Albertans will have a say on new rules for workplace harassment and violence and joint work site health and safety committees.
The new Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act takes steps to protect workers from harassment and violence in all its forms. It also requires joint work site health and safety committees or a worker health and safety representative, depending on workforce size.
The input will help shape specific rules around these new requirements to ensure the legislation is fair and balanced.
“Creating a culture that prioritizes health and safety strengthens workplaces and our economy,” said Christina Gray, Minister of Labour. “When workers feel protected, morale and productivity improve. I encourage everyone to share their views on how to make these new requirements work for all Albertans.”
As of June 1, the new OHS Act will:
• Define harassment and violence in all its forms, including sexual and domestic violence;
• Require employers and supervisors to take reasonable steps to protect workers from harassment and violence and to investigate incidents;
• Require workers to refrain from causing or participating in harassment and violence;
• Have an appeal process for workers disciplined for bringing harassment and violence issues forward;
• Require joint work site health and safety committees for work sites with 20 or more workers;
• Require a worker health and safety representative for work sites with five to 19 workers; and
• Require employers and prime contractors to work with joint work site health and safety committees or representatives.
Albertans can provide written submissions until April 9. Specific rules regarding harassment and violence, as well as training and operation of the joint work site health and safety committees, will be added to OHS regulations on June 1.