Ehstoday 3063 Ohsalberta

Alberta Crowns its First 10 Occupational Health and Safety ‘Peace Officers’

March 28, 2014
Earlier this month, the Alberta government announced that 10 inspectors completed their training to become occupational health and safety “peace officers,” a new designation that gives them “the ability to write tickets to employers and workers who cut corners and put people at risk,” according to the Alberta Ministry of Jobs, Skills, Training and Labor.

In the United States, OSHA holds employers – not employees – responsible for violations of workplace safety regulations (with a few very rare exceptions). In Canada, however, things are a bit different.

Alberta is the latest province to approve legislation authorizing government inspectors to fine workers for breaking safety rules. Under the law, occupational health and safety officers can issue tickets of up to $500 to workers or employers if they observe safety infractions at a job site.

Earlier this month, the Alberta government announced that 10 inspectors completed their training to become occupational health and safety “peace officers,” a new designation that gives them “the ability to write tickets to employers and workers who cut corners and put people at risk,” according to the Alberta Ministry of Jobs, Skills, Training and Labor.

“When you see them on your job site, know they are looking out for your well-being,” said Thomas Lukaszuk, minister of jobs, skills, training and labor. “If you’re taking risks on the job, you can now expect to be ticketed for it.”

Should OSHA Fines Workers for Unsafe Actions?

The new legislation includes 67 ticketable offenses, according to the ministry. OHS peace officers can issue on-the-spot tickets ranging from $100 to $500.

The ministry said it plans to certify all 143 of its occupational health and safety officers to write tickets, with the next class of graduating officers set to complete their training in June.

Alberta is not alone in going after workers for safety and health violations. Earlier in March, an Ontario construction worker received a $1,500 fine for failing to use fall protection at heights. Also in Ontario, a supervisor received a 45-day jail sentence for failing to provide fall protection for a worker who was partially paralyzed after falling off a roof.

Sponsored Recommendations

ISO 45001: Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (OHSMS)

March 28, 2024
ISO 45001 certification – reduce your organizational risk and promote occupational health and safety (OHS) by working with SGS to achieve certification or migrate to the new standard...

Want to Verify your GHG Emissions Inventory?

March 28, 2024
With the increased focus on climate change, measuring your organization’s carbon footprint is an important first action step. Our Green House Gas (GHG) verification services provide...

Download Free ESG White Paper

March 28, 2024
The Rise and Challenges of ESG – Your Journey to Enhanced Sustainability, Brand and Investor Potential

Work Safety Tips: 5 Tactics to Build Employee Engagement for Workplace Safety

March 13, 2024
Employee safety engagement strategies have become increasingly key to fostering a safer workplace environment. But, how exactly do you encourage employee buy-in when it comes ...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of EHS Today, create an account today!