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Canadian Occupational Health and Safety Law: How to Read the Law

Canadian Occupational Health and Safety Law: How to Read the Law
"""What do laws, rules, codes, standards, and recommendations in the context of health and safety mean?

A number of Acts and other pieces of legislation protect workplace health and safety. The key pieces of legislation that are related to occupational health and safety (OH&S) in Canada are the Act and regulations, albeit the rules differ based on the jurisdiction. Standard, code, and guideline documents are additional important ones. Note: For complete information, always check with your jurisdiction and the law that is relevant to your circumstance. You can better grasp how language is employed in legislation by reading this text. Act Acts address topics that are important to the entire jurisdiction (in terms of occupational health and safety, for province, territory, or federal workplaces). Each jurisdiction's Occupational Health and Safety Act (or equivalent) lays out general guidelines to help ensure that working conditions are secure and do not pose a risk of disease or injury. An Act typically outlines the duties and rights of employers, employees, managers, and other parties. The Act also specifies how enforcement will be carried out. RegulationsRegulations specify the circumstances and procedures that must be followed in the workplace in order to comply with laws. Normally, regulations outline these requirements in greater detail than the Act does. Regulations may be hazard-specific or sector-specific (for example, in the mining, construction, etc) (such as confined space, noise, etc.). Make sure you are always abiding by the rules that are relevant to your profession or circumstance. To adopt occupational health and safety requirements, some jurisdictions use a series of laws, rules, and regulations. Multiple regulations frequently relate to an Act and apply to a workplace. CodesCodes are also legally binding regulations. According to Justice Canada, Codification is the process of gathering and restating the law in specific areas, typically by subject, to create a legal code, such as a book, according to law. The Occupational Health and Safety Code, for instance, establishes the technical standards for health and safety in Albertan workplaces. Similar to this, the laws governing federal workplaces are referred to as the Canada Labour Code. Standards The Canadian Standards Association (CSA), the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), and the International Organization for Standardization are examples of voluntary organizations that establish standards (ISO). These organizations publish standards, but the standards do not have legal force. They are regarded as recommendations and they stand for ""excellent practice."" A standard, however, only becomes enforceable if it is included in the law and adopted by legislation. For instance, if the rules stipulate that employees must wear CSA-approved footwear, the CSA norm that is mentioned about footwear has the force of law. The use of footwear that hasn't received CSA approval is regarded as non-compliant. Guidelines Guidelines are written materials that are frequently produced by the jurisdiction and are used to understand laws. Instructions on how a workplace might adhere to legal obligations may be found in guidelines. Most of the time, guidelines lack the legal authority of laws.

What is the composition of the law?

Legislation is broken down into sections, subsections, clauses, divisions, portions, and so forth. Section Title Division Part Section Subsection Clause Subclause Frequently, allusions to laws will be made in language similar to this one from Prince Edward Island: Section 12(1) of the OHS Act (a). This reference relates to clause an of Section 12 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. The general obligation provision is referenced in the following PEI example: Employer obligations under Section 12 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 12. (1) An employer must make sure that (a) every effort is made to protect the occupational health and safety of people at or around the workplace; Saskatchewan Employment Act, Section 3-8 is another illustration (a). DIVINATION 3 Tasks general obligations of the employer 3?8 Every employer is required to: (a) provide for the health, safety, and welfare of all of their employees while they are at work, to the extent that this is practically practical;

How are words used in law defined?

Definitions are frequently spelled out at the start of an Act or regulation. Definitions may also be included in the Part or section where they are most pertinent or where they are first used. The definitions are included in the Act in some circumstances, but they also apply to terminology used in the regulations. The legal system utilizes the term's generally accepted definition and connects it to how it is used in that particular section of the legislation when it is not explicitly specified in the Act or regulations. If in doubt, you can look up a definition in a dictionary.

Does language play a role in laws?

Yes. Word choice is crucial. Legislation uses words with special intent. For instance, the word ""prescribed"" might appear in an Act. When something is ""prescribed,"" it signifies that a regulation may describe the action or object that is necessary (not necessarily in that Act). The Act will use precise phrases, as will the regulations. Examples of legal verbs are: Should, Would, or Must: The thing or action mentioned is necessary. Should or May - provides a choice or option Another illustration is when a list of things is displayed. And - everything is equal, and everything has to be done. Alternatively, a decision may be made or only one of the things is required for action to be taken. For instance, Section 143, subsection 2 of the Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Code reads as follows: 143 (2) An employer must make sure that a carabiner or snap hook is (a) self-closing and self-locking, (b) may only be opened by at least two consecutive purposeful manual actions, and © is labelled with both the name or brand of the manufacturer and I its breaking strength in the principal axis. The usage of the word ""must"" indicates that the employer is compelled to carry out the actions. All three of the components specified in (a), (b), and © are necessary because subclause (b) ends with the word ""and"". Note that item © has two parts, and that both are necessary due to the usage of the conjunction ""and"" (i). The Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Regulation, Section 5.4, illustrates the use of the word ""or."" A first aider or, if none is necessary, a supervisor, shall provide assistance to a worker who becomes unwell or is wounded at work as needed. If no first aider is required to be present in the workplace. In this clause, the employer is required to ensure that first aid assistance is accessible from a first aid attendant OR, if one is not available, from a supervisor. In this case, only one first aid provider or supervisor is required.

Does punctuation play a role in law?

Yes. Punctuation can have a specific meaning or goal, just like words does. No matter how many clauses there are, a section or sub-last section's period (.) indicates that it is a complete sentence. A period also denotes a full concept that stands alone from any preceding or following sentences. at the conclusion of a subclause, a comma (,). Using the comma gives each clause (related ideas or concepts) equal weight or importance. Semicolon (;) at the end of each clause. The semicolon indicated the clauses have equal weight, but that the ideas may be different from those before or after. Colon (:) at the end of a clause if the clause is followed by a number of sub-clauses.

What happens when the legislation is not specific about an issue?

Acts and regulations do not always list or prescribe the specific steps to take to be in compliance. Instead, it holds employers responsible for determining what steps they need to take to ensure health and safety of all workers. If a specific issue is not covered by legislation, employers must be able to show their due diligence  by taking every reasonable precaution to preventing injuries or incidents.

Where can I find more information?

Check with your jurisdiction for more information about how legislation is written and enforced. For general information, please see Department of Justice (Canada): Legistics   https://canada.justice.gc.ca/eng/rp-pr/csj-sjc/legis-redact/legistics/toc-tdm.html """
 

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"Canadian Occupational Health and Safety Law: How to Read the Law" was written by Mary under the Health category. It has been read 45 times and generated 0 comments. The article was created on and updated on 23 November 2022.
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