Changes to the Newfoundland and Labrador Occupational Health and Safety Act

On March 1, 2024, changes to the Newfoundland and Labrador Occupational Heath and Safety Act came into effect relating to the requirements for occupational health and safety programs and committees in Newfoundland and Labrador. Previously, worksites having 10 or more workers were required to establish an Occupational Health and Safety Committee (OHS Committee) and develop an Occupational Health and Safety Program (OHS Program), in consultation with the committee.  The requirement to establish OHS Committees and OHS Programs are still in effect but are now only required for worksites with 20 or more workers (or where directed by an OHS Officer).

Government press release.

What does this mean for COR® certified companies?

  • The COR® Standard relating to the requirement for OHS Committees has been changed from 10 to 20 workers/worksite, in alignment with the regulatory change. For worksites with less than 20 workers, a Worker Health and Safety Representative (WHS Rep) is required.
  • There are no changes to the requirement to establish a written occupational health and safety program. The COR® Program has always required employers establish a written health and safety program, regardless of number of workers.  The program would be established in consultation with the OHS Committee or WHS Rep, whichever was applicable at the worksite.
  • The COR® audit tool, training and resource materials have been updated to reflect the above changes.
  • A new “Workplace Health and Safety Representative/Designate Quarterly Checklist” has been developed to help Employers and WHS Representatives/Designates meet their due diligence requirements.

While for many employers this may mean that they are no longer legislatively required to have an OHS Committee in their workplace, the NLCSA is encouraging employers with active OHS Committees to keep the momentum going.

“We feel strongly that Safety meetings are still an essential tool for effective health and safety consultation and collaboration in the workplace. We want employers to understand the value of the OHS Committee and safety meetings, and how they help build a solid safety culture. We want employers to look beyond what the minimum legislative requirements are to what they need to have effective safety communications and accountability in the workplace” says Cherie Whelan, NLCSA CEO.

If you have any questions, please drop us a line at info@nlcsa.com or give us a call – 709-739-7000 or 1-888-681-7233.  Our team of safety professionals will be happy to help.