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Alberta Government's OHS Review Welcome, Long Overdue Alberta's OHS review must address missing fundamentals of worker safety EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - Aug. 16, 2017) - The Alberta Government's Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) review is a welcome and long-awaited announcement. Decades of PC governments have produced an Albertan OHS framework that's fundamentally out of step with other Canadian provinces, putting economic growth ahead of workers and their safety. "Right now, we have an OHS Act that doesn't respect the fundamentals of worker safety in Alberta," said Gil McGowan, President of the Alberta Federation of Labour. "The act is full of token language that sounds good on the surface but doesn't amount to any meaningful, enforceable protections for workers, especially compared to other provinces." At its basic conception, Alberta's OHS Act leaves Alberta workers more vulnerable than workers in other provinces, with elementary safety provisions framed as suggestions rather than enforceable rules. In addition to these more basic problems, there are also a number of brass-tacks updates necessary to reflect emerging workplace challenges. In a modern workforce where workplace technology continues to advance and scientific knowledge about hazards is expanded, there is no mechanism for updating legislation to reflect these changes. "As our understanding of technology and hazards changes, we need a fast, effective way to change our laws," said Gil McGowan, President of the Alberta Federation of Labour. "Workers deserve the benefit of the latest research to protect their health and safety, particularly in dangerous fields. No worker should have to work in unsafe, unprotected conditions for decades simply because we lack legal mechanisms to address a known problem." Further, working alone has always posed unique challenges for certain sectors, highlighted with violent gas-and-dash incidents in recent years.

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