Province unveils proposed legislation to strengthen OHS

Also bringing back workplace safety advisory council

Province unveils proposed legislation to strengthen OHS

The Manitoba government is introducing proposed legislation meant to strengthen protections for Manitoba workers’ safety and health.

“Our government knows the best way to grow our economy is with good, safe jobs for Manitobans,” said Labour and Immigration Minister Malaya Marcelino.

“Every Manitoba worker deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, and to have a safe workplace.”

Recently, Manitoba also introduced Bill 7, the public sector construction projects (tendering) repeal act, which would bring back the option to require unionized workers as a condition of a tender or project labour agreement.

Workplace safety advisory council

Manitoba’s Bill 17 would amend the Workplace Safety and Health Act and re-establish the Advisory Council on Workplace Safety and Health, which was repealed in 2018 by the previous government.

The 13-member advisory council would include representation from workers, employers and technical and professional bodies.

According to the proposed legislation, the council may advise or make recommendations to the minister on the following matters:

  • workplace safety and health generally, and the protection of workers in specific workplace situations
  • the appointment of consultants and advisors by the minister
  • any matter relating to workplace safety and health on which the minister seeks the council's opinion.

“This aligns with a mandate commitment and ensures that worker and employer groups in Manitoba have a direct connection to the department on important workplace safety and health issues,” Marcelino says in a Winnipeg Free Press report.

At least once every five years, the advisory council must review this Act and its administration and report its findings and recommendations, if any, to the minister, said Bill 17.

Last month, Alberta launched an online survey to seek input from interested parties as it reviews the Occupational Health and Safety Code (OHS Code). Alberta is looking to make updates to the code.

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