The Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations under the Canada Labour Code were amended September 30, 2011 to provide clarity and direction regarding certain requirements of the Regulations. The changes are unlikely to significantly impact the operations of federally regulated employers, but should be noted to ensure compliance.
The former prohibition against workers carrying tools while climbing a fixed ladder unless those tools were carried in a safe manner has been replaced by provisions requiring workers to maintain three points of contact with a fixed ladder while ascending and descending, and to carry tools, equipment or other materials in a pouch, holster or in another secure manner (amended section 2.9(3) Regulations). This further clarifies the intent of the Regulations.
The amendments also clarify that the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) standards in the Regulations are applicable to every workplace that is equipped with an HVAC system controlled by the employer (amended section 2.20 Regulations). This deals with concerns that the previous provision placed an unfair burden on employers leasing premises and not controlling the building or system. The amended Regulations also now require the qualified person appointed to write HVAC instructions to consider CSA Guideline Z204-94, Guideline for Managing Air Quality in Office Buildings (amended 2.24 Regulations) This amends and clarifies previous awkward language that referred to the instructions having to take into account the CSA guideline.