Legislative changes in 2018 will highlight the importance of these two departments being in lock-step. The legalization of marijuana and the implementation of OHS Bill 30 in Alberta will highlight the need for Human Resources (HR) and Health and Safety (H&S) to be aligned and working closely together.

The proposed legalization of marijuana introduces issues related to both HR and H&S. It has resurfaced issues of accommodation and has raised issues related to job performance and conduct at social functions. Additionally, it has raised significant concerns about the ability to measure impairment and to ensure safe workplaces.

Likewise, Bill 30 under the Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHS), which largely takes effect on June 1, 2018. Included in those changes are updates to the obligations of Employers which address the Employer’s responsibility for providing competent supervisors, training workers, and preventing violence and harassment. The inclusion of harassment as a workplace health and safety issue blurs the lines between Employment Standards, Human Rights and OHS, reinforcing the importance of the issue and the shared obligation for enforcement of a safe and harassment-free workplace.

In 2018, organizations must ensure that staff understand rules and processes related to harassment, that they understand how marijuana is treated under drug and alcohol policies and that they understand their rights and obligations with respect to both. They must also ensure that leaders know their obligations, are appropriately educating and training their staff on respectful workplace issues and are addressing harassment related concerns according to established and adhered to policies and processes.

It’s high time (pun intended) to wander down the hall and get to know your HR/H&S neighbour!

For assistance with:

  • Respectful Workplace Training
  • Policy Development
  • Workplace Investigation

Please contact Cenera