Employers in Alberta can expect more safety inspections in their workplace with the addition of six new officers to the province’s team of occupational health and safety inspectors.
The Alberta government is focusing on safe workplaces in 2001, according to the province’s Human Resources and Employment Minister Clint Dunford. Last year the number of work site inspections in Alberta nearly doubled, to 5,126 in 2000 from 2,769 in 1999.
The addition of the six new officers brings the province’s total to 64, an increase of 20 per cent since 1993.
Dunford said the province’s lost-time claim rate was the lowest in 1999 it has ever been (3.2 injuries per 100 person years). “However, we are concerned the trend may not continue. Adding inspectors will raise awareness among employers and employees of the need to renew their efforts to keep workplaces safe.”
Occupational health and safety officers are responsible for ensuring that workers and employers are educated about workplace safety and knowledgeable about the Occupational Health and Safety Act. The officers are also responsible for investigating serious incidents and fatalities and ensuring compliance with regulations if employers are found to be in violation.
For more information about Alberta’s health and safety initiatives visit www.gov.ab.ca/hre.