Help shape farm and ranch safety

Spotlight Staff

Albertans are invited to provide comment on how occupational health and safety rules could apply to the unique nature of farms and ranches.
Public feedback is important as the government works to ensure updates to the Occupational Health and Safety Code applying to farms and ranches contain common-sense regulations that protect waged, non-family workers while respecting the family farm way of life, says a Government of Alberta news release Oct. 26.
“Our government took action to make life better for farm and ranch workers by providing them with basic workplace protections,” says Agriculture and Forestry Minister Oneil Carlier, MLA for Whitecourt – Ste. Anne.
“These reports came as a result of the hard work of all members of the technical working groups and our farming and ranching community and I remain committed to working with them as we move forward.”
Recommendations from the working groups are posted online, and Albertans can provide their input.
The government will take as long as is needed to consult with and listen to farmers and ranchers before making any changes.
“Every worker in Alberta has the right to a safe and healthy workplace,” Labour Minister Christina Grey says.
“I encourage all Albertans to provide input on how we can carefully craft rules that will balance the need for worker safety while upholding the family farm way of life.”
Citizens can provide comments online at alberta.ca/farm-and-ranch and by emailing farm andranch@gov.ab.ca before Jan. 15, 2018.
Feedback sought is separate from the review of the Occupational Health and Safety Act announced on Aug.16, 2017.
Government will then begin drafting regulations based on recommendations and public response.
Key facts and figures:
-Occupational Health and Safety rules only apply to farm and ranch operations that employ waged, non-family workers. They do not apply to owners or family members of owners.
-As of Jan. 1, 2016, Workers’ Compensation Board insurance coverage is required for paid workers. All waged, non-family farm and ranch workers are covered under WCB.

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