Canada’s Safety Legislation Is Changing! Is Your Business Prepared?

Mar 16, 2023

Canada’s Safety Legislation Is Changing! Is Your Business Ready?

First off, does your company have 20 or more employees? If so, does your organization have an updated Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHSMS)?

If you don’t, you’re legally obligated to have one. Be advised that on March 31, 2023, changes are taking place that could affect your current plan’s legitimacy.

Seeking guidance from a trusted OHSMS partner will ensure your standards are up-to-date and suitable for a company your size.

OHSMS Requirements

All federally regulated industries and public services in Canada require an Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHSMS). It’s a coordinated set of procedures that mitigate safety risks, illness, and accidents in the workplace. It includes policies and measures to protect employees and other personnel while fulfilling a company’s legal requirements.

Establishing an OHSMS can be a daunting task. If you have 20 or more employees involved in your business activities, you need an OHSMS to comply with government legislation.

Companies must commit to competency training, program administration, and staff participation in committees and safety leadership roles. You don’t just want policies in place; you need to drive awareness and keep employees involved. Your obligations also extend to others who may be on your job site, including volunteers, visitors, etc.

Acknowledgment for Your Safety Initiatives’

Companies in full compliance may qualify for a Certificate of Recognition (COR). Becoming COR certified is more than a recognition you can boast about on your website. It ensures your employees are safe and better prepared to handle workplace emergencies.

Companies must undergo work site inspections to achieve Alberta’s voluntary COR Certification. Companies must also have proven hazard assessments, controls, and emergency response plans. All legal requirements must be followed to achieve and maintain this status.

Why It’s Important

OHSMS is essential for your company’s safety compliance. It is regulated and enforced through Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) and Alberta’s Ministry of Labour.

Occupational Health and Safety is based on Part II of the Canada Labour Code. Violations occur when infringements are found or corrective actions are ignored.

Depending on the severity of the offence, any wilful breach of health standards that poses a risk of serious injury or death may result in imprisonment (even if someone isn’t hurt) or financial penalties ranging from $100,000 to $1,000,000!

The team at COR Manuals can create a customized, up-to-date plan suitable for your industry and your business’s needs.

New OHSMS Changes Are Going into Effect

Having an OHSMS means it may be subject to occasional updates. New rules can be confusing, even for someone on your safety committee.

Certain curriculum names, definitions, and material requirements will be changing at the end of March 2023.

In many cases, these changes are subject to specific stipulations. Is your workplace considered hazardous? How many workers are on shift at one time? How far is the distance to the nearest medical facility?

Here’s a summary.

  • Course names are changing for first-aid training providers.
  • Employers (and prime contractors) must refer to Tables 4-7 in Schedule 2 of the Occupational Health and Safety Code to determine if they have the correct number and proper size of first-aid kits and other supplies.
  • There are new requirements for transporting sick or injured staff.
  • Hospitals, medical clinics, physicians’ offices, and nursing homes no longer need to apply to Alberta OHS for first aid acceptance.
  • The way illnesses and injuries are reported is being revised.

Get the Guidance You Need

COR Manuals specializes in helping Alberta companies with appropriate OHSMS plans for COR certification.

When it concerns your OHSMS practices, it’s wise to be proactive.

Contact COR Manuals today with any questions concerning your company’s OHSMS responsibilities.