Aug 182014

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 . The submission deadline is October 15, 2014.

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

 Posted by at 8:37 am
Aug 112014

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


  • 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

 Posted by at 7:21 am
Aug 012014

(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.

 Posted by at 7:43 am
May 252014

ACA applauds OHS for meeting with industry to raise awareness of potential OHS Code changes.  While formal proposals cannot be released until after Ministerial approval likely this Fall, OHS held information sessions this week to discuss potential areas for change and to invite further dialogue with industry.  ACA has long advocated for dialogue in advance of finalizing proposals and OHS deserves credit for its current approach.

The proposals can be accessed here.

ACA welcomes any questions or comments from members, please contact

 Posted by at 12:49 pm
May 252014

Alberta Construction Association is developing a best practice to protect construction workers from occupational exposure to silica.  As reported previously, field testing of Alberta construction jobsites indicates that exposure above acceptable limits can occur on many different types of jobsites and many of the workers onsite.  ACA strongly believes industry is in the best position to develop practical and effective solutions, rather than those created through regulation.

To this end, ACA needs your leadership and ideas.  Our ad hoc committee has identified numerous construction processes and products that could generate exposure to silica. We are asking for knowledgeable and committed volunteers from a number of trades to join our work.  We would welcome representation from trade associations to ensure we have the best ideas and can raise awareness as broadly as possible.  The committee terms of reference are attached.  Contact for further information.

 Posted by at 12:47 pm
May 192014

Congratulations to Ledcor Industrial and Construction Labour Relations / Electrical Contractors Association of Alberta for being named the 2014 recipients at this year’s COAA Best Practices Conference.  Ledcor was the recipient in the large company category for their winter program, and CLR / ECAA in the small company category for their audiometric testing program.

The award recognized Ledcor’s “proven work processes and outstanding practitioners” as part of its efforts to protect against winter-related accidents.

The winter safety procedures that led to Ledcor’s nomination for the award were introduced after a regular management review of high potential incidents noted the recurrence of winter­-related incidents. Action was immediately taken to ensure staff could work as safely as possible in winter conditions on an ongoing basis.

This included the creation of a standard site preparation plan and a checklist of mitigation actions, as well as an annual all-project leadership review that kicks off the Winter Works campaign to ensure sites are ready for cold weather and snow.

Ledcor procedures have since been recognized by other organizations, and are being used as the basis for a COAA Best Practice.

The CLR-A Audiometric Testing Program was launched on September 1, 2006 and is compliant with OH&S legislation regarding audiometric testing, assisting CLR member company with noise management compliance.

 Posted by at 8:55 pm
May 112014

 ”Occupational Health and Safety Peace Officers have been instructed to take a strong enforcement position in relation to unsafe practices involving fall protection. If fall protection is required by legislation, is not in use, and an employer requirement to use or wear fall protection system exists, Peace Officers will use ticketing (if appropriate) as an enforcement tool in conjunction with others to help ensure compliance and the safety of workers.”

Issued by OHS Compliance

In fact, the first 2 tickets were issued May 9, both related to fall arrest.

 Posted by at 8:35 pm
Mar 172014

ACA is this year’s recipient of the Alberta Construction Safety Association’s Partners Award. The Partners award is presented to an organization in recognition of the efforts given to the promotion of the ACSA and for invaluable input towards program development in the interest of construction health and safety.

As we celebrate the ACSA’s twenty-fifth anniversary, we look forward to many more years of fruitful collaboration between our organizations.

 Posted by at 7:19 am

OHS Survey

 Safety  Comments Off
Feb 242014

Nichols Applied Management has been asked by Alberta Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) to identify the information and data needs of employers and workers in Alberta. The results will help to identify what information and data are needed and valued by OHS stakeholders so that decisions concerning the development of new resources is informed by the interests of Albertans.

We would greatly appreciate it if you would complete a brief survey that asks about your firm’s data and information needs in regards to Occupational Health and Safety.  It takes about 10 minutes to complete.

The link to take you to the survey is:

If you have any questions or concerns about the authenticity of the survey, please contact:

Mr. Gene Ozon,
Effective Practices Specialist
Occupational Health and Safety Program Development and Research

And if you have any questions about the survey itself, please contact:

Mary McIntyre
Nichols Applied Management


 Posted by at 8:40 pm
Feb 102014

Directors reviewed a number of items, including:

Industry partnerships with K-Grade 12 education

ACA to flesh out it’s K-12 education strategy that considers the following points:

1. Where does ACA add value and not duplicate / interfere with initiatives and partnerships of Local Construction Associations?

2. What are truly provincial initiatives?

3. How do we maximize return on investment?

Public Funding of Private Delivery of Apprenticeship Training

The Board unanimously passed the following motion:

ACA opposes, and encourages Canadian Construction Association to oppose, federal government funding of apprenticeship training through the Canada Jobs Grant Program.  Areas where the Jobs Grant should be used include pre-apprenticeship training and post-journeyman upgrading.

ACA opposes any fragmentation of the apprenticeship system that follows from public funding of private delivery of apprenticeship training.

Training of BIM Practitioners

The Board also is providing comments on proposed approaches of educational institutions in training BIM practitioners.

Safety in Education Curriculum

ACA’s Brian Freemark is developing recommendations for Government.

Silica Dust

ACA continues to seek information to examine best practices to reduce occupational exposure to silica dust.

Refusal of Modified Work

The Board continues to review options of providing industry opposition to the WCB position that the WCB obligation to pay compensation does not end in situations where the employee has been terminated with cause.



 Posted by at 3:04 pm