  • Creating an independent medical panel office so injured workers have access to an impartial, independent decision-making body to resolve medical issues that affect their right to compensation.
  • Harassment and violence in all forms, including domestic and sexual violence, are now defined as workplace hazards in Alberta’s updated OHS Act.
  • In order to help workplaces transition, the government has provided resources, information, several webinars and online courses which are available at

Quick Facts

  • Since mid-March, more than 1,000 people have taken part in 20 webinars.
  • On May 22, 174 people attended an employer information session either in person or via webcast.
  • OHS has delivered 86 presentations to employers, safety associations, and other organizations, with more than 5,000 attendees.

Occupational and health and safety changes

New rules create safer, healthier workplaces

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