3rd November 2011
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Worker Safety by Adam D. Faust

James owned his own business.  It was a simple business that sold a number of good to consumers.  James employed over 10 employees and did his best to treat them right.  However, one day, one of his employees fell from a step ladder and bumped his head on the concrete floor in the back room.  James was concerned.

This situation is one that many employers are worried about finding themselves in.  After all, injuries from employees can cause a number of problems, from financial to morale problems among staff.  Yet, to what degree is the employer responsible for worker’s safety.

In any situation, Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety Act (the “Act”) requires those employers bound by the Act to take all reasonable measures to ensure the safety of their employees.  This includes properly maintaining equipment, safely storing chemicals and materials, and full training on how to safely use the various equipment.  If an employer fails to follow the Act, they may face sanctions by Alberta’s regulatory body.  Which for a first time offence can include a maximum fine of $500,000.00 or imprisonment for up to 6 months.

An employer’s obligations and the Occupational Health and Safety Act should not be confused with potential liability under the Worker’s Compensation Act.  For more information on exemptions from the Act and responsibilities under it, please consult one of our knowledgeable lawyers.

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Written by Adam Faust