On December 1, 2018, changes to the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) regulations applying to farms and ranches will come into effect. Alberta’s OHS laws only apply to farm and ranch operations that employ waged workers who are not the owner or the owner’s family members. They do not apply to family members, volunteers, the private residence, or to people engaged in non-work related activities.

The legislation addresses workplace hazards, safety training, and maintenance of equipment. An online flipbook provides information to help employers and farm and ranch workers understand their roles and responsibilities. An excerpt follows:

“As an employer, you’re expected to do everything you reasonably can do to keep workers healthy and safe on the job.

You must:

  • make sure workers are properly qualified to do the work, or at least working with, or are supervised by someone with the proper training and experience
  • inform your workers about the hazards related to their work, and how to work safely in spite of those hazards
  • prevent violence and harassment in the worksite
  • implement a joint worksite health and safety committee for 20 or more workers at a worksite
  • have a health and safety representative if you have 5-19 workers at a work site

As a worker, you share the responsibility of staying healthy and safe on the job.

You’re expected to:

  • look out for yourself and for others at or close to the work site workers
  • report any hazards, unsafe or harmful work you notice to your employer
  • follow your employer’s health and safety practices
  • refrain from participating in harassment and violence on the work site”

Most of the OHS Code addresses hazards that other industries have in common with agriculture. However, government heard from the agriculture industry that some special rules are needed to reflect the realties on farms and ranches. An OHS document has a table outlining rules that are specific to farms and ranches, including rules specific to farm machinery.

Excerpt from the Flipbook, Health and Safety on Alberta Farms is reprinted under Open Government License – Alberta.