About the Study
Background and Rationale
In 2016, the Alberta government passed the Enhanced Protection for Farm and Ranch Workers Act, extending Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) insurance coverage and Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) legislation to Alberta farms and ranches. Previously, employees on Alberta farms and ranches had been exempt from basic safety and injury compensation protections. Lawmakers proposed the legislation after several child fatalities on Alberta farms. In the face of opposition from the farm sector, OHS and WCB requirements were modified to exempt non-wage family members from its scope. While the Act extended legislation to farm employees, workplace health and safety laws do not cover family members who work on farms. The government extensively consulted with stakeholders in developing the Act as well as sector-specific standards, but there is a lack of systematic analysis of these changes, either from the perspective of operators or workers. In 2019, new legislation (the Alberta Farm Freedom and Safety Act) created a new ‘small farm’ exemption from mandatory workers compensation. Other changes ‘lightened’ OHS and Employment Standards requirements for farms.
This research asks:
Methods, Framework, Theory
Because of recent changes to OHS legislation in Alberta, this study focuses on Alberta. However, the study has broader relevance as OHS legislation in other Canadian provinces, and international jurisdictions such as the US, is not unlike Alberta’s.
There are three key research activities for the study.
The study was reviewed and approved by the University of Waterloo’s Office of Research Ethics and the University of Alberta’s Research Ethics Board. Practices of informed consent and participant confidentiality are followed closely.
If you’re interested in participating in the study, please contact us for more information.