Small Alberta Businesses and OHS Regulations in 2023

Mar 27, 2023

If you’re a business owner, protecting your staff should be a top priority, no matter the size of your company. 

However, if your company employs less than 20 people, you don’t necessarily need the same type of Occupation Health & Safety program legally required by larger companies. But that doesn’t mean you are exempt from having some form of documentation that conforms to OHS legislation.  

There are many positives in having an official document for your business. A properly prepared reference manual protects your interests, your staff, and the reputation of your company name. 

But it’s only an effective tool if it’s up to date and designed for ease of use.


The Benefits of Having an OHS Manual for Your Small Business

A good OHS manual clearly states your company’s policies, whether on-site or in the field. Clearly explained safety rules are an effective means of preventing accidents. It sets the expectations for new staff and serves as a reminder for longtime employees. 

Having established OHS guidelines in a manual you can point to is beneficial in promoting your business. Whether bidding on a big project or hiring new staff, your company’s OHS manual is valuable for making your company more attractive to outside parties. 

When injuries occur on the job, it’s easy to forget your responsibilities in that situation. At this point, your OHS documentation becomes an essential instruction manual for guiding people at the scene.  

Every company is different, even those within the same sector, which is why it’s so critical to consult with an expert who ensures your safety documentation fulfills your industry’s needs. 

Are Your Safety Policies Up to Date? 

Whether you’re a massive company with a mandated Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHSMS) or a service provider with ten employees or less, your safety manual should be understood as a constantly evolving source of information. 

For example, there are new OHS changes that could affect your business starting on March 31, 2023. 

OHS Changes in 2023

New changes are coming into effect, some big and some small, depending on your industry. When it comes to safety, it’s all about the details. 

To comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act, regulations and codes, you must ensure your standards and documentation match the latest guidelines. 

Changes this year will affect the rules in several areas:

  • First aid (Part 11 in the OHS Code OHS information for work site parties and training providers)
  • Managing the control of hazardous energy (Part 15 in the OHS Code OHS information for work site parties)
  • Noise exposure (Part 16 in the OHS Code OHS information for work site parties and service providers)
  • Overhead power lines and electrical utility workers (Parts 17 and 40 in the OHS Code OHS information for work site parties)
  • Explosives (Part 33 in the OHS Code)
  • Incident reporting and investigations (Section 33 of the OHS Act) 
  • Mining (Part 36 in the OHS Code)
  • Oil and gas wells (Part 37 in the OHS Code)
  • Miscellaneous amendments in the OHS Code OHS information for worksite parties

Fail to keep up, and you could be putting your business in a compromising position. Should someone be injured and your company’s information is lacking, your company could be on the hook for perceived negligence. 


No Plan?

The Alberta Government provides a 140-page Starter Kit document outlining the best safety practices. If it seems overwhelming, COR Manuals will assist in creating a custom OHS plan for your business. 

Questions or Concerns? 

Ensuring your small business has all the recommended safety policies in place can be a daunting task. COR Manuals works with Alberta businesses of all sizes to set them up for OHS success and ongoing peace of mind.

If you’re unsure of your obligations, a consultation with COR Manuals will clarify your responsibilities. Contact us today.