Enshrining the three basic rights of workers in Alberta’s legislation:
The right to refuse unsafe work. The proposed changes protect workers from any form of reprisal for exercising this right, including loss of compensation or benefits.
The right to know. The proposed changes ensure workers are informed about potential hazards and have access to basic health and safety information in the workplace.
The right to participate. The proposed changes ensure workers are involved in health and safety discussions, including participation in health and safety committees.
Further suggested changes:
Mandating joint work site health and safety committees for workplaces with 20 or more employees. These committees are responsible for:
Inspecting the work site for hazards
Helping employers respond to health and safety concerns of workers
Helping resolve unsafe work refusals
Helping develop health and safety policies and safe work procedures
Helping with new employee health and safety orientation
Developing and promoting education and training programs.
Requiring employers with between five and 19 workers to have a health and safety representative in the workplace.
Clarifying roles and responsibilities of workplace parties for health and safety, including the obligations of employers, supervisors, workers, owners, prime contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, service providers, self-employed persons and temporary staffing agencies.
Protecting workers from workplace violence and harassment. This includes new legislative definitions as well as outlining the responsibility of employers and supervisors to prevent workplace violence and harassment, and workers to refrain from these activities.
Protecting workers from loss of wages or benefits on worksites subjected to stop work or stop use orders or while safety improvements are being made.
Requiring employers to report “near miss” incidents to OHS. A “near miss” incident is one that had the potential to cause serious injury to a person but did not.
Expanding the ability of the courts to impose creative sentences, such as providing funding for research on preventative medicine or health and safety training programs.
Requiring the government to publish more information collected during compliance and enforcement activities, including the results of OHS investigations.
Requiring OHS laws be reviewed every five years to ensure they remain relevant to modern and changing workplaces.