Local employers and employees can learn more about changes to rules around workers at meetings in the Peace country this week. Bill 30 came into effect at the beginning of June, changing the Occupational Health and Safety Act and Workers Compensation Board.
Among the OHS changes is the right for workers to refuse unsafe work without penalty. Previously, they had a “duty” to refuse, placing the onus on a worker instead of the employer to fix a problem.
Other changes include an end to the $98,700 cap on insurable earnings for workers compensation benefits, benefits for spouses of workers killed on the job, and the creation of joint work health and safety committees for workplaces with 20 or more employees. Workers will still get paid if a stop work order is imposed on their work site, and employers and supervisors are required to take measures to prevent harassment and violence in the workplace.
The Alberta Hospitality Safety Association and the Workers Compensation Board are hosting information sessions on the changes Tuesday in Grande Prairie, Wednesday in Peace River, and Thursday in Whitecourt. Registration has already closed.