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Alberta clarifies rules on investigations into workplace injuries and deaths

File: Alberta OHS officer.
File: Alberta OHS officer. Credit: Alberta Occupational Health and Safety

Alberta is putting new rules in place to improve the investigation of deaths and serious injuries in the workplace.

Labour Minister Christina Gray says the province has signed a memorandum of understanding with 10 police services.

The plan sets protocols to make it easier to determine if criminal charges or charges for workplace violations are warranted.

Occupational health and safety officers and police already work together when workers are injured on the job, but Gray says codifying the procedures makes the process more effective.

“The memorandum sends a strong signal that our government takes workplace health and safety seriously,” Gray said Friday at a news conference.

“It’s an appropriate message for today when we think about those who did not return from their shifts.”

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The memorandum is named for the Westray explosion, which killed 26 underground mine workers in Nova Scotia 25 years ago.

READ MORE: Tragedy of Nova Scotia’s Westray mine explosion recalled 20 years later

The explosion was deemed preventable and afterward the federal government amended the law to make such negligence a criminal offence.