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Saskatchewan amends safety act to increase worker protection


The Government of Saskatchewan has passed amendments to its Occupational Health and Safety Act (1993), which will see enhanced occupational health and safety duties for employers, supervisors, contractors and suppliers.

These amendments are the result of a comprehensive review by the Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety’s Occupational Health and Safety Council and consultations with stakeholders.

"Saskatchewan has the second highest injury rate in the country," Labour Relations and Workplace Safety Minister Don Morgan said. "This is unacceptable. This legislation contains provisions that are directed at helping eliminate injuries, illnesses and fatalities. It will also help lower health care and workers’ compensation costs, and improve business opportunities."

The legislative highlights include:
The maximum penalty arising out of the serious injury or death of a worker will increase from $300,000 to $1.5 million, the highest in the country;
Clarification of the requirement for employers and other parties to provide training and supervision of employees, as well as maintenance of equipment to ensure the safety of all workers; and
Increased investigative authority of occupational health officers in the course of their duties.

The amendments will take effect following proclamation this fall. For more information about the amendments to the OHS Act visit www.lrws.gov.sk.ca/consultations-ohs-legislative-amendments.

The government is also undertaking a comprehensive review of all employment and labour relations legislation. To view the discussion paper, visit www.lrws.gov.sk.ca/modernizing-legislation.