The new Hazard Prevention Program Regulations, forming Part XIX of the Canada Occupational Health and Safety (COHS) Regulations, came into force. Those regulations were made pursuant to Part II of the Canada Labour Code (Code), the purpose of which is to prevent accidents and injury to health arising out of, linked with, or occurring in the course of employment in the federal jurisdiction.
One of the provisions in the amendments to the Code, which came into force on September 30, 2000, required federally regulated employers to develop a prescribed program for the prevention of hazards in the work place. Before those amendments, there was no clear requirement for the employer to implement a program to prevent accidents and injuries in the work place, although the purpose of the Code is to prevent them.
Following those changes, the Review Committee for the Technical Revision of the COHS Regulations (Regulatory Review Committee) at Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) directed that a working group be formed to determine the best course of action. The tripartite working group, comprised of employer, employee and government representatives, examined various alternatives, including regulatory and non-regulatory options. A consensus was reached to develop performance-based, all encompassing Hazard Prevention Program Regulations to capture any areas where there could be a void.
The new Hazard Prevention Program Regulations include requirements relating to hazard identification, assessment and control as well as the education of employees. They also introduce a requirement for employers to submit, at least every three years, an evaluation report of effectiveness to the Minister of Labour. This will be part of the employer's annual hazardous occurrence report required under Part XV of the COHS Regulations.
Those new Regulations should therefore insure the reduction or elimination of accidental injury, illness, and mortality in work places of employers under federal jurisdiction.
You may read the following documents for more detailed information on those new Regulations: