EHS Regulatory updates released in February 2019

The following regulatory updates are a sample of the changes that have taken place in February 2019. For a comprehensive update of legislative and regulatory changes sign up for our trial subscription.



Title: Amendments to the Grade Crossing Standards  


Effective Date: March 1, 2019


Summary of changes: 


The Grade Crossings Standards are mandatory engineering standards that improve safety at crossings and are referenced in the Grade Crossings Regulations.


  • Correction of English discrepancies which includes: 

    • Article 9.5 is amended to add the wording “without gates.” The original text did not provide an accurate description of the warning system and should have been consistent with other requirements found throughout Article 9.

    • Equation 10.4b: The text relating to equation 10.4b is amended to add clarity to the equation. It explains that “cdG stop” should be used in place of (s) in figure 10-2.

    • Equation 10.4b and corresponding text of Equation 10.4b: The acronym “t” is modified to “tcdG stop” and the text relating to equation 10.4b is amended to add clarity to the equation. The amended text explains that “tcdG stop” should be used in place of (t) in figure 10-2. Transport Canada is creating the new acronym in order to help differentiate equation 10.4b from equation 10.3b.

    • Article 12.1(c) is amended to change the word “minimum” to “maximum.” The top of the warning signal foundation must be at a “maximum,” not a “minimum,” of 100 mm (4 inches) above the surrounding ground. This change matches the corresponding Figure 12-1 which is correct. This error could have resulted in the unsafe installation of foundations of warning systems and caused potential hazards to motorists and road users in the event of an accident.

    • Figures 12-2 and 12-3 are replaced with updated versions to correspond with Article 12.1(c), which indicates the requirements for the gate and cantilever foundation height above the crown of the road. The original incomplete figures may have resulted in the unsafe installation of foundations of warning systems and caused potential hazards to motorists and road users in the event of an accident.

    • Figure 13-2(b) is replaced with an updated version to show the long lights required for this particular application. Stakeholders were at risk of improperly installing warning system light units and flasher masts. Modification of figure 13-2(b) was required to clarify the requirement, as the original figure 13-2(b) was misleading and incomplete

  • Correction of grammatical or typographical errors

    • Part A, Article 1, (within citations): Changes the edition of the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance of Way Association (AREMA) manual to the year, 2014. The incorrect year of the AREMA edition was quoted in the Standard.

    • Article 10.3.2: Replaces the acronym “S” with “s” in all of Article 10.

    • Article 13.3.2: Replaces the referred table in the text from “10-2” to “10-4.”

    • Article 14.2.1: Replaces the word “axes” with “axis.”

    • Figure D-1 (Appendix D): Replaces “egde” with “edge” in Figure D-1


Title: REGDOC 2.4.3, Nuclear Criticality Safety  


Effective Date: February 2019


Summary of changes: 



Regulatory document REGDOC 2.4.3, Nuclear Criticality Safety sets out requirements for nuclear criticality safety and provides guidance on how those requirements may be met. It provides information for the prevention of criticality accidents in the handling, storage, processing and transportation of fissionable materials and the long term management of nuclear waste.


  • This document clarifies the minimum physical constraints and limits on fissionable materials in order to ensure nuclear criticality safety during the construction, operation, decommissioning, or abandonment of the licensed facility and with respect to the handling, storing, processing and transportation of certain fissionable materials. It applies to operations with fissionable materials outside nuclear reactors, except for the assembly of these materials under controlled conditions (such as in critical experiments).

  • Key principles and elements used in developing this document are consistent with national and international standards. Some sections of this document are extracted from certain standards from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), with permission of the publisher, the American Nuclear Society (ANS). Where necessary, the text has been adapted to make it applicable to Canada’s international obligations to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and consistent with CNSC’s regulatory requirements.

  • REGDOC-2.4.3, Nuclear Criticality Safety replaces RD-327, Nuclear Criticality Safety and GD-327, Guidance for Nuclear Criticality Safety, previously published by the CNSC.



Title: Draft Remediation Process Guide


Effective Date:  February 2019


Summary of changes: 



The NEB’s 2019 Guide provides companies with direction on how to protect the environment and human health against contaminant exposure, related to their facilities or infrastructure. It provides the framework for companies to effectively demonstrate that they are managing and mitigating the environmental impacts of contaminant releases to the highest standards. It also includes information on submissions that describe successful remediation and provides details on how to properly adhere to NEB expectations.

The 2019 update has incorporated feedback from regulated companies and NEB staff to include the following:


  • the Guide is now applicable throughout all phases of the project lifecycle from pre-construction to abandonment

  • clarity on expectations for risk management, criteria selection and engagement; and

  • new reporting requirements using the Online Event Reporting System


A finalized version can be expected in mid-2019.


Want more information? Click here to start your 15-day trial! 










Title: New Alberta Building, Fire and Energy Efficiency Codes


Effective Date: April 1, 2019


Summary of changes: 


  • The 2019 editions of the Alberta Building Code and Alberta Fire Code based on the 2015 editions of the National Building Code and National Fire Code were adopted in February 2019 by provincial regulation. Also adopted by regulation is the 2017 edition of the National Energy Code for Buildings (NECB).

  • The new codes come into effect on April 1, 2019 and there is a transition period to facilitate transition to the new codes from the previous codes. In support of greater harmonization to the national codes, both the Alberta building and fire codes have also been renamed.


The Building Code Regulation adopts two codes:

  • National Building Code - 2019 Alberta Edition - This code provides the minimum safety standards for the design and construction of new buildings and energy efficiency in construction for new housing and small buildings.
    National Energy Code for Buildings - 2017 Edition - This code provides the minimum requirements for energy efficiency in construction for new buildings other than housing and small buildings.


The Fire Code Regulation adopts:

  • National Fire Code - 2019 Alberta Edition - This code provides minimum fire safety requirements for buildings, structures, and areas where hazardous materials are used, and addresses fire protection and fire prevention in the ongoing operation of buildings and facilities. This code also provides for minimum safety standards for storage tank fuel systems.





Title: Health and safety committee/health and safety representative training program


Effective Date: February 2019


Summary of changes: 


  • The purpose of training is to ensure participants are able to meet prescribed roles as HSC co-chairs, members or HS representatives.

  • Training must be obtained from an approved training agency designated by Alberta Labour.

  • The material covered in the approved HSC co-chair and HS representative training courses are suitable for any worker interested in health and safety or in becoming an HSC member.





Title: Renewal Water and Wastewater Operator Certificate of Qualification


Effective Date:  February 2019


Summary of changes:


Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) Water and Wastewater Operator Certificate of Qualification must be renewed every three years to ensure that the operator continues to meet Certification Program requirements in a satisfactory fashion. Conditional Certificates are not renewable.

  • There are two options to choose from to renew a certificate.

    • With Current Experience
      An operator must obtain a minimum of twelve months of operating experience in the previous three years and must obtain an appropriate number of Continuing Education Units (CEUs) (see below**) during the three-year renewal period.
      For renewal purposes only, remote process control experience is gained at a maximum of 1/3 of the experience requirement.

    • Without Current Experience* *Option #2 can only be used a maximum of two consecutive times.


If an operator does not have current experience, there are two options to choose from:

  • Continuing education: An operator must obtain a minimum of 7.2 CEUs during the three-year renewal period; or
    Re-examination: An operator may re-write the certification exam at the appropriate category and level. The rewrite must be in November of last year of renewal. The deadline for a rewrite request is September 20th.



Want more information? Click here to start your 15-day trial! 

British Columbia


Title: WorkSafe BC's Assessment Manual


Effective Date:  February 2019


Summary of changes:


This update to the Assessment Manual contains amendments to the Manual implemented since Update 2018 - 1.

This update includes policy amendments and Consumer Price Index changes effective January 1, 2019:

  • Item AP1-42-4, Certificate of Recognition Program

  • Appendix A


Title: Guidelines — Occupational Health and Safety Regulation


Effective Date:  February 2019


Summary of changes:


Part 4 General Conditions

Part 12 Tools, Machinery and Equipment


Want more information? Click here to start your 15-day trial! 



Title: Making polluters accountable: Industrial Emission Performance Standards 


Effective Date:  February 2019 (Consultations are invited until March 29, 2019)


Summary of changes:


Benefits – Long-Term Earnings Loss (POL & PRO 01/2018)

  • This policy and procedure establish guidelines on determining a worker or dependent spouse’s earning capacity if they are unable to return to suitable productive employment. These documents have been clarified as follows:

  • If a worker is subject to the maximum wage rate, adjustments to their earning capacity based on annual Consumer Price Index (CPI) increases will not exceed annual increases to the maximum wage rate.

  • The WCB may consider the worker’s earning capacity to be greater than their actual earnings if the worker leaves suitable productive employment, but not because of the injury.

  • When establishing an initial wage base, the WCB only considers earnings from employment in industries covered under the Act and earnings from excluded industries if optional coverage has been purchased for the excluded industry (POL 06/2016, Establishing Initial Wage Base). However, when determining a worker’s earning capacity for long-term earnings loss benefits, the WCB may consider all earnings from covered industries, excluded industries, non-employment income or other earnings potential such as self-employment or other business income.

Benefits – Return to Work (RTW) Interrupted (POL & PRO 02/2018)

  • Following a work injury, the WCB will assist an injured worker in returning to their pre-injury employment or other suitable productive employment. However, there may be situations where the ability for a worker to RTW is interrupted prior to or following RTW. This policy and procedure establish guidelines for determining earnings loss benefits if a worker’s RTW is interrupted because of a layoff, strike, lockout, termination, weather or state of emergency. These documents clarify that eligibility for ongoing benefits will be based on whether the worker continues to have restrictions because of the work injury and the reason for the interruption.

Employer Audits (POL 03/2018)

  • A new policy (POL 03/2018) has been approved to outline WCB’s authority to audit employers. This new policy clarifies:

  • The purpose of an audit and when an employer may be audited.

  • What information an employer must provide during an audit.

  • Possible impacts to an employer’s account following an audit (i.e., adjustments to an employer’s payroll and industry classification.)

Under and Overestimating Payroll – Penalties and Credits (POL 03/2019)

  • The Act requires employers to report the actual payroll for their workers covered under the Act from the previous year and the estimated payroll for the current year. If an employer under or overestimates their payroll by more than 50%, WCB will adjust their premiums and may charge penalties or apply credits. This new policy outlines these penalties and credits.

Maximum Wage Rates – 2019 (POL & PRO 04/2018)

  • Effective January 1, 2019, the maximum wage rates are as follows:

  • If the injury date is before January 1, 2014, the maximum wage rate is $62,038.

  • If the injury date is on or after January 1, 2014, the maximum wage rate is $88,314.

  • Any adjustments in the calculation of loss of earnings because of an increase in the maximum wage rates will occur at the worker’s annual benefit review.

Maximum Assessable Wage Rate – 2019 (POL 05/2018)

  • Under Section 137(2) of the Act, the WCB is required to set a maximum assessable wage rate for payroll reporting and assessment purposes. The 2019 maximum assessable wage rate will be $88,314.

Industry Premium Rates – 2019 (POL 06/2018)

  • This policy is a regular annual update effective January 1, 2019. In October 2018, provisional premium rate consultation sessions were held with employers and their associations. Taking into consideration the feedback received from these meetings, the Board members have approved the 2019 premium rates as listed in POL 06/2018. The 2019 average premium is $1.17 per hundred dollars of payroll.

Minimum Average Weekly Earnings (Section 70(5)) – 2019 (PRO 51/2018)

  • This procedure is an annual update based on the changes to Saskatchewan’s average weekly wage as of June. It establishes the minimum average weekly earnings for workers injured on or after January 1, 1980 and who have been receiving earnings loss compensation for more than 24 months. Effective January 1, 2019, the minimum average weekly earnings will not be less than $686.20.

Minimum Compensation (Section 75) – 2019 (PRO 52/2018)

  • This procedure is an annual update based on the changes to Saskatchewan’s average weekly wage as of June. In accordance with Section 75 of our Act, this amount is the minimum compensation an injured worker would receive if they are totally unable to work. Effective January 1, 2019, the minimum compensation will not be less than $514.65 per week, or the actual amount of the worker’s average earnings.

Default in Assessment Payment – 2019 (PRO 53/2018)

  • In accordance with Section 8 of our General Regulations, the Bank of Canada’s interest rate effective October 31st will be added to 6% to calculate the penalty to be applied when an employer fails to pay premiums required by the Act. Effective January 1, 2019, the annual penalty will be 8% with a monthly rate of 0.67%

Consumer Price Index (CPI) – Annual Increase – 2019 (PRO 54/2018)

  • Section 69 of the Act requires that compensation amounts be adjusted annually by the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The basis for any increase is the average of percentage increases in the Regina and Saskatoon All-Items CPI for the 12 months ending on November 30 in each year. For 2019, when applicable, entitlements will be increased 0.8% due to the CPI increase.

Travel Expense Rates (POL & PRO 01/2019)

  • This policy and procedure establish the current rates at which workers are to be reimbursed for travel and sustenance expenses. The documents have been updated to reflect current process. Rates are included in an appendix attached to the procedure.

Calculation of Probable Compensation (PRO 50/2019)

  • Section 2(3) of the Act states that WCB must annually establish a table of earnings and probable compensation from employment for the purposes of Section 2(1)(k). When there are any legislated changes to the income tax deductions, either federally or provincially, and these changes become available, the WCB will publish revised sample tables of earnings and incorporate them into the calculation of net earnings loss. Rates have been revised January 1, 2019 and, therefore, the sample table of earnings and probable deductions in the procedure has been updated.


Want more information? Click here to start your 15-day trial! 







Title: New Vehicle Weights and Dimensions on Classes of Highways Regulation (MR 155/2019)


Effecive Date:  Effective February 15, 2019


Summary of changes:


What are the benefits of the regulation change?

  • A less complex system for determining legal weights will increase the efficiency of the development, implementation and enforcement of new policies and regulations.

  • Improved clarity in the regulation supports the motor carrier industry, motor carrier enforcement officers, and permit office staff members.

  • The elimination of the non-RTAC standard will simplify the upgrade the OD/OW permitting system.

  • A single standard for vehicle weights and dimensions will reduce the complexity of permit self-issuance, allowing more permits to qualify for self-issuance in the OD/OW permitting system.

  • Increased harmonization with our western counterparts, which supports the intent of the NWPTA by further reducing barriers that impact the efficient transportation of goods across western Canada

  • Permits will no longer be required for Long Wheel Base Semi-tractors, Full and Semi-trailer Lift Axles and Tandem Steer Axles under 2.2m spread.


How will the changes affect your company?

  • Non-RTAC vehicles will continue to fall within legal length, height, and width.

  • Interaxle spacing has an impact on allowable weights. Vehicles will require a permit to operate legally, if they do not meet interaxle spacing requirements. A new permit for short interaxle spacing will be required for a fee of $24.

  • The amended regulation is applicable to all relevant vehicles. Any impact, including permit fees, will apply to individual vehicles. Therefore, the affect on companies will be in proportion to the number of vehicles they own.

  • Companies will be allowed to continue to operate with their existing non-RTAC equipment under permit. Permit fees may apply.

Want more information? Click here to start your 15-day trial! 


Sign up for our Newsletter to learn about  free regulatory updates and webinar invitations! 

©2019 by