Changes to OH&S Act include the right to refuse to perform dangerous work

Major changes to Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety Act come into effect on June 1, 2018. The changes reflect new laws introduced by the Alberta Government in December 2017 to update the OH&S Act and the workers' compensation system. These are the first significant changes to the OH&S Act in more than four decades.

Changes to the OH&S Act include enshrining the right of employees to refuse to perform dangerous work and are protected from any form of reprisal for exercising this right. An employee must continue to be paid while a work refusal is being investigated and other employees may be assigned to the work if they are advised of the refusal, reason for it, and made aware of their own right to refuse the work after the employer determines there is not a risk.

Another change to the OH&S Act includes ensuring all employers must inform workers about potential hazards and have access to basic health and safety information on site.