In January 2015, Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) introduced new and controversial legislation. You’ve probably heard about it by now: peace officers can show up to your jobsite for unannounced safety checks, and can fine you and/or your workers on the spot for up to 67 infractions. Ranging from $100 to $500 each, the tickets are another way to approach safety enforcement on Alberta jobsites, and while they are expected to be revenue neutral for the province, they collectively amount to over $20,000.
Consider the $500 fine you could get if your workers don’t have immediate access to emergency washing equipment, or the $100 fine your worker could get for not having an entry permit for a confined space. In many circumstances, such as if workers are not wearing visible clothing while exposed to traffic, both you and your workers can be fined for the same offence.
The new legislation has been largely well received by employers and unions, and we all know this is about enforcing the idea that safety is everyone’s responsibility. Still, many questions linger. For example, are the tickets public record? And who’s responsible for paying the fine?
A list of them can be found here.
As of January 2014, there were 143 OHS officers responsible for enforcing safety and issuing tickets on Alberta jobsites
Infractions are specific to either employers or workers, and the offender will be ticketed directly. If you’re ticketed as the employer, you have to pay. If your worker is ticketed, he or she has to pay. Fines can be paid at any Alberta courthouse.
Yes. As with traffic tickets, you can choose to plead Not Guilty and attend a court date.
No, but a record of ticket convictions may be accessible by third parties. (Details of this possibility have not been released.) That record may affect employer’s safety standing, or a worker’s eligibility to find employment in future safety-sensitive roles.
Having a comprehensive safety program is the first step, and Boreal can customize a program (and a plan of action) to account for all 67 ticketable provisions and more.
There are many ways to ensure that your plan comes to life each day on your jobsite, thereby minimizing your chances of being ticketed for safety infractions. Stay tuned for detailed information on
It’s our job at Boreal to stay on top of Alberta legislation, and to help you set the stage for a safe and productive jobsite.
If you’re not sure, give us a call and we’ll bring you up to speed.
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