Massive Changes Coming to Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Legislation

By - David
23.11.21 09:00 AM

On December 1, 2021, widespread changes to the Alberta Occupational Health and Safety legislation will come into force. These changes were previously announced as part of the Ensuring Safety and Cutting Red Tape Act, 2020, which received royal assent in December of 2020. 

Significant Changes from the Previous Versions

The previous Occupational Health and Safety Act, Regulation, and Code will all be repealed and replaced with new versions, effective December 1. The new versions include significant changes from the previous versions, including much of the information from the Act and the Regulation being transferred into the Code. The Government of Alberta has released multiple fact sheets outlining some specific changes, as well as PDFs of the official new legislation.


One category that will undergo significant changes is health and safety committees. The new Occupational Health and Safety Act simplifies the process of calculating the number of workers when deciding if an employer requires a health and safety committee or a representative. Health and safety committees and representatives will also no longer be mandatory on work sites with multiple employers and a prime contractor. The process for dealing with dangerous work refusals has also been made simpler, more streamlined, and easier to follow.


Changes to the Radiation Protection Act

Another significant change is that the Radiation Protection Act has been repealed and incorporated into the Occupational Health and Safety Act and Code, making it so that health and safety laws are easier to find and not spread throughout multiple statutes. The incorporation of the Radiation Protection Act into the Occupational Health and Safety Act also means that exposures to radiation in excess of the limit determined by the Code must be reported to OHS.


Many, but not all, of these changes are administrative and are being implemented in order to clarify ambiguous language and streamline the existing Alberta Occupational Health and Safety legislative infrastructure.



Government of Alberta Information Sheets

New Occupational Health and Safety Act

New Occupational Health and Safety Regulation

New Occupational Health and Safety Code


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