Legislative roundup: Changes in OHS laws and regulations from across Canada

New B.C. Services Card replaces CareCard | Ontario prepares for mandatory OHS training in 2014 | Ontario eyes certification for OHS training providers | N.B. introduces new safety training requirements on highway projects

BRITISH COLUMBIA

New B.C. Services Card replaces CareCard

The new BC Services Card combines British Columbia’s CareCard with its drivers’ license.

The cards contain a photograph and an expiry date to ensure the proper holder of the card is the one who is using it. The card also has a chip, which will eventually allow users to access services by entering a PIN once the second phase of the program is rolled out.

Most adults will need to re-enrol in the medical services plan over the next five years, according to the Ministry of Health. The easiest way for British Columbians to do so is when renewing their driver's licence and opting for the combined card. People who do not drive can still enrol at the nearest location where driver's licences are issued.

ONTARIO

Ontario prepares for mandatory OHS training in 2014

Employers in Ontario will be required to deliver mandatory health and safety awareness training to all employees and supervisors covered by the Occupational Health and Safety Act in 2014, according to the Ministry of Labour.

The new rules are the result of Bill 160, which transferred responsibility for the prevention of workplace injuries and illnesses from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) to the Ministry of Labour when it became law on April 1, 2012.

The ministry hopes to make the new rule law by Jan. 1, 2014; however, the date could change as the year progresses, according to Ministry of Labour spokesperson Matt Blajer.

Ontario eyes certification for OHS training providers

The Ontario government is developing standards that will require safety training providers to undergo an accreditation process, according to province officials.

Cordelia Clarke Julien, director of training and safety programs branch of the Ontario Prevention Office, gave attendees at the the annual Canadian Health and Safety Professionals Safety Conference (CanSafePro) in Toronto an update on the new health and safety-related training standards being developed.

The new standard would require service providers in Ontario to undergo an accreditation process for their specific area of training expertise before they can conduct business with employers. The mandatory certification requirements ensure health and safety training providers are performing to a standard, Julien said.

The provincial government is hoping to get the new regulations in place by this summer for full implementation by January 2014, Julien said.

NEW BRUNSWICK

N.B. introduces new safety training requirements on highway projects

New safety requirements take effect on April 1 for operators of private trucks working on New Brunswick highway projects and contracts, the province’s department of transportation and infrastructure has announced.

Operators of private trucks working on highway projects and contracts will be required to complete the following basic training:

• occupational health and safety orientation

• workplace hazardous materials information system training

• work area traffic control manual awareness training.

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