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BMC 121 Occupational Health and Safety Law




Course Description

Gain valuable insight into the legal and ethical aspects of managing an occupational health and safety program. Explore common concepts in provincial and federal occupational health and safety law, including due diligence and the internal responsibility system. Learn strategies and concepts around ethical theories and perspectives; discuss obligations to employers, coworkers, and the public; and, discover key areas of provincial Workers' Compensation law and environmental law. Topics include: injuries, worker benefits, employer responsibilities, and Workers' Compensation Board premiums. Also review environmental legislation and regulatory jurisdictions and agencies, their roles, responsibilities and powers.

Course Details

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  1. Understand basic legal terminology: categories of law, principles, concepts, and be able to give examples in the area of OHS law.
  2. Define, describe and explain the nature and functioning of the Internal Responsibility System (IRS).
  3. Outline the individual and employer duties which typically fulfill the IRS in most jurisdictions.
  4. Be able to explain to others the meaning of due diligence and how one derives specific actions from general principles.
  5. Give examples of how elements of an OHS management system derive from legal requirements; both specific standards and general duty clauses.
  6. Describe the proper role of health and safety committees and worker representatives given the IRS philosophy.
  7. Set out the steps involved in a typical work refusal provision, describe the pitfalls, and explain how work refusals can be avoided in the first place; emphasizing the connection with the IRS.
  8. Be able to explain the elements of a WHMIS program, their origin in law, and their significance for reducing risk.
  9. Describe the proper role of the Inspector/Officer given the real meaning of the IRS.
  10. Be able to set out regulatory regimes (both federal and provincial) outside of OHS statutes that affect OHS; e.g. human rights codes, labour relations, public health laws, etc.
  11. Understand the nature of criminal negligence and how individuals and organizations can avoid criminal liability.


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