Important Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) changes for brokerages

Brokers need to be aware of key changes the Government of Alberta made in June 2018 to the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Under the new Act:

  • brokerages that employ 20 or more people must have an established health and safety committee
  • brokerages that employ five to 19 people must have an appointed health and safety representative

Please note:

  • independent contractors such as the industry professionals in your brokerage count towards the employee total
  • each work “site” with the number of employees listed above must have its own committee or representative, so if your brokerage has multiple offices, you may need multiple committees or representatives

The Role of the Committee or Representative

This committee/representative is responsible for:

  • addressing concerns and complaints about the health and safety of workers
  • identifying and clearly communicating worksite hazards to workers or other persons
  • developing, promoting and evaluating measures to protect the health and safety of all employees
  • cooperating with Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Officers exercising duties under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Regulations, and the Code
  • developing and promoting programs for education and information concerning health and safety
  • making recommendations to the broker respecting the health and safety of workers
  • investigating serious injuries and incidents at the worksite
  • maintaining records on concerns and complaints received
  • attending other matters relating to the duties of the committee/representative
  • performing additional duties as may be specified in the Occupational Health and Safety Act, Regulations and Code

Brokerages must review these mandated elements every three years.

The role of the committee/representative is to advise and assist, and not assume managerial responsibilities for health and safety in the workplace.

Committee Composition

If your brokerage requires a committee, it must be made up of employees and management. The employees must choose how they will select their own members to the committee.

New Types of Occupational Hazards

Harassment and violence in all forms, including domestic and sexual violence, are now defined as workplace hazards. Under the new rules, employers must develop workplace harassment and violence prevention plans and address incidents when they do occur.

It is important for brokerages to understand and comply with the new OHS requirements.

Read more about Alberta’s occupational health and safety requirements online.

2 thoughts on “Important Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) changes for brokerages

  1. What about a virtual office where there are many agents but no office? No common workplace? No common work site? What if everyone is on the committee and in charge of themselves?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s