Safety Committees in Alberta, BC, Ontario and the Federal Government

Alberta regulations do not actually require the formation of what they call a ‘joint work site health and safety committee’, unless the government requires it in a particular case. However the use of them as an essential component of a safety management program in a business is encouraged. From a training perspective the Alberta OHS Act says “establish and maintain educational programs regarding the health and safety of workers at or on the work site, and carry out those duties and functions provided for by the adopted code.”

British Columbia‘s Workers Compensation Act (section 125) requires that an employer must establish and maintain a joint health and safety committee in each workplace where 20 or more workers of the employer are regularly employed, and in any other workplace for which a joint committee is required by order. For training it says that each member of a joint committee is entitled to an annual educational leave totalling 8 hours, or a longer period if prescribed by regulation, for the purposes of attending occupational health and safety training courses.

Federally regulated workplaces (i.e. Federal Government, railways, shipping, air transport, banks,) are regulated under the Canada Labour Code. In Part 2 Section 135. (1) it requires that ‘every employer shall, for each work place controlled by the employer at which twenty or more employees are normally employed, establish a work place health and safety committee.’ In Section 125 (Z) it says ‘ensure that members of policy and work place committees and health and safety representatives receive the prescribed training in health and safety’.

Ontario has the most prescriptive rules anywhere in Canada about Joint Health & Safety Committees (JHSC’s). Regulations cover who can be part of it, what training must be performed and what functions it must carry out. Following the first half of their training candidates must sit and pass a test administered by the Workers Safety Insurance Board (WSIB). So far OSG has trained over 7,000 people to become certified members of a JHSC.

Earlier this year we conducted JHSC training classes in Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. These were very successful and we received encouragement from participants and their employers to hold further classes in the future.

For details on our class schedules, please click on: Health & Safety Training Schedule

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