Workplace Safety Database Launched by Alberta Government

In Canada the Alberta Government has recently launched a workplace safety database so that current and prospective employees can check on their employer’s workplace safety records.

As reported in the St. Albert Gazette:

“It is so Albertans have a good idea of their employer or prospective employer’s record on health and safety,” said Chris Chodan with Alberta Employment and Immigration.

Gil McGowan with the Alberta Federation of Labour said the government said the website would be a one-stop shop for people interested in their employer’s record, but that is not what has been delivered.

“What we got instead was a site that hides employment safety records behind a wall of confusing and downright useless information.”

The site allows people to search by industry, company name and city and provides information on companies using data from the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB).

McGowan said the problem with loss time claim rates is that employers report them and when they rise, so do their WCB premium rates.

He said while they don’t have firm statistics, his group has heard many reports of employers putting employees on modified duties or otherwise not reporting loss hours to keep their claims down.

“You shouldn’t be using statistics that can be so easily compromised.“

McGowan said they would like to see provincially issued stop-work orders and stop-use orders listed on the site and would also like to see inspection reports that the province does at worksites as part of the database.

Chodan said stop-work orders and inspection reports could be added over time, but for right now they went with the loss time claim numbers because they are universal.

‘They are known as a universally recognized statistic,” he said. “It is a standard that has to be reported.”

McGowan has also cited many examples of workplace accidents or charges that aren’t listed on the site. He said the information in some cases just isn’t there for some companies or is harder to find in other cases.

“It simply doesn’t have the information on the website that workers need.”

Chodan said in some cases there are multiple companies at a site where a fatality or accident occurred. He said in other cases one company can be charged for an accident that affected an employee of another firm.

“The company that gets charged might not be the actual employer.”

Is this something you’d be interested in seeing over here in the States or is it too much Government intervention and regulation?