Don’t get behind on the newest updates for health and safety in your workplace. We’ve compiled the essentials to help ensure your business is in line with the latest OHS and CSA standards. Make sure to stay ahead and keep your workplace compliant with Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety codes.

Learn About the Latest Updates

This post brings to light the effective changes and updates in the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Code effective from March 31, 2023.

The highlights of the changes include:

  • Harmonizing standards for certain types of personal protective equipment in Canada.
  • Providing flexibility in implementing some requirements in the workplace.
  • Elimination of duplication in requirements.
  • Alignment with the OHS Act.

These changes propel the code forward by ensuring it meets the highest standards of occupational health and safety.

Part 1 – Definitions and general application

Section 1 of the OHS Code contains definitions and general rules that have been revised as part of the latest update. The recent revisions have led to additional definitions being included in the code, which better align with specific sections and provide more clarity while following the OHS Act.

In addition, Section 3 of the code which originally listed various technical standards has been repealed. This was done to eliminate redundancy in the document, as the standards offered in Section 3 were previously mentioned throughout the OHS Code.

Part 3 – Specifications and certifications

Section 12 in Part 3 of the document has been amended to include explosives. The reason for this change is alignment with amendments to the OHS Act that were introduced on December 1, 2021.

Part 5 – Confined spaces

Section 52 of the policy has been recently updated with the intention of improving overall clarity, removing redundancy, and to ensure that accountability for health and safety falls on the appropriate personnel engaged on the work site in alignment with the roles and obligations stated in the OHS Act. Essentially, as per the revised version of the policy, it now falls upon the employer to ensure that the atmosphere of a confined space is determined to be safe by a competent worker, prior to a worker entering the restricted area.

The updated version of Section 56 allows the choice of using remote monitoring systems to take confined spaces entries, which is a significant improvement in the policy concerning administrative burden on employers. The new definitions of “remote monitoring system” and “tending worker” have also been incorporated in Part 1 of the guidelines to avoid any confusion with the usage of the new systems.

Part 6 – Cranes, hoists, and lifting devices

Section 97 of the law has undergone an amendment, which includes that a hoist used by a roofer must be inspected at reasonably practical intervals, as opposed to the previous daily inspections. Employers will now have greater flexibility to ensure thorough inspections are conducted as and when necessary, which ultimately enhances the level of safety and security for employees at work.

Part 9 – Fall protection; Part 18 – Personal protective equipment; Part 39 – Tree care operations; Part 41 – Work requiring rope access

The technical standards for maintaining health and safety need to be updated from time to time to keep in tandem with the latest practices and technology. By doing so, we support the standardization of personal protective equipment requirements throughout Canada. In addition, we have updated the applicable manufacturing date for personal protective equipment cited in these parts, consistent with the revised technical standards.

Henceforth, personal protective equipment that previously had to comply with a set of technical standards if made on or after 1st July 2009, now needs to meet the updated standard if produced on or after 31st March 2023. Employers, however, need not purchase new personal protective equipment if the existing one conforms to the standard that was effective during its production and remains in good working condition. For in-depth information, please refer to the OHS Code, Section 3.1.

Part 23 – Scaffolds and temporary work platforms

Amendments have been made to Section 341, resulting in changes to suspended scaffold inspections. The revised requirements state that inspections must now be conducted at practicable intervals instead of daily, which provides a great deal of flexibility for employers in ensuring their equipment is inspected when necessary.

If your business needs more details, be sure to check out the OHS Contact Center to get more information on how these changes affect your business.

Anywhere in Alberta
• 1-866-415-8690
Edmonton and the surrounding area
• 780-415-8690
Deaf or hard of hearing (TTY)
• 1-800-232-7215 (Alberta)
• 780-427-9999 (Edmonton)

(2023). Occupational health and safety (OHS). (n.d.).