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Alberta’s joint work site health and safety committee requirements are changing

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The Alberta government recently issued some changes to the joint work site health and safety committee (JWSHSC) requirements.

The Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Act requires that employers with more than 20 workers establish a JWSHSC . Since June 2018, the JWSHSC requirement was site-based. This meant that employers with multiple work sites or locations within Alberta had to have separate JWSHSCs for each of their work sites/locations. However, effective January 31, 2020, the JWSHSC requirement will be employer-based. As such, employers with multiple work sites/locations will only be required to have one JWSHSC. Occupational health and safety officers will still have the ability to require an employer to form a JWSHSC at any location if the officer considers it necessary.

This change will not apply to multi-employer work sites. Where there are 2 or more employers with more than 20 workers at a work site with work expected to last 90 days or more, the prime contractor (if applicable) or employers at the work site will still be required to have a JWSHSC for that work site.

The government also recently changed the training requirements for JWSHSC chairs and co-chairs and health and safety representatives. Health and safety representatives are required for employers with 5-19 workers. Whereas JWSHSC chairs and co-chairs and health and safety representatives were previously required to complete 2 courses, that has now been pared down to only one 6-8 hour course. That course must be provided by a designated training agency.

More information about the training requirements can be found here.