Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Act Employer Responsibilities

As an employer in Alberta, you have legal responsibilities under the Occupational Health and Safety Act to provide a safe workplace that protects your employees, your work site and yourself.

Navigating workplace safety is crucial, especially when an Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) officer pays a surprise visit. They’ll check your workplace, talk to your team and review your safety measures. But what exactly happens during these inspections? How can you make sure your workplace is safe? This article breaks it down for you, offering practical tips and insights to help you understand, prepare for and pass OHS inspections.

Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Handbook

What Does a Health and Safety Inspection Cover in Alberta?

An OHS officer can enter your workplace or job site unannounced to conduct an inspection. The exact frequency of these inspections isn’t explicitly specified in Alberta’s OHS Act, but they occur from time to time or as needed.

When the OHS officer arrives, they’ll introduce themselves and connect with the person in charge of your work site and possibly with your Health and Safety Committee representative. Taking photos, inspecting equipment, reviewing your records and talking with your workers are all common practices during their site walk-through with you. Afterward, you will receive a Contact Report from the OHS officer that documents their findings. Then, if there are any issues at your site, you may have to stop work, stop using certain equipment, provide a timeline for remedying issues and/or receive a ticket for a violation.

Preventative maintenance

What Should I Do to Make My Workplace Safe?

Follow these four guidelines to set up and maintain a safe workplace and conduct your own regular inspections to be prepared for an OHS inspection by covering these basics:

  • Train workers to follow safe work procedures.
  • Keep tools and equipment in good working order.
  • Keep records of your training, maintenance and inspections.
  • Identify and address any unsafe or hazardous conditions.

In addition, provincial regulations require that you do a formal hazard assessment when you’re new to a location or work site and when new equipment, processes or tasks are introduced. The Government of Alberta has a detailed guide to help you through this.

Did you know? Fire door inspections are a safety standard in Canada and according to NFPA 80, a fire door needs to be inspected and tested annually.

Industrial fire rated rolling steel fire doors

How Do I Prepare for and Pass an Inspection in Alberta?

The OHS officer inspecting your work site will take a close look at your safety procedures, your equipment and your records of maintenance and inspection. Keeping your site safe and productive can take a lot of time, but it keeps your workers out of danger, cuts back on downtime from unplanned repairs and keeps the OHS officer from giving you a ticket or stop work order for non-compliance.

Get prepared by conducting preventative inspections and maintenance on your equipment, especially equipment that moves or supports heavy loads. But you may not have the resources or knowledge to keep your equipment regularly inspected, serviced and repaired – and ready to pass an OHS inspection. If that’s the case, consider partnering with a company like Northern Dock Systems to set up a Preventative Maintenance Program (PMP). Our PMP reviews your:

Service Technician

What Should My Maintenance Program Include?

Northern Dock Systems has distribution centres and warehouses in cities right across Canada. That means we can be there to get your site safe and OHS-compliant faster than most of our competitors. Our technicians inspect, service and repair each piece of equipment so that it:

  • is kept in a condition that will not risk the health or safety of workers using or transporting it,
  • will safely perform the function that it is intended for or was designed for and
  • doesn’t have obvious defects.

When we come to your site, we’ll do a thorough multi-point inspection that includes before and after photos, a detailed report, a master list and quotes for major and minor repairs. Our licensed technicians are up to speed on Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety Act, Regulations and Code. They receive ongoing training to stay up to date and we have over a dozen nationwide certifications, accreditations and memberships. That all adds up to service and customer support teams that are trusted, reliable and top-notch.

Your Alberta Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) officer will never be happier now that you’ve followed all their regulations and have records to prove that you’ve done your due diligence.

Want to hear it from the Government of Alberta? Their Occupational Health and Safety Resource Portal has tons of downloads and guides to help you out.

Preventive maintenance program with technician doing maintenance on a dock leveler and multipoint inspection sheets for dock leveler, air barriers, freezer doors, overhead doors, barrier gates
calgary technician welding hydraulic conversion hit for dock

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