On-Track Safety Solutions

2018 Changes to the Alberta OH&S Program

There will be several changes in 2018 to the OHS system to make several improvements with the goal of creating a better system that protects workers and ensures that they are enjoying the same rights as all other Canadians.

Most of the changes will come into effect June 1, 2018, and information can be found on the alberta.ca website.  Below is a review of the changes that will soon go into effect.

Basic rights of workers

The changes will enshrine the three basic rights of workers in Alberta’s legislation:

  • The right to refuse unsafe work protects workers from any form of reprisal for exercising this right, including loss of compensation or benefits.
  • The right to know ensures workers are informed about potential hazards and have access to basic health and safety information in the workplace.
  • The right to participate ensures workers are involved in health and safety discussions, including participation in health and safety committees.

Responsibilities of worksite parties

The OHS system is grounded on the principle that everyone in the workplace is responsible for health and safety in the workplace.

  • Employers would be responsible for:
    • ensuring the health, safety and welfare of workers and the public
    • providing competent supervisors, training workers, and preventing violence and harassment
    • working with the joint worksite health and safety committee or health and safety representative
  • Supervisors would have would have legal responsibilities for OHS and be responsible for preventing violence and harassment.
  • Workers would be responsible for protecting their own and others’ health and safety at worksites and refraining from violence and harassment.
  • Contractors would be responsible for ensuring that work under their control does not endanger health and safety.
  • Prime contractors would be required in construction, oil and gas worksites or any other projects that are designated by the OHS director. They would also have added responsibilities to ensure worker health and safety.
  • Owners of worksites would be responsible for ensuring that property under their control does not endanger health and safety.
  • Suppliers would have to ensure their products are safe to use, and must include user instructions for all equipment, including leased equipment. They would also have to provide a notice when their product or equipment doesn’t comply with the law.
  • Service providers would have to ensure the services they provide comply with the laws, are provided by a competent person and do not create a hazard.
  • Self-employed persons would have responsibilities to ensure they do not create a hazard to others and to comply with OHS laws.
  • Temporary staffing agencies would have to comply with OHS laws and ensure worker health and safety.

Availability of information

Workers have the right to know of workplace health and safety hazards and employers have an obligation to provide this information. Changes to the act will:

  • enshrine a worker’s right to know about workplace hazards
  • require all worksite parties to ensure that information on health and safety hazards is provided onsite

Worksite health and safety committees and representatives

Joint worksite health and safety committees are important forums for workers to participate in OHS. They ensure supervisors and workers discuss health and safety issues in the workplace and work collaboratively to find ways to address them. These committees will be 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

Changes will bring Alberta in line with the other provinces.

  • Larger employers (20 or more workers) will be required to have a joint worksite health and safety committee for work lasting 90 days or more.
  • Smaller employers (5-19 workers) will be required to have a health and safety representative for work lasting 90 days or more.
  • An employer can use an alternative approach to meeting these requirements with approval from an OHS director.

Right to refuse dangerous work

Workers have the right to refuse dangerous work and be protected from reprisal for exercising their rights and responsibilities under the legislation.

Employers must ensure workers understand the hazards at the workplace, know what needs to be reported and have the support to exercise their right.

  • Employers must investigate the matter in cooperation with the joint worksite health and safety committee or health and safety representative, if there is one.
  • Employers would not be able to take or threaten discriminatory action against a worker for exercising their rights and duties under the legislation.
  • Workers would continue to be paid their normal wages and benefits while a work refusal is being investigated.

Health and safety program

  • Employers with 20 or more workers must have a written health and safety program. The program must be reviewed every 3 years and include mandated elements.
  • Employers with less than 20 employees must involve workers in hazard assessment and control.

New role for OHS Council

The OHS Council will become an advisory council to provide specialized advice to government to better protect working Albertans.

Reporting serious injuries, incidents and fatalities

The government must be notified when a serious injuriy, incident or fatality occurs to ensure it’s adequately investigated to prevent future occurrences.

  • Threshold for reporting a serious injury would be changed to an injury that requires admission to hospital.
  • Employers will be required to report “near misses” (incidents that had the potential to cause a serious injury or incident).

Medical assessments

Medical assessment requirements will be updated to align modern care practices and how medical services are delivered.

  • Medical examinations could only occur with the worker’s consent and would be considered time at work.
  • The list of health-care professionals who are required to report a notifiable occupational disease would be expanded.
  • The director of medical services would be provided more access to medical information to prevent occupational illnesses and injury.

Compliance and enforcement

Powers to conduct inspections and investigations, as well as compliance tools, will be expanded and updated.

  • The person who receives an order would be required to
    • report back to OHS on measures taken to remedy any infractions
    • provide a copy of the report to their joint worksite health and safety committee or health and safety representative, if they have one
    • post the report at the worksite
  • Officers would be able to issue a stop-work order to an employer with multiple worksites.
  • When a stop-work or stop-use order is issued, workers would continue to be paid their normal pay and benefits.
  • Sale, rental, lease or transfer of equipment would be prohibited in the event of a stop-use order.
  • Officers would only be able to enter a private dwelling that is a worksite with the owner’s consent or a court warrant.
  • Suppliers would be prohibited from supplying any substance or material that does not comply with the legislation.

Appeals process overhauled

The OHS appeals processes require modernization, streamlining and better alignment.

  • Certain types of OHS officer orders and decisions could be submitted to an OHS director for review. The director could:
    • confirm, vary or revoke the order or decision
    • issue a new order
    • refer the matter to the appeal body
  • The OHS director review would apply to:
    • refusals to do dangerous work
    • orders to remedy unhealthy or unsafe work conditions
    • stop-work orders/stop-use orders
  • Responsibility for other OHS appeals would be shifted to the Alberta Labour Relations Board to streamline processes and create efficiencies. These would include:
    • discriminatory action complaints
    • cancellation of a licence
    • administrative penalties
  • The process for hearing appeals would be modified to align with current practices used by the Alberta Labour Relations Board.
  • Transitional appeal requirements would be added to allow for appeals submitted before changes to the act come into place.

Offences and penalties

The types of offences will be expanded (for example, to include not reporting a reportable injury or incident) and more options will be provided for creative sentencing.

  • Fines and penalties would remain unchanged.
  • Creative sentencing requirements would be expanded by providing the court with additional powers to direct how penalties could be used and provide more oversight. These powers would include:
    • directing offenders to pay into training regarding health and safety
    • research on preventative medicine
    • any creative remedy order the court felt appropriate

Information collection and exchange

Changes will provide greater opportunities for government to acquire and share information to help with prevention efforts for workplace illness and injury.

  • Alberta Labour would be allowed to share data with other government bodies, agencies and external organizations beyond the WCB-Alberta.
  • More information about employers would be published at regular intervals. Expanded information would include:
    • orders issued
    • tickets issued to employers (but not workers)
    • investigation reports completed by an officer
    • acceptances issued
    • approvals issued
  • WCB-funded health and safety associations would be required to submit a report to government each year for review. Government could make recommendations on the effectiveness of the association’s OHS efforts.
  • Government would be able to designate organizations and programs to promote OHS in Alberta.

Duties of the government

Roles, responsibilities and authorities of government for OHS will be clearly articulated.

  • Government would be concerned with OHS generally and maintaining reasonable standards to protect workplace health and safety.
  • The OHS Act would have to be reviewed every 5 years.
  • A plan for the review of any OHS regulations and the OHS Code would be published every 3 years.
  • The minister must consult with workers and employers, and can recommend changes to OHS legislation.
  • Ensure OHS statistics are maintained and published.

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:

What is Energy Safety Canada?

Energy Safety Canada

Have you heard of Energy Safety Canada? If not you are not alone!  On October 18, 2017, a merger of Enform Canada and Oil Sands Safety Association created the new Energy Safety Canada with a goal of bringing the best associations to accelerate improvements in safe work performance.

“A key objective of Energy Safety Canada is to facilitate the collaboration that’s required across all of our industry sectors to standardize and simplify and create best-in-class safety training and services,” says Murray Elliott, President of Energy Safety Canada. “In the coming months we will be reviewing and launching initiatives but, in the meantime, business continues as usual. Nothing has changed for workers or companies – whether it’s Enform or OSSA training certifications, safety audits, or other services.”

The new website can be found at www.energysafetycanada.com

ACSA COR Auditor Requirements

As of May 4, 2017, ACSA has decided to opt out of the pilot program for its members that held COR.  This process used to allow companies to OPT out of maintaining COR status by having a safety auditor on staff. The article below was taken off of the ACSA website.

Are you aware of your COR Auditor Requirements?

In 2014, we introduced a temporary pilot program to our members who held a Certificate of Recognition (COR) with our association. This briefly provided these companies with the option of maintaining their COR status, while not having a certified auditor on staff.

We have now reached the conclusion of one full three year COR cycle since this pilot launch, and have assessed the results of this initiative. We found there was not a great deal of member uptake on this option, and from those who did participate, the results and feedback were not largely positive. Companies have reported struggles in maintaining their Health & Safety Management Systems in the absence of a certified auditor on staff. In addition to the reported challenges in staying on top of updates and changes, we have also received reports from companies feeling the pinch from the additional costs involved in hiring auditors rather than using their own staff for maintenance years. As a result of these and similar findings, we have determined it is in the best interest of our members to discontinue this pilot program.

The health and safety of Albertans remains foremost in our thinking as we evaluate these systems as part of our Partnerships in Injury Reduction programming, and continue to believe we best protect our workers when we have well-trained resources available in each member company.

All companies participating in the COR program will again require a full time staff member to maintain auditor certification. We want to ensure our COR member companies continue to be aware of their requirements in maintaining certification, and that we continue to meet our Certifying Partner standards. We are here to help ensure success for us all. We realize there may be a period of time in which you may require our assistance in returning to pre-2014 standards, and together we will make this transition as seamless as possible.

Your ACSA website fully lists the COR requirements that your company will need to meet in order to maintain its COR. This specific auditor requirement means that you will need to have a full time member of staff certified as an auditor. This simply requires that person complete the three day Auditor Training Program (ATP) and conduct a self-qualification audit. This allows your company to participate in the COR Program and enables your auditor to perform your company’s internal audits—which maintains your COR and their Auditor Status.

We will continue to explore creative COR maintenance options—such as the recent launch of the Action Plan—which proved beneficial for many companies, and has become a permanent option. No matter where you are in your COR cycle, our friendly Client Services team is here to answer any of your inquiries, and rest assured we will work closely with you on a case by case basis to ensure we meet all of your important COR requirements. We’re here to help! Call or email us at 1.800.661.ACSA (2272) or at cor@youracsa.ca.

How to Create a Formal Hazard Assessment

There are two levels of hazard assessment:

  • Formal hazard assessment
  • Field-level hazard assessment

Formal Hazard Assessment are the foundation of safety program and involve:

  • identification of all jobs and tasks performed by employees,
  • assessment of each task for hazards,
  • prioritization of the hazards based on the level of risk,
  • implementation of controls for the identified hazards


Steps for Conducting a Formal Hazard Assessment

  1. Create an inventory of jobs and tasks – The first step of formal hazard assessment is to create a list of all jobs within the scope of your companies business, and record the number of workers that perform each job. Then, list all the tasks performed as part of each job identified.


  1. Identify and assess hazards – Each task needs to be assessed to determine the potential hazards and associated risk.  Workers who perform the tasks should be involved in this process to ensure nothing is overlooked. After the hazards are identified, calculate their risk ratings by asking the following questions:
  • What are the consequences if the hazards are not controlled?
  • What is the probability of an incident occurring?
  • What is the frequency of exposure to the hazard?


  1. Prioritize hazards- Using the information created so far, determine the overall risk rating for each task, and rank the tasks in order of priority, based on the level of risk.  Sort the tasks from high risk to low risk, and this will give you a critical task list.


  1. Determine controls- Address identified hazards by assigning methods of control to eliminate or reduce the hazard. Elimination, engineering, administrative, PPE or a combination of controls can be used for each identified hazard.


  1. Review hazard assessments- Formal hazard assessments should be dated and subject to a regular review schedule to prevent the development of conditions that may put workers at risk. These reviews should take place annually (at a minimum), or anytime a new process is introduced, a change is made to the operation, or a significant addition or alteration is made to a work site.

On-Track Safety can help your company with the creation of a formal hazard assessment that will meet government and partnership requirements.  Call our office at 800-440-6650 for more information.



WHMIS 2015 – What you need to know


The WHMIS system is being updated to match with the Globally Harmonized System for Classifying and Labeling Chemicals. Countries are moving towards an international standard to create a worldwide system for labeling and chemical classification.

Changes to the federal WHMIS legislation include:

  • “Controlled Products” will be called “Hazardous Products”
  • Different hazard classes and more of them.
  • Different classification criteria
  • New supplier labels
  • New pictograms
  • New 16-section product safety data sheets (SDSs)
  • No requirement to update SDSs every three years


Old vs. New Label Content

WHMIS 1988 WHMIS 2015
Product Identifier Product Identifier
Supplier Identifier Supplier Identifier
Pictogram Pictogram
Risk Phrases Hazard Statement
N/A Signal Word
Precautionary Measures Precautionary Statements
First Aid Statement Part of Precautionary Statement
Hatched Border No


Links for more information:

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.

Site Specific Safety Plan (SSSP)

On-Track Safety Solutions can develop a site specific safety plan that provides a complete and comprehensive document comprised of all the elements that make up the requirements needed to implement and control an effective safety management plan for new and existing projects.

As your scope of work will ultimately dictate the particular elements and requirement of the program, each case is assessed on an individual company basis with emphasis on “Site Specific” project requirements such as ; pre-project documentation, project size, location, sub-contractors requirements, responsibilities etc.

On-Track Safety will develop comprehensive site specific safety plan (SSSP’s) to include:

  • Project details
  • Personnel contact information
  • Subcontractor management
  • Statement of responsibilities
  • Communications Statement
  • Training and competency
  • Violence and harassment policy
  • Site safety rules
  • Hazard identification, risk assessment and control
  • Personal Protective equipment (PPE)
  • Emergency Procedures
  • Hospital location
  • Worksite inspections
  • Accident Investigation
  • Return to Work Program

Call today for more information!


NCR Safety Form printing

On-Track Safety can print you Carbonless Multi-Part NCR form booklets based on any of our safety form templates, or existing safety forms that you have in place.

  • Choose a 2-part, 3-part or 4-part NCR form utilizing the traditional colors of white, yellow, pink and gold.
  • All booklets are bound in convenient booklets
  • Size 8.5 x 11.5 for Portrait or 9 x 11 for Landscape

To learn more about what we can do for you, contact one of our representatives today at 800-440-6650 or email us at info@on-tracksafety.com

Note: These are completely custom forms. We stock the form designs and require you to upload a logo on the checkout page, or if you would just like to use your company name on the forms instead of a logo, supply this information in the comments box at checkout. 

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
On-Track Safety Solutions Ltd.

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

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