CCSA 2018 Year in Review

January 7, 2019

PDF Version CCSA 2018 Year in Review


2018 CCSA Year in Review

2018 was a year of change for occupational health and safety in Alberta.  With the passing of Bill 30, An Act to Protect the Health and Well-being of Working Albertans, significant changes were made to the Occupational Health and Safety Act and, in turn, to the Workers’ Compensation Act.  Changes were made to ensure workers are better protected and have the same rights as other Canadians. After a full evaluation, Partnerships in Injury Reduction revised their Audit Standards to better align with the new OHS legislation.  Other changes that impacted employers and workers in 2018 include changes to Employment Standards Code resulting from input from nearly 5000 stakeholders; WHMIS, which changed from WHMIS 1988 to WHMIS 2015 (incorporating elements of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals [GHS]), must now be in place at all workplaces; the Cannabis Act came into force making it legal to consume cannabis recreationally.  As a result of all of these changes, 2018 has been a busy year for the CCSA team and our members!

Throughout 2018, the CCSA team has been updating all of our courses to reflect the OHS legislation changes.  One of the major changes to OHS legislation is that it is now mandated that every employer with more than 20 employees have a Health and Safety Committee (HSC) (formerly Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee) and that training for the committee be delivered by a certified training agency.  CCSA has revamped our Health and Safety Committee (HSC)/Representative training and has applied to be one of these designated training agencies.  Once the new CCSA HSC curriculum has been approved by the Alberta Government, we will be able to start training HS committee members.  In the meantime, there is  a 2-hour online course produced by the Alberta Government and the Canadian Centre of Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) that counts towards the required 16 hours of HS Committee/Representative training.  Currently, the CCOHS HS Committee/Representative training is the ONLY approved HS Committee/Representative training in Alberta. Click here to access the online training. 

The changes to Partnership’s Standards also meant changes for CCSA and our members.  As a Certifying Partner, the CCSA was required to revise our auditor training program including HSMS: Basics for Auditors and Auditor Training to reflect changes to the standards.  Partnership reviews should be completed on these courses in early 2019 and, upon approval, the CCSA will be offering new, updated training.  The CCSA will also be releasing a new Partnerships approved Audit Tool for 2019 in January.  To help prepare auditors for these changes and to provide an opportunity to train on the new Audit Tool, the CCSA team met with 128 auditors in November and December for auditor refresher training.  These sessions were a great opportunity to reconnect with all of our hard-working auditors and answer any questions they had about the changes to the audit process. 

2018 was a year of accomplishment for CCSA and our members!  To respond to the overhaul of OHS legislation, the CCSA developed a process to help organizations identify areas for improvement in their occupational health and safety management systems.  To date, we have worked with 33 member and non-member organizations to complete comprehensive Health and Safety Program Reviews (HSPR) to help achieve legislative compliance and improve overall workplace safety, and we are in the process of scheduling many more for 2019 (reserve your spot for HSPR here!).  Feedback from participating sites has been very positive.

The CCSA team had the opportunity to attend some really great conferences and tradeshows (ASHCA, ACCA and AMSSCH) in 2018 where we got to talk to members and other stakeholders about the current environment in continuing care and healthcare as a whole.  Throughout the year, we worked to produce webinars on subjects our members told us were important to them including Bill 30 OHS Legislation Changes, Violence and Harassment Prevention for Managers and Supervisors, Cannabis in Continuing Care and a whole series of webinars on Essential Skills in the workplace.  For 2019 we are excited to introduce more webinars including a series on OHS 101 for Leaders and OHS 101 for Workers. Also, each month this year we will be focusing on a different safety topic and will post to our website, newsletters and social media (you need to follow us on social media to get great safety tips! Facebook, Twitter, YouTube). 

In 2019 we want to continue to build relationships with our members and stakeholders and continue to provide quality safety training and consultation services to help improve safety for everyone who works, lives, visits or volunteers at continuing care centres across Alberta.  Congratulations to everyone who made safety a priority at work in 2018 and let’s keep the momentum going for 2019!