FIGHTBACK FACTSHEET ISSUE #4 BILL 47 AND SAFETY TRAINING

Background
Bill 47 upsets the well-established “hierarchy of controls” (elimination, substitution, engineering or administrative controls). Instead of properly mitigating workplace hazards, it dramatically shifts the training onus onto workers instead of employers.

Before Bill 47 After Bill 47
Clear legislative requirement that employers ensure workers are adequately trained to protect their health and safety: before the worker begins performing a new work activity; uses new equipment; performs a new process; or is moved to a different work site. Only imposes the more general requirement that employers must ensure workers are adequately trained in all matters necessary to perform their work in a healthy and safe manner.
Ensures the co-chairs of the committee/representative receive training. The employer must permit the committee members/representative to take time away from regular duties to attend health and safety training programs. Imposes the obligation on workers to participate in any training provided by employers but there is no clarification if this includes training provided outside of working hours or if the training will be paid at regular pay rate.
No longer includes a mandatory requirement that safety committee members/representative will be compensated for training.
The supervisors to ensure their own competency to supervise workers. Workers should ensure the supervisor watching them is in fact competent.
As long as workers are under the direct supervision of a worker who is competent to perform the work, they can perform work that may endanger themselves or others.

What’s next?
This factsheet only describes some of the changes in Bill 47. We will be providing more information on these issues and others regularly over the next few months. On top of the radical changes to local union administration passed in Bill 32, Bill 47 is another government attack on our rights at work. Visit unifor.org/alberta to learn more.