Each year, OHS proactively inspects employers to monitor compliance with legislation. OHS chooses employers and sectors with:
- Relatively high injury and illness rates
- High frequency of incidents or complaints
- Persistently low rates of compliance
- Emerging trends
Inspection programs help work site parties identify health and safety hazards and measures to mitigate the hazards. More information on prevention priorities for the OHS system is available in the Prevention Initiative for Alberta's OHS System.
How inspections are done
An OHS officer’s role is to monitor compliance with the legislation through review of records and documents, observations and conversations with work site parties. OHS officers may take measurements, samples, photos or recordings. A record of the inspection will be provided to work site parties at the conclusion of a site visit. Work site parties are responsible for correcting any non-compliance identified by the OHS officer. OHS officers may re-inspect sites to check on previous non-compliance with OHS laws.
Focused inspection program
Focused inspections assess compliance with priority issues for a short time in the year. OHS aims to complete inspections at 570 work sites between June 2019 and April 2020. The priority sectors are:
Care workers: Care workers are those who support and supervise vulnerable, infirmed or disadvantaged Albertans. Some employers or sites that employ care workers have relatively high numbers of violence-related worker injuries. Site inspections focus on addressing violence-related issues. Officers plan to conduct inspections from February to March 2020.
Exhibitions: Exhibitions employ relatively large numbers of young workers, who are more likely to be injured than older workers. Site inspections focus on addressing common causes of injuries to young workers and other tasks with high potential for injury. Officers conducted inspections in June through August 2019.
Residential infill construction: Slips, trips and falls are a common source of injury in the residential construction sector. Site inspections focus on fall protection and use of fall protection equipment. Officers are conducting inspections in August through October 2019. The initiative may be extended to align with the construction season.
Selected industry inspections
Selected industries are sectors with higher injury and incident rates than others in the province. The selected industries for these inspections are:
Restaurants and catering:
The restaurants and catering industry includes employers that prepare and sell food to the public for immediate consumption. The leading causes of injury in this industry are falls and exposure to extreme temperatures. Common injuries include strains, sprains, wounds and scalds. 300 employers have been selected for inclusion in the inspection program. Officers will focus on tasks and environments that lead to common issues for workers. Inspections take place between October 2019 and February 2020.
The general trucking industry includes employers delivering commodities or products within the province of Alberta. Falls are the leading cause of injury in the trucking industry. Common injuries are strains, sprains, wounds, fractures and dislocations. 300 provincially-regulated employers have been selected for inclusion in the inspection program. Officers will focus on tasks and environments that lead to common issues for workers. These may include hazard assessment, footwear, repetitive tasks, vehicle inspection and walk around, and material handling. Inspections take place between October 2019 and January 2020.
The steel metal fabrications industry includes employers using sheet steel, aluminum, plate steel, ornamental iron, tubular steel or metal to manufacture goods. The leading cause of injury in this industry is being struck by objects. Common injuries are strains, sprains, wounds, fractures and dislocations. 200 employers have been selected for inclusion in the inspection program. Officers will focus on tasks and environments that lead to common issues for workers. These may include working around equipment including guarding and training for safe use, electrical hazards, fumes, dusts and other inhalation hazards. Inspections take place between December 2019 and March 2020.
High hazard work is conducted in the mining industry. All 40 major mine sites have been selected for inclusion in the inspection programs. Some of the major causes of injury are heavy equipment, fatigue, interaction between heavy equipment and light duty vehicles, visibility, safeguarding, competency and control of strata. Nineteen in-situ oil sands sites and 90 sand and gravel sites have also been selected. These sites were selected based on historical evidence, number of workers, complexity of operations, site maturity, OHS approvals and acceptances and OHS awareness campaigns. Officers will focus on tasks and environments that lead to common issues for workers. These may include mobile equipment operation and maintenance, hazard assessment, ground stability, water, electrical, fire and explosions, and wildlife. Inspections take place between September 2019 and March 2020.
The health care industry includes hospitals, clinics, mental health facilities, community health sites, continuing care, supporting living facilities and other medical service providers. The leading causes of injury in the healthcare industry are overexertion, exposure to harmful substances, assaults, violent acts, falls and bodily reactions. 102 employers were selected based on risk. Officers will focus on tasks and environments that lead to common issues for workers. These may include lifting and handling programs, hazard assessments, worker training and availability of personal protective equipment. Inspections take place between October 2019 and March 2020.
Selected employer inspections
Selected employers are those that have higher injury and incident rates than others in their sector. By working proactively with these employers, OHS officers identify areas of non-compliance around priority hazards. Inspections take place between October 2019 and March 2020.
Officers may proactively conduct small numbers of inspections to learn about other sectors in response to incidents or other trends and build relationships with the industry sector.