Position Profile


Job Title:  Occupational Health & Safety Officer, Mining

Work Unit:  Safe, Fair & Healthy Workplaces, Occupational Health and Safety Delivery, OHS, Mining Unit

Ministry:   Alberta Labour

Competition Number:  1041815

Date:  April 2017
 

Purpose

 

As a member of a multi-disciplinary team, the incumbent is responsible for carrying out compliance-based programs that include inspection and investigation of Alberta work sites and activities as defined in Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) Operational Plan. The Officer's role is to ensure employers comply with minimum legislated standards at their worksites, through investigation of incidents, assessment of complaints received, assessment of the health and safety programs in place at worksites, general inspections, and by providing information and advice to employers in respect to these minimum legislated standards.

Inspection and investigation of work site conditions is completed and the Officer evaluates the conditions in respect to compliance to the OHS Act, regulation and code. Activities are reflective of the department's compliance and prosecution procedures and designed to ensure legislative requirements are met.

Where site conditions are not within regulatory standards, the Officer works with the employer to upgrade site conditions to ensure worker protection at the work site. When conditions are such that an imminent danger exists, the Officer will ensure that the imminent danger is immediately controlled. Where employers, contractors, owners and suppliers are unwilling to meet the legislative standards or are in direct contravention of those standards, the Officer will issue orders requiring that compliance be met. The Officer will use careful judgement in making decisions to write compliance orders, and must determine the most appropriate piece of legislation applicable in doing so. The Officer may be required to issue stop work orders at work sites where imminent danger exists. Officer will ensure employers institute controls to address imminent danger situations. If there is persistent contravention(s) at the work site, an Officer will follow up with the Manager to pursue other avenues including a prosecution initiative to achieve compliance with the legislation.

The incumbent reports to the Director of inspection for Mines. The incumbent will be responsible for all aspects of the Alberta OHS mining program. A long with mine site inspections, responding to worker complaints and incidents, the incumbent will support the unit engineers in mines technical reviews and related documentation, approvals, acceptances and exemptions to OHS legislation as required. The successful candidate will deal with issues related to mining certifications, labour mobility standards related to mining and will also be a resource to explain OHS legislation with respect to mining. The individual will represent the department on CSA mining standards committees and will work with industry and stakeholders on issues to achieve consensus.

Responsibilities and Activities

  1.

Analysis of Work Site Health and Safety Issues

Conduct work site inspection/analysis to determine if minimum health and safety standards are being met. Analysis of work site health and safety.

  • Determine if the employers have reviewed their work process for hazards and have eliminated or controlled the identified hazards.
  • Perform a walk-through of the work site to determine existence of health and safety hazards and to determine if these are being controlled.
  • Observe and document the identified health and safety hazards. Discuss with the employer the hierarchy of controls that may be applicable for the hazards presented at the worksite in order to meet minimum legislated standards.
  • Obtain input from workers and employer representatives about the general health and safety status in the work environment.
  • Determine if adequate health and safety procedures are present at the work site to address the identified hazards.
  • Conduct an initial analysis of physical (example: noise and lighting) and chemical (example: vapours, gases, dust) hazards at the work site.
  • Issue client contact reports outlining observations, & conclusions, detailing areas where minimum standards have not been met.
  • Monitor and follow-up on agreements to achieve compliance with OHS Act, regulation and code.
  • Issue orders (compliance, stop work and stop use) and notice to produce documents in accordance with the department's compliance policy, where analysis of work site determines minimum standards have not been met.
  • Participate in the appeal process of an order where required.
     
  2.

Investigate Complaints and Concerns at Work Sites

  • The investigation of complaints is performed in a manner as described in the OHS Operational Procedure. Analysis includes the concerns raised in the complaint.
  • Review the complaint and initiate appropriate response based on the severity of the hazard identified and circumstances relayed in the complaint.
  • In the event of a controversial issue, an Officer is required to exercise discretion and judgement in determining who needs to be informed of the circumstances (Manager or Regional Director) and to resolve issues in an appropriate manner.
  • An ability to be flexible in approach and adapt interaction style to address unpredictable responses and resistance are key to successful resolution of the complaint while ensuring health and safety on the site.
  • Use information gathering techniques to obtain relevant and pertinent information pertaining to the complaint.
  • Employs investigation strategies in assessing the complaint relative to the OHS Act, code and regulations.
     
  3.

Investigation of Serious Incidents

  • Observe, review and documenting of site conditions by way of taking: photographs and/or videos, detailed notes of observations, statements of witnesses, measurements and sketches.
  • Identify and interview relevant witnesses (including workers, employer, employer representatives), explain pertinent legislation.
  • Create & develop scene diagrams, maps and sketches.
  • Complete written report consistent with OHS Operational Procedure standards in a clear and factual manner.
  • Monitor and follow-up with employer to achieve compliance to identified legislative contraventions at the incident scene.
  • Prepares case files for review by Alberta Justice Crown Prosecutor.
  • Appear as a witness in a court of law as required.
     
  4.

Investigation of Disciplinary Action Complaints (DAC)

  • Meet with complainant, obtain statement of complaint, explain process for review of complaint.
  • Gather pertinent information, interview witnesses, conduct site inspection, obtain and review documents in respect to complaint.
  • Analyze the evidence and make determination regarding any contravention under the OHS Act, code or regulation.
  • DAC issues are often very emotional and may require an Officer to sort through multiple complex issues that exist at the worksite. Some of these issues may not be within the jurisdiction of the Officer, and appropriate explanation in such cases is a requirement to redirect the complainant.
  • Complete a full and comprehensive written report in accordance with Operational Procedure.
     
  5.

Accompany Other Officers as Assigned

  • Provide expertise in areas of specialized knowledge and experience.
  • Coach and mentor newer employees, and relay progress to Manager. Responsible to communicate with other Officers through Manager to achieve consistency of legislation interpretation and enforcement of the OHS Act, regulation and code.
  • Identify personal training needs, and provide input to Manager on training needs for new Officers.
  • May engage in the formal delivery of training module(s) for Officers in training.
  • Provide guidance and support to co-workers on sensitive or political issues.
     
  6.

External Business Relations - Consult with Alberta Businesses, Employees and Worker Representatives

  • Provide expertise and clarify responsibilities under the OHS Act, regulation and code.
  • Collaborate & coordinate activity with other regional team members & stakeholders in areas impacting province wide program initiatives.
  • Review methods and procedures put in place by the employer relative to hazards observed at the site, and the employer's responsibility to meet minimum legislated requirements.
  • Plan, develop and deliver presentations pertaining to issues relating to an employer's/worker's responsibility under the OHS Act, regulation and code.
  • Participate in the development of the OHS Regional Implementation Plan.
  • Provide health and safety information to clients.
  • Communicate and take appropriate coordinated action with other OHS regions, other divisions of E&I (Partnerships, Employment Standards) and WCB in achieving branch goals pertaining to health and safety.
     
  7.

Technical Programs

  • Provide technical assistance to other staff in the development of safe work procedures and codes of practice.
  • Assist as requested in evaluating technical submissions for acceptance.
  • Participate as technical experts in committee work and best practice initiatives led by Worksafe Alberta.
     
  8.

Legislative/Regulatory Programs

  • Identify deficiencies in current legislation and recommend legislative amendments/changes in keeping with the industrial technology.
  • Provide advice and interpretation on legislation in both day-to-day and in controversial situations.
  • Interface and liaise with other Officers to ensure uniformity of the application of regulations.
     
  9.

Relationship Management

  • Build productive and positive working relations with business, industry and employee group to aid in achieving best health and safety practices.
  • Work with other regional staff and external stake holders in areas impacting province-wide programs and initiatives.
  • Communicate with other OHS Regions, other divisions of E&I and other government departments.
  • Use influencing skills to move non-compliant employers/employees to compliance under the OHS Act, regulation and code.
  • Use conflict management skills to recognize potentially volatile or escalatory situations and diffuse these situations.
  • Facilitate productive discussion with employers/employees to improve safety at sites, and to expect solutions to site specific health and safety concerns identified.
  • Use effective listening skills and investigative techniques to resolve issues between employer/employee (e.g. DAC). Plan, co­ ordinate, analyze and carry out programs, including identification of trends to ensure that regional objectives and goals are attained.

Scope

 

The incumbent inspects and investigates Alberta work sites for purposes of determining if employers, contractors, owners and suppliers are maintaining work site equipment and products in a healthy and safe manner. The incumbent uses considerable judgement I selecting the techniques and course of action to be taken when determining the advice and direction to be given to clients. As an OHS Officer, the incumbent has to exercise balanced judgement in stating whether site conditions observed at the time of inspection were healthy and safe work workers and the particular reasons for that assessment.

Employees work within the framework of department policies, procedures, operational and implementation plans and relevant legislation. The incumbent has to work with clients in a courteous and friendly manner, providing guidance on health and safety matters. The Officer has to first try and gain voluntary compliance before issuing orders directing client to institute health and safety controls or systems.

Authority for this position is derived from at least one of the following:

  • Occupational Health & Safety Act
  • Radiation Protection Act
  • Federal Controlled Products Act

These Acts and regulations establish standards for the protection and promotion of workers' health and safety throughout the province and outline the rights and responsibilities of employers, employees and other parties connected with the work site. Officers have the authority to enter and inspect work sites. They may take samples of products, conduct tests, take photographs and they may ask to examine and copy relevant documents. They may also interview and take statements from persons at the work site. In situations where an Officer believes a work site is dangerous, they may order work stopped immediately or require corrective action. An Officer may also order that a particular piece of equipment be shut down if they believe it is unsafe/ unhealthy to operate.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

 
  • Related degree or diploma plus considerable related mining industry experience or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Thorough knowledge of a discipline contributing to health and safety of departmental, divisional and branch goals and objectives, as well as investigation and inspection procedures.
  • Thorough knowledge of relevant legislation, regulations, code, policies and procedures and knowledge of major industries, preferably the mining industry, their practices, procedures and occupations.
  • Working knowledge of other jurisdictional programs and trends and may require a thorough knowledge of specific industries.
  • Requires excellent analytical, problem solving and decision-making abilities to identify hazards or potential hazards, to determine compliance to the legislation and to find feasible solutions.
  • Has specific knowledge of:
    • OHS Act, regulation and code
    • OHS Operational Procedures
    • Safety hazards and engineering controls
    • OHS mining legislation and practices in the mining industry Mine rescue and OHS requirements
    • Application of mining standards related to mechanical and electrical issues
    • CSA committees working and ability to represent department on those committees related to mining
    • Chemical and biological hazards and their controls
    • Radiation hazards and controls
    • Noise exposure and controls
    • Dust exposure in a wide variety of industries and control measures
    • Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System
  • Ability to learn and use technical knowledge to solve complex problems or assist other Officers is required.
  • Knowledge of analytical sampling techniques to measure contamination levels at work site.
  • Considerable knowledge of a wide variety of physical hazards that can be present at a work site.
  • Consulting skills are necessary to distinguish when the situation warrants a stop work order or when the employer requires assistance and education.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Skilled in using computer hardware and software.
  • The ability to work independently or within a team environment is necessary.
  • Ability to make decisions in a complex work environment.
  • Ability to recognize imminent danger situations or scenarios that are immediately dangerous to life and health.

Contacts

 
  • Manager(s) - consult on interpretation of legislation, day-to-day activities
  • Other Officers - consulting on technical expertise, previous dealing with same client

Supervision Exercised

  N/A

 

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