Effective October 1, 2013, certain changes to Alberta's
occupational health and safety legislation came into force which
allow an Occupational Health and Safety Officer to issue
administrative penalties against any party regulated by the
legislation (i.e. workers, contractors, employers, prime
contractors and suppliers), for violating or failing to comply with
the occupational health and safety legislation.
Administrative penalties can be up to $10,000 per violation per
day. The amount of the administrative penalty in each case will be
set by the Officer upon considering the seriousness of the
contravention or failure to comply, the risk of harm resulting, and
any other factors the Officer considers relevant. The person
subject to the administrative penalty must be given at least 30
days to pay. Administrative penalties can be appealed to the
Occupational Health and Safety Council. A person who pays an
administrative penalty cannot be charged with an offense under the
legislation with respect to the same contravention or
non-compliance. The administrative penalty must be given within two
years after the contravention or non-compliance. If unpaid, the
administrative penalty can be enforced as a judgment.
In addition, as of January 1, 2014, further changes to the
legislation will come into force which will enable Occupational
Health and Safety Officers to issue tickets to workers and
employers who are in contravention of certain listed provisions of
the occupational health and safety legislation. The amount of the
tickets will range from $100 to $500. These tickets will be
essentially the same as traffic tickets – they are given on
the spot upon a contravention of the law. A person receiving the
ticket can plead not guilty and go to court.
This new system provides a middle ground in the enforcement
spectrum which, until now, only allowed for either orders to comply
or prosecutions through the courts. These new measures are intended
to act as an additional tool to address non-compliance with the
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