All workplaces must have a violence policy in place, investigate all incidents in the workplace
Saskatchewan has approved amendments to occupational health and safety provisions of The Saskatchewan Employment Act to better support more workers in the province.
The changes to the legislation – made under The Saskatchewan Employment (Part III) Amendment Act, 2022 – came into effect May 17, 2023.
"The amendments passed today will ensure we are building a strong culture of workplace health and safety which is critical to helping reduce workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities," said Don Morgan, minister of labour relations and workplace safety.
Previously, the Northwest Territories looked for public feedback to ensure its Employment Standards Act reflects the current needs of workers.
OHS changes now in effect
The following policy changes in made through the legislation in Saskatchewan are now in effect:
- Clarifying the definition of a worker to include secondary and post-secondary students so that they are covered by the provisions in Part III of the Act.
- Clarifying the employers' duty and responsibility to ensure that incidents of harassment are investigated.
- Clarifying the work and authority of occupational health officers to take photos and recordings during workplace inspections.
- Giving authority for officers to exclude a person from an investigation interview if there is a perceived conflict. The person being interviewed would then be asked to nominate another person to attend the interview.
- Providing housekeeping and general amendments necessary to keep the legislation relevant and aligned with other legislative requirements.
Meanwhile, starting May 2024, employers will be required to have a violence policy in place that will also apply to students, volunteers and contract workers and investigate all incidents of violence in the workplace.
In February, British Columbia announced it was expanding the workforce of its Employment Standards Branch in the next three years.