EDMONTON - The provincial government is looking for input on how occupational health and safety rules could apply to farms and ranches.
The Enhanced Protection for Farm and Ranch Workers Act, was passed in December 2015, to bring the protection and compensation of waged, non-family farm and ranch workers in line with other sectors.
Six different technical working groups reviewed occupational health and safety rules and their recommendations are posted online, for Albertans to provide input.
The government says it will take as long as needed to consult with and listen to farmers and ranchers before making any changes. However, the feedback deadline is January 15th, 2018. After that, the province will begin drafting regulations based on both the recommendations and public feedback.
Key facts and figures, as provided by the government:
-- Occupational Health and Safety rules only apply to farm and ranch operations that employ waged, non-family workers. They do not apply to owners or family members of owners.
-- As of Jan. 1, 2016, Workers’ Compensation Board insurance coverage is required for paid workers. All waged, non-family farm and ranch workers are covered under WCB.
-- Since Jan. 1, 2016, 2,125 new Workers’ Compensation Board accounts have been opened by agricultural producers employing waged, non-family workers.
-- Of the approximately 40,638 farms and ranches in Alberta, 9,565 reported hiring waged, non-family workers in 2016.
-- A total of 33,498 farm and ranch workers were employed in paid work on a full-time, part-time or temporary/seasonal basis in 2016.
-- As of June 30, 2017, more than 1,200 workers have had their claims accepted by WCB.
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