For the first time in Alberta, companies and individuals
(including workers) could face a monetary penalty for breaches of
the Occupational Health and Safety Act (the Act), the
Occupational Health and Safety Regulation (the Regulation)
or the Occupational Health and Safety Code (the Code)
– without first being prosecuted.
As of October 1, 2013, changes to Alberta's legislation will
allow an Occupational Health and Safety Officer (OHS Officer) to
issue administrative penalties to contractors, employers, prime
contractors, suppliers and workers (Regulated Persons) for
contraventions of the Act, the Regulation, or the Code.1
OHS Officers will now have the power to issue administrative
penalties if, in the OHS Officer's opinion, a Regulated Person
has committed any of the following:
a Contravention of the Act, the Regulation or the Code
a Failure to Comply with the following:
an order made under the Act, the Regulation or the Code;
a term, condition or requirement of an acceptance issued under
section 34 of the Act; or
a term, condition or requirement of an approval issued under
Size of Penalty: An administrative penalty
cannot exceed $10,000.00, unless there is a continuing
Contravention or Failure to Comply. If the Contravention or Failure
to Comply continues for more than one day, the administrative
penalty can be up to $10,000.00 for each day or part of a
day during which the Contravention or Failure to Comply occurs
Time to issue an administrative penalty: The
deadline for serving a Regulated Person with written notice that
sets out the amount of the administrative penalty is 2 years from
the date of the alleged offence. The Regulated Person must be given
at least 30 days to pay after being served with the written
Factors that can determine the amount of the
administrative penalty: The OHS Officer must consider both
the seriousness of the Contravention or Failure to Comply, as well
as the risk of harm resulting from the Contravention or Failure to
Comply. The OHS Officer also has discretion to consider any
other factors that the OHS Officer considers relevant.
Appeals: Administrative penalties can be
appealed to the Occupational Health and Safety Council (the
Council). From the Council, a person can appeal to the Court
of Queen's Bench on a question of law or a question of
Although the offence provisions in the Act will continue to
apply, meaning that prosecutions can still take place, if the
Regulated Person pays the administrative penalty, that person
cannot then be charged with an offence in respect of the same
Contravention or Failure to Comply that is described in the notice
of administrative penalty.
In addition to the forthcoming administrative penalties, on
January 1, 2014, tickets may be issued for up to $500.00 to both
companies and individuals for certain contraventions of the
Regulation and the Code, due to amendments to the Provincial
Offences Procedure Regulation. It is especially important to
note that employers whose workers are required to wear Personal
Protective Equipment or use certain equipment under the Act can be
fined for a contravention of those requirements: there will be a
$500 penalty for contravention of section 12(2) of the Regulation.
Section 12(2) of the Regulation requires employers to ensure that
workers use or wear whatever equipment they are required to use or
wear under the Act.
1.Administrative Penalty (Occupational
Health and Safety) Regulation,A.R. 165/2013. Order
in Council 266/2013.
2.Protection and Compliance Statutes
Amendment Act, 2012at s. 2 and
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