March 26, 2018
On June 1, 2018, Alberta’s updated Occupational Health and Safety Act will come into effect and before it does, the government is seeking the public’s input on what constitutes harassment and violence in the workplace as well as how the newly mandated joint health and safety committees for work sites will operate. In an article in The Lawyer’s Daily, Ian Burns reports on the consultations the government is undertaking as part of the process for establishing the revised workplace health and safety rules, and consults Damian Rigolo, a partner in the Employment & Labour Group in Osler’s Calgary office. According to Damian, this “important first step” will enable the government to solicit feedback from the various workplace participants.
“I think obviously if [the government] is going to make workplace violence and occupational health and safety an issue, with the attendant fines and liabilities, a lot more clarity in respect of what the specific obligations are of an employer will be important,” he says. “If there is a workplace violence incident, what is the expectation under the statute?”
Damian points to the introduction of joint work site health and safety committees as being particularly noteworthy.
“It’s important because as we’ve seen from other provinces these committees have pretty significant influence and power in respect of maintaining the day-to-day public safety of the workplace,” he says. “They deal with incidents that cause an injury or even worse.”
If you subscribe to The Lawyer’s Daily online, you can learn more by reading the full article “Alberta holding public consultation on new workplace health and safety rules” by Ian Burns in the March 26, 2018 edition.