Understanding the Legislation

Alberta's occupational health and safety legislation came into effect July 1, 2009. The government department responsible for occupational health and safety is Human Services. Within that department is OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY which is responsible for administering the occupational health and safety legislation. Links to Alberta Occupational Health and Safety legislation may be found at the Alberta Occupational Health and Safety website. The Act, the Regulations, the Code and the Code Explanation Guide may all be found at this site.

General obligations are contained in the Act and in the Regulations and more specific requirements are contained in the Code. All are legally binding.


Selected Code Quick Links

Chemical hazards, Biological hazards and Harmful Substances

OH&S Code - Part 4

Explanation Guide - Part 4

Schedule 1 Chemical Substances

Lifting and Handling Loads

OH&S Code - Part 14

Explanation Guide - Part 14

Personal Protective Equipment (Respiratory Protection)

OH&S Code - Part 18

Explanation Guide - Part 18

Ventilation Systems

OH&S Code - Part 26

Explanation Guide - Part 26

Violence

OH&S Code - Part 27

Explanation Guide - Part 27

The Alberta OH&S Code defines "Violence" as "whether at a work site or work related, means the threatened, attempted or actual conduct of a person that causes or is likely to cause physical injury." It may be necessary to use Employer policies or Collective Agreement requirements to supplement this definition.

Working Alone

OH&S Code - Part 28

Explanation Guide - Part 28

Working Alone is only a hazard under Alberta law if it meets the definition in the Code. A person is considered to be working alone, and the protections in this Part apply, if the person is working alone and "assistance is not readily available if there is an emergency or the worker is injured or ill." Many health-care workers, whether they work in institutions or in the community, do work alone. Ensuring their protection, as the law requires, should be a major concern for HSAA members and their OH&S representatives.

Health Care and Industries with Biological Hazards

OH&S Code - Part 35

Explanation Guide - Part 35

Note: This section was new on April 1, 2004 and contains a prohibition against recapping waste needles. Nevertheless, needlestick injuries due to recapping continue to occur. During a long consultation process, HSAA Labour Relations Officer, Doug Fischer lobbied hard to ensure this requirement was added to the Code!