New OH&S regulation in effect April 15

The Report: May / June 1999 vol.19 num.7


A new Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, to replace theold Industrial Health and Safety Regulation, came into effect on April 15, 1998. Employerswere given a one-year grace period to work towards compliance. As of April 15, 1999, thisyear is up, so that almost all of the requirements are now in force. (There are a fewexceptions; for example Section 4.83(3) on environmental tobacco smoke gives certainestablishments until January 1, 2000 to comply.)

Of the approximately 4,000 requirements, one third are new, one thirdare updated from the previous regulations, and one third are essentially the same as inthe old regulations. Since the beginning of the regulatory review process in 1992, severalnew regulations had come into effect (e.g. Ergonomics, WHMIS, Violence in the Workplace).All these have been incorporated in the new OH&S Regulation. Occupational First Aid,which used to be a different handbook, is now also part of the new OH&S Regulation.

The Regulation consists of a set of four books. The first book is theIndex and User Guide. It contains some general information and a well-organized index thatmakes it easy to find specific topics. The other three books contain the body of the newRegulation. It has been divided into 33 parts, each of which is further broken down intosections.

Book 1 (Core Requirements: Parts 1-4) lists the basic requirements forOH&S programs, as well as the rights and duties of OH&S committees, workerrepresentatives, employers and workers ( including the right to refuse unsafe work insections 3.24-3.25). Book 1 also deals with basic hazards common to most industries, andis the book our safety stewards will have to refer to most often.

Book 2 (General Hazard Requirements: Parts 5-19) deals with severalsubjects that are of specific interest to HSA members. These include requirements forworking with biohazards, radiation and chemicals (including WHMIS), as well asrequirements for personal protective equipment and clothing.

Book 3 (Industry and Activity Specific Requirements: Parts 20-33)includes stipulations for laboratories (Part 30) and Occupational First Aid (Part 33).Other parts may be pertinent to specific areas where our members work.

HSA urges safety stewards to become familiar with the general layout ofthe OH&S Regulation, as well as the parts relating directly to HSA members at theirworksites.

The OH&S Regulation is available free from the Workers' Compensation Board. To order, callthe WCB Film and Posters Section at 604.276.3068 or toll free 1.800.661.2112, local 3068.For more detailed information on the WCB, read Chapter 2 in the HSA Safety Steward Manual.It is available from HSA office to all safety stewards.