Regulations Amending Certain Regulations Made Under the Canada Labour Code
PROPOSED FEDERAL REGULATION - VIA PART I OF THE GAZETTE
June 10, 2017
REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT (This statement is not part of the Regulations.) Issues Occupational health and safety (OHS) regulations made under Part II of the Canada Labour Code (the Code) prescribe the occupational exposure limits (OELs) for hazardous substances including grain and flour dust. The Department of Employment and Social Development Labour Program (the Labour Program) has id... (Click for more)
Published on June 12, 2017
Regulations Amending Certain Regulations Made Under the Canada Labour Code
REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT (This statement is not part of the Regulations.) Issues Occupational health and safety (OHS) regulations made under Part II of the Canada Labour Code (the Code) prescribe the occupational exposure limits (OELs) for hazardous substances including grain and flour dust. The Department of Employment and Social Development Labour Program (the Labour Program) has identified a need to make amendments to the OELs for grain dust and flour dust in order to better protect the health and safety of employees and to ensure that levels are technically feasible and achievable. With proper engineering controls, proper cleaning procedures and the use of appropriate respiratory protection equipment for certain tasks, the industry is currently able to comply with the proposed OELs for grain dust and flour dust. However, the presence of inappropriate standards in the regulations risks leaving federally regulated workers without adequate protection. Grain dust The current OEL of 10 mg/m 3 for grain dust is too high and, therefore, puts the health and safety of federally regulated workers at risk. Scientific studies reveal that worker exposure to elevated concentrations of airborne grain dust may cause a range of health effects, most of which involve the pulmonary system (for example bronchitis, upper respiratory tract irritation, asthma, and decline in pulmonary function). It has been found that, at dust concentrations of 4 mg/m 3 and below, the risks to eyes, skin, and upper respiratory function would be minimized. Both employer and employee representatives agree that the current OEL for grain dust is not appropriate. Flour dust The current standard of 0.5 mg/m 3 for flour dust is impracticable, as it would require employees to wear respiratory protective equipment at all times during their entire work shifts. Wearing respiratory protection equipment may interfere with task performances, reduce work efficiency and can also result in physiological and psychological burdens for workers. (see footnote 1) Background The Labour Program administers the Code. Part II of the Code establishes the legislative framework for occupational health and safety in workplaces under federal jurisdiction. It provides that preventative measures must be undertaken to eliminate or control employees’ exposure to hazardous substances. Employers under federal jurisdiction have a general obligation to ensure that the health and safety of every person that they employ is protected while they are working. This can be achieved by complying with Part II of the Code and the standards set out in the Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations (COHSR) and the Maritime Occupational Health and Safety Regulations (MOHSR). Employers have specific duties in regard to each workplace they control and every work activity under their authority. In order to meet this goal, workplace parties (employees and employers) are encouraged to work together to develop practices and policies, and to assess and address OHS issues effectively and in a timely manner. In addition, employers are required to provide employees with the information, education, training and supervision necessary to ensure their health and safety at work. The Labour Program oversees the implementation, in partnership with Transport Canada and the National Energy Board, of the requirements for federally regulated workplaces. Transport Canada is responsible for on-board workplaces in the aviation, marine and rail sectors under federal jurisdiction. For its part, the National Energy Board is responsible for workplaces in the oil and gas sector under federal jurisdiction. Finally, the Labour Program is responsible for all other federally regulated industries, including banking; telecommunication; broadcasting; air, interprovincial rail, and road transportation; shipping and related services; grain elevators; feed and seed mills; uranium mining; Crown corporations; and the federal public administration. Part X of the COHSR under Part II of the Code was identified as a priority for updating by stakeholders, including employer and employee representatives. In response, the Labour Program established the Part X Working Group to conduct an in-depth review of Part X of the COHSR and to modernize them. Part X of the COHSR prescribes the workplace requirements and the exposure limits for hazardous substances, including grain and flour dust. Occupational exposure limits An OEL is an upper limit on the acceptable concentration of a hazardous substance in workplace air for a particular material or class of materials over an eight-hour time-weighted average (TWA) limit. The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) is the pre-eminent international organization in the industrial hygiene and occupational health and safety field. The ACGIH provides critical information and recommends best practices to industrial hygienists worldwide. As part of its mandate, the ACGIH publishes science-based occupational exposure guidelines known as Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) and Biological Exposure Indices (BEIs), which are recognized internationally as establishing the scientific basis for the development of workplace standards. TLV and BEI are reserved terms of the ACGIH. Currently, the federal OHS regulations prescribe that all occupational exposure limits of an airborne chemical agent must follow the TLVs established by the ACGIH, except for airborne grain dust and chrysotile asbestos. (see footnote 2) Grain dust Grain dust, which is present in grain handling facilities such as grain elevators across Canada, is considered an airborne hazardous substance due to the adverse health effects associated with employee exposure via inhalation over time. Currently, there are approximately 350 grain handling facilities that are federally regulated. The physical and chemical composition of grain dust varies depending on the geographic site, the type of grain, the wetness of the season, storage temperature, as well as many other factors. Grain dust consists of both organic and inorganic materials. The major components of grain dust include organic materials such as fractured grain kernels, fractured weed seeds, husks, storage mites, insects, bacteria, molds, inorganic matter, and chemicals. (see footnote 3) The inorganic matter in grain dust includes soil, silicon dioxide, and a wide variety of other compounds containing many trace elements. The content of quartz and inorganic matter in grain dust appear to be related to the degree to which the grain has been cleaned. (see footnote 4) In other words, grain dust is generated by the abrasion of kernels when grain is being handled. Repeated handling produces greater amounts of dust. It has been estimated that when passing through a typical elevator, each ton of grain handled generated three to four pounds of dust. (see footnote 5) The scientific evidence is very clear that the current OEL for grain dust of 10 mg/m 3 is harmful to workers’ health. (see footnote 6) According to the ACGIH, the most prominent health effect of grain dust is an acute irritation of the upper respiratory tract, eyes, and, occasionally, the skin. Adverse health effects from exposure to grain dust were first reported in 1713 by Ramazzini, (see footnote 7) who noted that workers in granaries and barns sifting and measuring grain almost all developed shortness of breath and rarely reached old age. (see footnote 8) An epidemiological study by the American College of Chest Physicians identified that the prevalence of most respiratory symptoms was higher among grain handlers than among control groups. In addition, it listed the prevalence of chronic bronchitis as being 48% higher among grain handlers than city workers, for which the prevalence was documented at 18%. (see footnote 9) In 1985, the ACGIH adopted the OEL of 4 mg/m 3 for grain dust. One of the main contributors to the ACGIH’s decision to set a grain dust OEL at 4 mg/m 3 was the scientific work of Canadian researchers. According to the ACGIH, this value is expected to minimize acute irritation of the upper respiratory tract, eyes, and skin; bronchitis symptoms; and chronic decrements in pulmonary function. This recommendation was endorsed by the Canadian Thoracic Society and was adopted by all Canadian provincial health and safety jurisdictions more than 20 years ago. Across Canada, all provinces have adopted the OEL of 4 mg/m 3 . The territories have no limit specified since grain processing activities are extremely limited in the territories. Internationally, the OEL for grain dust varies from one country to another. In the United States, the level for grain dust established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is of 10 mg/m 3 . OSHA acknowledges that many standards are outdated and recommends that employers follow more stringent exposure levels. Both the ACGIH and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health recommend an OEL of 4 mg/m 3 for grain dust. Australia, England and Japan have an OEL of 4 mg/m 3 for grain dust. Based on the scientific evidence, the Labour Program intends to adopt a safe OEL for grain dust, which is also in line with the levels in force in all Canadian provincial health and safety jurisdictions. Flour dust Flour dust, which is present in wheat flour mills and bakeries across Canada, is considered an airborne hazardous substance due to the adverse health effects that include respiratory sensitization associated with employee exposure via inhalation over time. In Canada, there are approximately 50 wheat flour mills that are all federally regulated. Exposure to flour can lead to irritation, resulting in inflammatory responses throughout the respiratory system, and sensitization, resulting in asthma. In a study by Sudan, Awad el Karim et al., an analysis of respiratory symptoms showed that mill workers that were tested had a significantly increased prevalence of chronic cough, phlegm, chronic bronchitis, chest tightness, bronchial asthma, chronic rhinitis, urticaria, sinusitis and conjunctivitis when exposed to grain and flour dust. (see footnote 10) Many other studies were examined by the Labour Program in its study titled Exposure to Inhalable Flour Dust in Canadian Flour Mills. (see footnote 11) In federally regulated businesses, exposures to flour dust occur in flour milling operations, where grain is processed into flour. In provincially regulated businesses, flour dust exposure occurs in baking operations, where flour is used to produce a variety of food products. The federal OHS regulations incorporate by reference the ACGIH standard, which currently prescribes an OEL of 0.5 mg/m 3 for flour dust. Prior to the year 2000, the ACGIH standard was of 10 mg/m 3 for particulate substances not otherwise classified, including flour dust. In 1999, the ACGIH made known that it intended to include for the first time flour dust in the list of airborne hazardous substances maintained by this organization. The proposed OEL was 0.5 mg/m 3 with respect to inhalable particulate matter. The ACGIH recommendation was based on scientific studies performed on workers in the flour mills and bakeries and was established solely on health factors. This recommendation did not consider the economic or technical feasibility of adopting the OEL of 0.5 mg/m 3 for inhalable flour dust. In 2000, following the ACGIH notice to establish the OEL for flour dust at 0.5 mg/m 3 , the Labour Program decided to conduct a study of the levels of employee exposure to flour dust in federally regulated flour mills. The study, published in 2001, revealed that the current OEL of 0.5 mg/m 3 for airborne flour dust was impracticable, as it would require employees to wear respiratory protective equipment at all times during their work shifts. The results also suggested that with some modifications made to the equipment, worker exposure to flour dust in Canadian flour mills could be reduced to 3 mg/m 3 . Across Canada, provincial and territorial jurisdictions set levels of worker exposure to flour dust in bakeries between 0.5 mg/m 3 and 10 mg/m 3 . The provinces of British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador as well as Prince Edward Island have adopted a level of 0.5 mg/m 3 . The provinces and territories of Alberta, Northwest Territories, Ontario and Saskatchewan have adopted a limit of 3 mg/m 3 . The province of Quebec prescribes a level of 10 mg/m 3 . For New Brunswick and Yukon there is no limit specified. In provincially regulated bakeries, flour dust exposure levels are less constant than in wheat flour mills. (see footnote 12) The OEL of 0.5 mg/m 3 is therefore achievable in bakeries since it is much easier to apply engineering control measures at the source. In cases where engineering control measures are not effective in achieving levels at or lower than 0.5 mg/m 3 , the use of respiratory protection equipment would only be required for short duration, since studies show significant employee exposure to flour dust in bakeries tends to be isolated to certain operations, for example during mixing flour. (see footnote 13) In wheat flour mills, exposure to concentrations above 0.5 mg/m 3 is constant, so despite the use of modern equipment, scientific evidence shows that the level of 0.5 mg/m 3 is impracticable without workers using respiratory protective equipment at all times. (see footnote 14) Internationally, the OELs for flour dust vary from 3 mg/m 3 to 10 mg/m 3 . The United States, a direct competitor to the Canadian flour milling industry, does not have a specific OEL for flour dust. OSHA publishes exposure limits and health effects for particulates not already regulated. In England the OEL in force is 10 mg/m 3 . In Australia, Greece, Finland, Iceland and Norway, the OEL for flour dust is set at 5 mg/m 3 . The Czech Republic, Germany and Spain have adopted an OEL of 4 mg/m 3 for flour dust. Finally, Sweden and Denmark have set their OEL at 3 mg/m 3 . It must be noted, however, that the OELs vary because they depend on what has been used as the health end point; for example, in the jurisdictions where the OEL is 3 mg/m 3 and above, the health end point was asthma, and in the jurisdictions with an established OEL of 1 mg/m 3 or below, the health end point was respiratory sensitization. Objectives The main objective of the proposed amendments to the OHS regulations is to protect the health of employees in the federal jurisdiction by setting an appropriate OEL for two known health hazards: grain dust and flour dust. Doing so would mitigate the risk of occupational illness, since the adoption of an OEL for grain dust would ensure that the health and safety of employees under federal jurisdiction is protected; ensure consistency of the OEL for grain dust with the standard in force in most Canadian provincial health and safety jurisdictions; and provide flour mill workers with adequate protection that is technically feasible. Description The proposed amendments to the COHSR and MOHSR would remove the current OEL of 10 mg/m 3 for grain dust and refer to the ACGIH standard, which is of 4 mg/m 3 ; and increase the current OEL for flour dust from 0.5 mg/m 3 to 3 mg/m 3 . “One-for-One” Rule The proposed amendments do not introduce any new stakeholders to the regulatory regime or make changes to existing administrative requirements. As a result, the proposed amendments do not place an administrative burden on industry; therefore, the “One-for-One” Rule does not apply. Small business lens The small business lens would not apply to this proposal, as there are no expected impacts for small businesses operating in the grain and flour mill sectors. There are approximately 65 small businesses operating in the federal grain sector. The changes related to grain dust exposure levels would not have an impact on small businesses, since the industry is already limiting workers exposure to 4 mg/m 3 . For certain tasks for which exposure levels may exceed 4 mg/m 3 , the industry is already complying by providing respiratory protection equipment to employees. There are approximately 30 small businesses in the flour milling industry. The changes related to flour dust exposure levels would also not have an impact on small businesses, because the proposed OEL is less onerous to achieve than the one required since 2000. For specific tasks that may result in exposure levels exceeding 3 mg/m 3 , respiratory protection is provided. Consultation Grain dust In 2009, a working group composed of employer, employee and Labour Program representatives was created with the intent to review in depth Part X — Hazardous Substances of the COHSR. Stakeholders met 18 times from 2009 until consultations were completed in spring 2014. The Part X Working Group focused on establishing a new OEL for grain dust in order to protect employees and mitigate any negative economic repercussions for businesses. The exposure level for grain was reviewed because (a) new epidemiological studies conducted since it was last reviewed suggest a lower exposure limit is more appropriate; and (b) all provincial jurisdictions currently use 4 mg/m 3 as their standard. Employee stakeholders agreed with the proposed OEL of 4 mg/m 3 , whereas employers conceded that the current level of 10 mg/m 3 is not appropriate but submitted that there was insufficient evidence to support adopting an alternative level. Employer representatives have requested a new epidemiological study to determine the appropriate OEL for grain dust. An epidemiological study would require an analysis of the grain dust exposure and the occurrence of adverse health effects in exposed workers over an extensive period of time. This study would be very complex and may take several years to complete. It should also be noted that it would take a minimum of 10 years to be able to observe health effects associated with different exposure levels. A university medical research group would have to conduct the study, and it is very likely that a new study would not contain any new conclusions beyond what is already well-established in the scientific literature, since sampling techniques and tests have not changed over years. Considering the scientific evidence available, the fact that employee representatives are fully supportive of the proposed OEL of 4 mg/m 3 and the most recent data collected by the Labour Program indicating that over the last several years, worker exposure to grain dust does not exceed 4 mg/m 3 even though the current prescribed OEL is of 10 mg/m 3 , the Labour Program recommends moving forward with the ACGIH standard of 4 mg/m 3 . While employers are required to ensure that workplaces are safe, the absence of an appropriate OEL in the regulations leaves the grain industry without an adequate regulatory standard. Flour dust In 2001, following concerns expressed by the flour milling industry through representations made to the Labour Program, it was decided to create a trilateral study group, composed of Labour Program, employee and employer representatives, to assess the feasibility of achieving regulatory compliance to the ACGIH standard of 0.5 mg/m 3 for flour dust. From 2001 to 2003, the Flour Dust Study Group held a total of three meetings and two teleconferences to review the results of a study conducted by the Labour Program in 2000 and to set a proper OEL for federally regulated employees. From 2009 to 2014, through the Part X Working Group, composed of union, employee, employer and Labour Program representatives, extensive consultations have taken place on an exposure limit that would protect employees, while allowing for compliance based mainly on engineering controls and proper cleaning procedures rather than requiring that workers wear personal protective equipment at all times. Based on its 2001 study and the scientific evidence available, the Labour Program recommended adopting an OEL of 3 mg/m 3 for flour dust. Both employer and employee representatives recognize that the ACGIH standard of 0.5 mg/m 3 is impracticable. While employee representatives are in full support of the proposed OEL of 3 mg/m 3 , employer representatives claim that even with engineering controls, the level of 3 mg/m 3 would not be possible and would result in employees wearing personal protective equipment for some activities. The Labour Program study of 2001 clearly concluded that the OEL of 3 mg/m 3 would be achievable with the use of proper equipment and best working practices. Personal protective equipment would be required in about 15% of the time for particular tasks where the risk of exposure is highest. Furthermore, a number of samples taken by the Labour Program in the Quebec Region from 2008 to 2015 indicate that federally regulated flour mills are currently able to comply with the OEL of 3 mg/m 3 without workers using respiratory protection at all times. Employer representatives also argue that there is no sampling technology available to measure grain and flour dust when the two substances are commingled in a single workplace. In response, the Labour Program has reiterated on several occasions that grain dust and flour dust particles have different sizes and can be measured separately. In addition, general guidance documents on grain and flour dust were posted on the Labour Program website on September 16, 2016. They address how and where sampling should be done. A technically feasible level is therefore being proposed to bring the issue to a close. Study group on grain and flour dust In July 2016, a Working Group composed of Labour Program and industry representatives, namely the Western Grain Elevator Association (WGEA) and the Canadian National Millers Association (CNMA), was created to produce an updated joint literature review on existing grain and flour dust studies. The mandate of the Working Group was to collect and synthesize Canadian data concerning occupational exposure to grain and flour dust, including health effect, OELs, sampling methodologies, the nature and extent of exposures, and control measures. Considering there has been no new scientific evidence on health effects published in the last five years, the primary purpose of the Working Group changed to consolidating the existing information, including each party’s position, in a report that will be used to assist the Labour Program in creating additional guidance materials for Labour Program health and safety officers and affected federal employers. It must be noted that ultimately, the CNMA agreed with the OEL of 3 mg/m 3 , provided that the Labour Program create a new guidance document. This document, entitled Occupational Exposure Limit (OEL) Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Handbook: Recommended Practices for Minimizing Worker Exposure to Flour Dust and Grain Dust in Grain Milling Establishments in Canada, is in the process of being developed for use by Labour Program Health and Safety Officers and employers in the federal jurisdiction to support their efforts to ensure compliance. The WGEA maintained its position as it believed further studies are required to determine the proper OEL for grain dust. Both the WGEA and the CNMA indicated that they are willing to work closely with the Labour Program in creating clear guidance documents to assist employers in complying with the proposed amendments. In the report, the Labour Program has concluded that the OEL of 4 mg/m 3 for grain dust and the OEL of 3 mg/m 3 for flour dust are the appropriate levels to ensure the health and safety in the federal jurisdiction. Rationale The proposed OELs would better protect the health and safety of employees in the workplace, and their adoption would ensure that levels are technically feasible and achievable. Grain dust The proposed OEL of 4 mg/m 3 takes into consideration the scientific evidence regarding health effects available, the economic and technical feasibility and the level in force in all Canadian provincial jurisdictions. (see footnote 15) The amendments proposed to the federal OHS regulations would better protect the health and safety of workers; they would reduce the risks from grain dust exposure that cause a range of health effects, most of which involve the pulmonary system, by lowering the OEL to the level of 4 mg/m 3 . Recent data compiled by the Labour Program indicates that the industry is already limiting exposure to less than 4 mg/m 3 . From 1988 to 2010, the Labour Program took 725 samples of grain dust in terminal grain elevators across the country. The results indicated that the airborne concentrations of 556 samples out of 725 (77%) were in the concentration range from 0 to less than 4 mg/m 3 and the airborne concentrations of 124 samples (17%) were found to be between 4 and less than 10 mg/m 3 . The results of 45 samples (6%) indicated levels from 10 to less than 20 mg/m 3 . This means that federally regulated employers were in compliance with the level of 4 mg/m 3 the majority of the time; for specific tasks exceeding the level of 4 mg/m 3 , employers provided respiratory protection equipment to employees. The most recent data obtained from 12 samples taken between July 19 and 21, 2016, in three grain elevators in the Winnipeg Region, indicated grain dust levels ranging from 0.26 to 29.2 mg/m 3 . The results indicated that eight samples were from 0.26 to 3.84 mg/m 3 and four samples were between 7.94 to 29.2 mg/m 3 . Exposure levels higher than 4 mg/m 3 were strictly associated with sweeping and cleaning procedures. While performing these activities, the employees were wearing respiratory protection devices to ensure protection and therefore would be in compliance with the proposed level of 4 mg/m 3 . On the basis of the sampling data cited above, the Labour Program has concluded that most of the benefits flowing from the new OEL are already being felt by employees working in this sector. As a result, it is assumed that the proposed change would have no cost; notwithstanding, codification of the OEL in the regulations would ensure that these benefits continue to accrue in the future. The amendments would facilitate implementation and provide certainty. The proposed OEL of 4 mg/m 3 for grain dust will bring federal OHS regulations in line with Canadian provincial jurisdictions. Flour dust The proposed OEL of 3 mg/m 3 takes into consideration the scientific evidence available regarding health effects, the economic and technical feasibility, and the levels in force at the international level. The scientific evidence is clear in that occupational exposure to flour dust can induce asthma, various chronic airway dysfunctions, including rhinitis and bronchitis, skin and eye symptoms, and respiratory sensitization. While exposure-response relationships as well as personal exposure to flour dust have been analyzed by several authors, it appears that neither a reliable relationship between exposure levels and effects on the respiratory passages could be established nor has a threshold level for no effect on the respiratory tract been determined. (see footnote 16) The level of 0.5 mg/m 3 represents the lowest health risk of inducing asthma, rhinitis and protects from respiratory sensitization. Studies have shown that the level of 3 mg/m 3 protects against asthma and reduces the risk of respiratory sensitization. (see footnote 17) Consequently, the proposed OEL of 3 mg/m 3 is considered to be a compromise as it would be technically feasible and would protect workers from asthma. The results of a study published by the Labour Program in 2001 suggest that with the most up-to-date technology and proper cleaning procedures in place, the flour milling industry may not be able to reduce worker exposure to flour dust to the levels below 0.5 mg/m 3 without the use of respiratory protection at all time. (see footnote 18) As a result, any increased health and safety protection offered by the current standard is diminished because the continuous wearing of respiratory protective equipment imposes a whole host of other health risks to employees, which impact their ability to perform their work, including those related to heat exhaustion and breathing difficulties. (see footnote 19) The study also suggested that with some modifications made to the dust collection system and possibly better designed packing machines, worker exposure to flour dust in Canadian flour mills could be reduced to 3 mg/m 3 . From 2008 to 2015, the Labour Program took samples of flour dust in federally regulated wheat flour mills in the Quebec Region. The results indicated that despite modern equipment, best practices, and appropriate engineering controls in place, federally regulated flour mills are unable to reduce flour dust exposure levels below 0.5 mg/m 3 . An analysis of these samples revealed that 45% were at 3 mg/m 3 or below. The remaining 55% of the samples, where flour dust concentrations were higher than 3 mg/m 3 , were a direct result of the use of compressed air for cleaning purposes, which is prohibited by the regulations. In these instances, employers provided respiratory protection equipment to employees. Labour Program internal technical advisors confirm that Quebec’s flour milling industry is representative of the national industry, i.e. the technology and control measures used for cleaning and filtration is similar across the country; therefore, the flour milling industry under federal jurisdiction would be able to meet the proposed OEL of 3 mg/m 3 . The proposed OEL of 3 mg/m 3 for flour dust is not expected to create compliance costs for the flour milling industry under federal jurisdiction, as the proposed OEL is achievable and less onerous than the enforceable level of 0.5 mg/m 3 that has been in force since 2000. Based on the results of the study conducted by the Labour Program in 2001, the samples collected by the Labour Program from 2008 to 2015 in federally regulated flour mills, extensive stakeholder consultations, the support of employee stakeholders and the recent literature review prepared in consultation with flour milling industry stakeholders, the Labour Program recommends increasing the current OEL for flour dust from 0.5 mg/m 3 to 3 mg/m 3 . Implementation, enforcement and service standards Implementation The employers under federal jurisdiction will have to comply with the new requirements regarding the OELs as of the day of the coming into force of the amendments to the regulations. These changes will be communicated to stakeholders to ensure compliance. Enforcement Overall, the Labour Program’s compliance policy outlines the proactive and reactive activities used by delegated officials to ensure compliance. While OHS policy committees and workplace committees are the primary mechanisms through which employers and employees work together to solve job-related health and safety problems, the employer remains ultimately responsible for workplace health and safety. Delegated officials assist the industry in establishing and implementing policy committees and workplace committees, and related programs. Statutory powers allow delegated officials to enter work sites and perform various activities to enforce compliance with the Code and OHS regulations. For example, delegated officials may conduct safety audits and inspections. They may also investigate the circumstances surrounding the report of a contravention, work accident, refusal to work, or hazardous occurrence. If violations of the regulations are observed and are not resolved via policy and workplace committees, enforcement actions towards the employer for non-compliance would be used by a delegated official. Enforcement actions may range from the issuance of a written notice to further steps such as the initiation of prosecution. Initially, an attempt to correct non-compliance with the regulations, when non-compliance does not represent a dangerous condition, is made through the issuance of an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance (AVC). An AVC is a written commitment that a contravention will be corrected within a specified time. Failure to complete the corrective actions specified in the AVC may lead the delegated official to issue a direction. A direction is issued whenever a serious contravention or dangerous condition exists and when an AVC is not obtainable or has not been fulfilled. Failure to comply with a direction is a violation of the Code and as such is enforceable by prosecution. Offences can lead to imprisonment. The maximum penalty for offences is, on summary conviction, a fine of $1M, or on conviction on indictment, imprisonment for up to two years and/or a fine of $1M. Prosecutions are typically reserved for the most serious offences, given the resources required for them. Contact Shafi Askari-Farahani Policy Analyst Occupational Health and Safety Policy Unit Program Development and Guidance Directorate Labour Program Employment and Social Development Canada 165 De l’Hôtel-de-Ville Street Place du Portage, Phase II, 10th Floor Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0J2 Telephone: 819-654-4468 Email: [email protected] PROPOSED REGULATORY TEXT Notice is given that the Governor in Council, pursuant to 157 (see footnote a) of the Canada Labour Code (see footnote b), proposes to make the annexed Regulations Amending Certain Regulations Made Under the Canada Labour Code. Interested persons may make representations concerning the proposed Regulations within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. All such representations must cite the Canada Gazette, Part I, and the date of publication of this notice, and be addressed to Shafi Askari-Farahani, Policy Analyst, Occupational Health and Safety Policy Unit, Labour Program, Employment and Social Development Canada, 165 Hôtel-de-Ville Street, Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0J2 (tel.: 819-654-4468; fax: 819-953-1743; email: shafi. [email protected]). Ottawa, June 1, 2017 Jurica Čapkun Assistant Clerk of the Privy Council Regulations Amending Certain Regulations Made Under the Canada Labour Code Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 1 Paragraphs 10.19(1)(a) and (b) of the Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations (see footnote 20) are replaced by the following: (a) an airborne chemical agent, other than airborne flour dust or airborne chrysotile asbestos, in excess of the value for that chemical agent adopted by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists, in its publication entitled Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) and Biological Exposure Indices (BEIs), as amended from time to time; (b) airborne flour dust in excess of 3 mg/m 3 ; or Maritime Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2 Paragraphs 255(1)(a) and (b) of the Maritime Occupational Health and Safety Regulations (see footnote 21) are replaced by the following: (a) an airborne chemical agent, other than airborne flour dust or airborne chrysotile asbestos, in excess of the value for that chemical agent adopted by the most recent edition of the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists publication entitled Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) and Biological Exposure Indices (BEIs); (b) airborne flour dust in excess of 3 mg/m 3 ; Coming into Force 3 These Regulations come into force on the day on which they are registered. [23-1-o] Footnote 1 https://jbioleng.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13036-0160025-4 Footnote 2 Amendments to the OHS regulations were prepublished in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on December 24, 2016, to remove the exemption for chrysotile asbestos and refer to the ACGIH standard. Footnote 3 Chan-Yeung, M., Enarson, D., and Kennedy, S., The Impact of Grain Dust on Respiratory Health, AM Re Respir Dis, 1992, 145: 476–487. Footnote 4 Chan-Yeung, M., Enarson, D., Grzybowski, S., Grain Dust and Respiratory Health, Can Med Association Journal, 1985, 133: 969–973. Footnote 5 Chan-Yeung, M., Enarson, D., and Kennedy, S., The Impact of Grain Dust on Respiratory Health, AM Re Respir Dis, 1992, 145: 476–487. Further supporting in the following studies: Farant J.P., Moore C.F., Dust Exposure in the Canadian Grain Industry; in Dosman J.A., Cotton D.G., eds. Occupational Pulmonary Disease, Focus on grain dust and health, New York Academy Press, 1980, 477–506. Footnote 6 Tabona, M., Chan-Yeung, M., Enarson, D., et al. Host factors affecting longitudinal decline in lung spirometry among grain elevators workers. Chest, 1984; Enarson, D., Vedal, S., Chan-Yeung, M. Rapid decline in FEV1 in grain handlers. Relation to level dust exposure. PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1985; American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists. Documentation of the threshold limit values and biological exposure indices. 5th ed. Cincinnati: the Conference, 1986, Huy, T., De Schipper, K., Chan-Yeung, M., Kennedy, S. Grain dust and lung function. Dose-response relationships, Am Rev Respir Dis. 1991. Footnote 7 Ramazzini, B., Demorbus artificum diatribe 1713 (W. Care Wright, trans) Chicago. University of Chicago Press, 1940. Footnote 8 American Conference of Government and Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), Grain Dust (oat, wheat, and barley) TLV-TWA, 4 mg/m 3 , 2001 publication. Footnote 9 doPico, G.A., Reddan, W.C., Tsiatis, A., Flaherty, D., Jacobs, S., and Rankin, J., Pulmonary Reaction to Grain Dust and its Constituents, Chest, 1 July 1981 Supplement, 80:57S–61S. Footnote 10 Awad el Karim, M.A.; Gad el Rab, M.O.; Omer, A.A.; el Haimi, Y.A.: Respiratory and Allergic Disorders in Workers Exposed to Grain and Flour Dust. Arch Environ Health, 41(5): 297–301(1986). Footnote 11 Karpinski, Eva, P.Eng. Exposure to Inhalable Flour Dust in Canadian Flour Mills, Human Resources Development Canada, Labour Branch. May 2001. Footnote 12 Stobnicka, Agata, and Gormy, Rafal L., Exposure to flour dust in occupational environment, Central Institute for Labour Protection, Published by Taylor and Francis, 2015. Footnote 13 Stobnicka, Agata, and Gormy, Rafal L., Exposure to flour dust in occupational environment, Central Institute for Labour Protection, Published by Taylor and Francis, 2015. Footnote 14 Karpinski, Eva, P.Eng. Exposure to Inhalable Flour Dust in Canadian Flour Mills, Human Resources Development Canada, Labour Branch. May 2001. Footnote 15 Prior to 1999, the ACGIH recommendations were also based on the economic and technical feasibility of the proposed levels. Footnote 16 Karpinski, Eva, P.Eng., Exposure to Inhalable Flour Dust in Canadian Flour Mills, Human Resources Development Canada, Labour Branch. May 2001. Footnote 17 Brisman, J., Järvholm, B., Lilliienberg, L. Exposure-response relations for self-reported asthma and rhinitis in Bakers. Occup Environ Med. 2000; 57: 335–340. Footnote 18 Karpinski, Eva, P.Eng., Exposure to Inhalable Flour Dust in Canadian Flour Mills, Human Resources Development Canada, Labour Branch. May 2001. Footnote 19 https://jbioleng.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13036-016-0025-4 Footnote a S.C. 2013, c. 40, s. 198 Footnote b R.S., c. L-2 Footnote 20 SOR/86-304; SOR/94-263, s. 1; SOR/2002-208, s.1; SOR/2016-141, s. 7 Footnote 21 SOR/2010-120; SOR/2016-141, s. 58
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