ACA Comments on New OHS & WCB Legislation

On Thursday the Government of Alberta introduced Bill 47: Ensuring Safety and Cutting Red Tape Act.

Upon initial review, Alberta Construction Association supports many of the proposals of the Bill:

Occupational Health and Safety proposals

  • Added ACA’s recommended definition of a construction worksite
  • Increase flexibility on multi-employer work sites with more than 20 workers by requiring prime contractors to have an OHS contact on-site to liaise with workers and employers on health and safety matters in lieu of a Health and Safety Committee.
  • Maximize flexibility in OHS programs by removing most prescriptive requirements in the OHS Act.

ACA’s recommendation to eliminate reporting of Potentially Serious Incidents was not accepted, but Bill 47 proposes to clarify and streamline reporting requirements and prohibit the information from being used in enforcement actions including prosecutions.

Workers’ Compensation proposals

  • Repeal the obligation to reinstate and duty to accommodate from the legislation. (ACA recommended repeal of the obligation introduced in the 2018 changes to the WCB Act).
  • Amend WCA to allow WCB to cease or reduce earning loss benefits when modified work is terminated by the employer due to egregious acts (This is a long standing ACA request).
  • Reinstate cap on Maximum Insurable earnings (ACA recommendation).
  • Return to pre-2018 definition of Cost of Living Adjustments (ACA recommendation).
  • Repeal the legislated requirement for employers to continue paying contributions to existing Health Benefit Plan after worker injury (pre-2018 approach) (ACA recommendation).
  • Revisit provisions regarding occupational disease, psychological injury, Benefit of Doubt, and presumptive coverage (ACA recommendation).

ACA will provide updates as available.

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