The Government of Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety Policy and Program Development Branch is excited to share with you the start of the OHS Futures: Research Funding Program.

OHS Futures is a research funding program to help support a better understanding of occupational health and safety issues in Alberta’s workplaces.  This program will enhance the partnership between the OHS Program and experts in our province and across Canada to make better policy for the issues of today and the emerging issues of tomorrow.

The OHS Futures will distribute up to $1 million per year for three years beginning in 2014, with a variety of OHS proposals funded.

  • The program is designed to fund a range of research projects.
  • The projects funded will address a variety of topics depending on OHS Program needs.

Applications are NOW AVAILABLE online at http://work.alberta.ca/occupational-health-safety/ohs-futures.html . The submission deadline is October 15, 2014.

There is additional information on the website regarding priority research areas, eligibility and assessment.

 

Commenting on the receivership of Sprague-Rosser, ACA Chair Scott Matheson asures the public that industry has the capacity to meet demand.

http://edmonton.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=416328

 

Latest McGraw Hill report here.

 

On June 20, 2014, the Government of Canada announced new changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program.  Included in the changes was the termination of TFW Agreements with provinces and territories, meaning that pilot programs under the agreement will/would not be renewed, once expired.   Alberta has been formally notified by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) about the termination of Annex and its pilots under this Agreement, including the Occupation Specific Pilot.

The Occupation Specific Pilot expired on July 31, 2014.  At this time, it is our understanding that this successful pilot will not be extended by the federal government. TFWs and employers who use the Occupation-Specific pilot should know the following:

All applicants were required to apply by July 31, 2014 but the pilot will operate until July 31, 2017.

  • For example, an uncertified welder, with an approval letter from Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training for the Alberta Qualification Certificate Program had until July 31, 2014 to apply for a one-year work permit.  Once the welder completes the certification process, within the one-year work permit duration (before July 2015), the welder can apply for the two-year open work permit with an ending duration no later than July 31, 2017.
  • The deadline is only applicable to initial applications for entry into the pilot. TFWs that were in the process of completing their certification prior to July 31, 2014 are still able to apply for the two-year open work permit, within the validity of their current permit.
  • Please note that CIC is solely responsible for the administration and issuance of work permits. The information and example provided is based on the information on the federal website and operational guidelines.

While the Occupation Specific Pilot has expired, employers may still be able to hire a TFW in a trade occupation however; application for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) will be required.  Please refer the federal Employment and Social Development (ESDC) website for more information at www.esdc.gc.ca/eng/jobs/foreign_workers/index.shtml or contact the ESDC Employer Hotline at: 1-800-367-5693.

If employers require assistance in finding workers locally, they are encouraged to call the Government of Alberta Employer Hotline at 1-800-661-3753.  Employers will be directed to the nearest Workforce Consultant, who will work to connect them with available resources in their area.

 

To begin the online survey for the Safety Code Act consultation, please click here.  Please copy your concerns by September 8 to ken.gibson@albertaconstruction.net so that ACA can develop an industry position.

Municipal Affairs and Safety Codes Council recently held information sessions in St. Albert, Calgary, Peace River and Lethbridge to present some of the key concepts being considered in this consultation. To view the presentation, please access the following link:

Safety Codes Act Consultation Information Session presentation

Safety Codes Act Background

The Safety Codes Act (SCA) came into effect, consolidating and replacing several pieces of legislation governing Alberta’s safety codes system for the built environment. The Safety Codes Act regulates and establishes the administration for ten safety disciplines which include,

  • Building (including barrier-free design and access)
  • Fire protection
  • Electrical
  • Gas
  • Plumbing
  • Private Sewage Systems
  • Boilers and Pressure Vessels
  • Elevators
  • Amusement Rides
  • Passenger Ropeways (ski lifts)

The Minister of Municipal Affairs is responsible for coordinating and encouraging the safe management and control of any thing regulated under the Act. While the Minister and the Government of Alberta are responsible to establish the policy of the safety system, the SCA enables municipalities and other organizations to administer the work regulated by the SCA.

Through the process of accreditation, municipalities, regional service commissions and corporations may be designated the authority to administer the SCA, including issuing permits and inspecting all work performed within their jurisdictions. The SCA holds owners, designers, contractors, manufacturers, vendors, professionals and other persons responsible for compliance with the Act. This includes all regulations, codes, standards or body of rules declared in force under the SCA.

The SCA also established the Safety Codes Council (SCC), which is responsible for overseeing many aspects of administration and services of the safety codes system. This includes:

  • Training and certification of safety codes officers;
  • Authorizing municipalities, regional service commissions and corporations to administer the SCA or agencies to provide services;
  • Hearing appeals;
  • Making safety recommendations to the Minister such as the recommendation to adopt by regulation safety codes and standards.

It is anticipated that Municipal Affairs will bring forward the amending legislation in the Legislature during the spring 2015 session.

Consultation Overview

Feedback from the 2009 Safety Codes Act stakeholder consultation strongly supported increases to the maximum fines for offences under the SCA and the addition of a three-year limitation period for offences under the Act. These changes were implemented as part of the Protection and Compliance Statutes Amendment Act, 2012.

This survey is part of the Safety Codes Act 2014 Stakeholder Consultation, which will build on the information provided to the ministry in 2009. Topics covered in this survey are:

  • Municipal responsibility for administering the SCA;
  • Municipal authority to manage risks using prescribed solutions;
  • Safety Codes Council permitting and permit-related inspections function;
  • Monetary penalties;
  • Appeal process for variance refusals.

The consultation will be open from July 28th – September 8th, 2014.

Consultation Instructions

The survey consists of 13 questions and comment boxes, as well as a respondent profile. A glossary of terms has been provided for your background.

Once you start the survey you may save your progress at any time.

If you cannot complete the survey in one session, an email link will be automatically sent to you to resume your session. Please ensure to return and complete the survey as only completed surveys will be included in the final results.

After completing the survey, you must click on the “Finish” button for your feedback and input to be included in the consultation results.

Once you submit your feedback and input, you will not be able to open the survey again. Thank you and we look forward to your feedback and comments.

Please note that the consultation will close for comment on September 8, 2014.

Participate by completing the online survey – Link to survey.

 

The rate of Alberta workers being hurt on the job dropped in 2013, according to information provided by the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB). In fact, the lost-time claim (LTC) rate is now at an all-time recorded low.

In addition, the disabling injury rate (DIR) dropped in some of Alberta’s key sectors last year: construction; manufacturing; and oil and gas development. The DIR combines information on workers who couldn’t work because of their injury or had their duties modified due to workplace injury or disease.

Despite safety improvements, there were 188 workplace fatalities in 2013. More than half of the fatalities resulted from occupational disease. In some cases, the worker may have been exposed to the disease decades ago.

While the rate of injury went down, the number of disabling injury claims rose slightly as Alberta’s workforce grew by 2.9 per cent to 2.1 million.

“I’m pleased to see a steady improvement in workplace safety. The hard work of industry, employers, workers, safety associations and government is paying off. That said, there are still far too many workplace deaths. I want all Alberta workers to get home safely at the end of the day.”

Kyle Fawcett, Minister of Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour

Highlights

  • The LTC rate is now 1.34 per 100 person-years, an all-time recorded low. That’s down from 1.40 in 2012.
  • The DIR decreased to 2.67 from 2.72 per 100 person-years in 2012.
  • In 2013 there were 54,140 disabling injury claims, the combination of lost-time claims and modified work claims, an increase of two per cent from 53,081 claims in 2012.

Workplace Injury Rates high all-time low, 1994-2013

 

Read ACA’s letter.

 

ACA supports the leadership of Alberta Roadbuilders and Heavy Construction Association to establish a Designated Occupation for HEOs. Read ACA’s letter.

 

Beginning April 1, 2015 there will be a vacancy on the AIT Board for an employee representative in the designated trades.  Selection of members to the Board is based both on the knowledge and skills of individual applicants, and on maintaining a balanced representation so that the Board reflects the diversity of the apprenticeship and industry training system. To maintain that balance, preference will be given to applicants from the north east area of Alberta who work for an industrial employer. Anyone wanting to apply should visit www.jobs.alberta.ca between September 5-22 for application details.

 

(Article contributed by Dean Brown, NCSO, Mudrack Concrete)

If a Hazard Assessment is performed and there is no hazard to the head why force workers to wear Hard Hats?  PPE should never be worn if their use can result in subsequent hazards in the case of summer heat; Heat Exhaustion and Heat stroke.

Healthy individuals who do a lot of physical activity or work in a hot environment are at a high risk of developing heat related illness.

Non-negotiable sweeping safety policies so that everyone in a company wears the same PPE regardless of their task or profession is simply “LAZY SAFETY”.

In temperatures reaching or surpassing 30C workers start to lose their mental sharpness as exhaustion, dehydration and the body’s core temperature rises. If we are at all worried about the worker in a Hot Environment let’s make sure the workers’ mental awareness and mental acuteness is of the utmost importance.

Reducing PPE to avoid Heat Related Illness needs to be taken seriously, we as Safety Professionals must use our training and experience to identify hazards and control them properly to avoid potential deaths caused by heat related illness.

© 2012 Alberta Construction Association Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha