Who Does This Involve?
The Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) is a body set up to enforce laws, regulations and codes under the OHS Act created for all of Alberta. OHS officers ensure these laws are followed to the letter through inspection of workplaces, investigations into an offense and prosecution of offenders.
As far as workplaces in Alberta are concerned, there are set minimum standards established by the legislation for workplace health and safety practices.
Tickets can be issued for direct non-compliance matters as well as easily noticeable on the job violations.
Real World Scenario
Here is an example: If a worker refuses to wear fall protection as stipulated in the Occupational Health & Safety Act, said worker may be issued a ticket right there on the spot where it happened. For each separate violation, ticket amounts can rise from $100 up to $500. There can also be a victim surcharge added onto the fine in the amount of 15%, which can be immediately applied to the ticket.
The form on these tickets are somewhat similar to Alberta traffic tickets and lists the required information on how to pay the penalty or on how to contest the ticket. The form will also have a scheduled date for the court hearing and gives the courtroom location.
This Is Not New
The Occupational Health and Safety Council (OHSC) is an administrative body that acts as an advisory body in accordance with the authority and power possessed by the Occupational Health and Safety Act. It is therefore no longer a new thing that Occupational Health & Safety Officers have been given the authority to issue tickets on the spot and immediately to offenders of specific sections of the Occupational Health & Safety legislation, whether employer or worker.
Before officers can issue tickets, by law, the incident must fall under the OHS legislation and it is imperative that a due investigation is carried out. The OHS Officers simply show that the offense has violated the codes in the legislation and then write the offender a ticket.
Make sure to remember that almost everyone on the job site can be issued a violation. It is important to know that an officer can issue a fine based on observable non-compliance by workers, as well as the employers.
The following steps are carried out from the process of investigation to prosecution:
• OHS officers look around the site of the incident to ascertain the cause and circumstances surrounding the incident.
• An investigation report is prepared to summarize the incident.
• An enforcement action review is conducted and submitted to the Alberta Justice for consideration for prosecution.
• Charges are laid if the incident is considered for prosecution and conviction is likely.
• There is a court hearing where the offender could be found guilty, discharged and acquitted or have the charges withdrawn.
Find The Right Kind of Help
It is important to know that workers and employers both have to comply with health and safety legislation.
TriTech, located in Grande Prairie is in the best position to keep you up to date with the essential and important industry practices to prevent avoidable accidents and consequent fines from OHS officers. For more information, visit: https://tritechsafety.ca/courses/