On-Track Safety Solutions

Alberta Proposed WCB Changes 2017

Several changes have happened in Alberta in the past two years, and another change to safety is coming in what is being called a major overhaul of the current WCB program.  This includes the change that workers will be given the right to refuse unsafe work without loss of pay as some believe that the system has been tipped in the employer’s favour for too long.

 

Other changes listed from an article from CBC news in Bill 30 include:

  • An end to the $98,700 cap on insurable earnings for workers compensation benefits. That means people who earn more than that amount would receive benefits based on their current income.
  • Workers would still get paid even if a stop work order is imposed on their worksite. The government hopes this would encourage more people to report unsafe conditions.
  • Employers and supervisors would be required to take measures to prevent harassment and violence in the workplace. Workers would be prohibited from engaging in harassing, bullying or violent behaviour.
  • Spouses of workers killed on the job would be treated equally. All would receive benefits for five years. Spouses with children would receive benefits until the youngest child is 18, or 25, if that child is in college or university.
  • The government would create an independent Fair Practices Office to guide injured workers through the WCB system and provide support.
  • Larger workplaces, those with 20 or more workers, would have to create a joint work health and safety committee. Sites with five to 19 workers would need to designate a health and safety representative. These provisions apply to projects lasting 90 days or more. Alberta would be the last province to make these committees mandatory
  • Workplaces would have to report “near-miss’ incidents that could have killed or seriously injured someone.

Links to find out more about the changes that could be coming:

2014 Alberta OH&S Handi-Guide

Workplace fines have become the new reality in Alberta and any workers or employers that are caught violating the Alberta OH&S Act legislation could face steep fines. Ensure that your company and employees are protected with the Handi-Guide to Alberta’s OH&S Act, Regulation and Code – 2014 Edition

New in This Edition

  • As of October 1, 2013, OHS officials can issue administrative penalties for OHS violations, up to a maximum of $10,000 per contravention per day
  • As of January 1, 2014, OHS officials can issue tickets to workers or employers for more than 60 different contraventions. Ticket amounts range from $100 to $500
  • In addition to the administrative penalties amendments, other amendments to the OH&S Act made by Bill 6 (S.A. 2012, c. 7) (in force December 10, 2012)
  • Addition of Administrative Penalty (Occupational Health and Safety Act) Regulation, AR 165/2013 (in force October 1, 2013)
  • Amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation made by AR 182/13 (in force October 1, 2013)

This practical guide includes the current version of the act and regulation as well as the Occupational Health and Safety Code plus 5 interpretative chapters that will help you understand and interpret the law. Also includes a handy chart listing all the new oh&s ticketable contraventions.

A powerful safety tool for worker training, and for increasing worker and supervisor awareness of their responsibilities under workplace safety law.

For more information visit: http://www.otsafetyproducts.com/products/alberta-workplace-health-and-safety-legislation-2014-edition

Staying Healthy at Work

With the start of a New Year there are often new years’ resolutions that accompany. The most common resolution for many people is a commitment to achieve a healthier and more active lifestyle. However, there is always the struggle on how to incorporate this into the workplace.

Simple changes about how you move around your worksite can have a great impact. Some suggestions would be:

  • Walking over to a co-worker to talk instead of sending an email
  • Taking the stairs
  • Parking your vehicle in the furthest corner of the parking lot
  • Hold your safety meetings with everyone standing
  • When you are filling out documentation at the worksite- stand instead of sit
  • In an office setting- utilize an exercise ball for a chair
  • When taking a break, take a quick walk around the building or worksite

For those that work in urban areas, it is often convenient to eat out or grab something for lunch. Consciously making a lunch at home to bring can encourage you to select items that follow the Canada Food Guide and eliminate impulse purchases that may not offer healthy selections. Also consider walking instead of driving to an establishment for your break- depending on the distance, it will often take less time than manoeuvering through traffic.

As part of a commitment to live a healthier and more active lifestyle, ensure that you are taking adequate breaks from your workstation. Regular stretching can go a long way to help eliminate muscle tension and muscoskeletical injuries. For those that spend long hours driving or in equipment- ensure that you take appropriate breaks to get out and move about.

Ultimately the most important way to stay healthy at work is to know yourself and your limitations. Know when you need to take a break, whether it be a vacation to “recharge your batteries” or a micro-break.

A Word From The Owner

At On-Track Safety Solutions Ltd. we are committed to a safe and healthy workplace for everyone – our employees, customers, and subcontractors. Our success is directly related to our dedication to safety and quality.

We continually train our workforce to ensure safe and successful projects. We take pride in the fact that our zero injury goal continues to be met, providing our customers with confidence in our safety and services.

Diana Rude
President/Owner
On-Track Safety Solutions Ltd.

Call Now: (800) 440-6650
(403) 986-3811

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