Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine
Consultations to repeal farm workplace legislation, or Bill 6, has begun as Alberta paves the way to introduce the Farm Freedom and Safety Act.
Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, will undertake a consultation tour to meet farmers, ranchers and organizations across the province over summer. According to the provincial government, the previous government’s Bill 6 was passed with limited public input and in the face of strong opposition from farmers.
“Alberta farmers need common-sense rules that promote farm safety – not process, not red tape,” Dreeshen said in a statement on July 12. “We are going to repeal Bill 6, and I plan to meet with farmers this summer to develop legislation to replace it.”
The government will seek input on flexibility in meeting workplace standards, allowing a choice of workplace insurance in the market or the Workers’ Compensation Board if basic coverage standards are met, exempting small farms from employment standards legislation, promoting education and best practices to improve farm safety and minimizing red tape while ensuring basic safety standards.
The on-line survey will run until August 31, 2019.
Well, the readership already knows my opinion about health and safety in Alberta. There is none. The government has deemed it necessary to ensure they take a cowboy approach and deal with farm and ranch worker safety the way the old mining operations used to protect workers. The widow usually received a basket of fruit as compensation.
As a reminder, there was little or NO protection for ranch and farm workers prior to Bill 6.
It sounds very political to me. The few (ranchers and farmers) will get their way and the many workers be damned.
Another victory for the province of Alberta! Thank God, I work and live in Ontario. Actually, I would be happy anywhere but Alberta! Most of the other provinces take worker health and safety seriously. The province of Quebec is a proven leader and Ontario, British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland all have a better enforcement track record than Alberta.
The province of Alberta does not know the meaning of enforcement. If the reader thinks I may be off my rocker on this point, please read blog post #41, “Enforcement Concerns Auditor”, presented by me on February 11, 2011.
Ensure your workplace is a safe place.
Remember – “In Canada, ALL Accidents are Preventable”
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.