The new requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Code, 2006 came into effect on February 1, 2007. Significant changes were made and 100 new sections were added. Safety professionals and managers should be alive to some of the following important changes:
Part 10, Fire and Explosion Hazards, has undergone considerable modification;
Part 15, Managing the Control of Hazardous Energy (previously titled Locking Out) has been completely revised; and
Part 31, Diving Operations, has been completely revised.
In addition, two new parts have been added:
Part 40, Utility Workers – Electrical; and
Part 41, Work Requiring Rope Access.
Part 40 sets out a number of new or additional requirements, including:
standards for protective devices and equipment related to electrical work;
safety obligations on electric utilities and rural electrification associations;
safety procedures for industrial power producers;
joint safe work procedures where a utility carries out work near a power system that could affect or be affected by a utility employee of another electric utility, industrial power producer or rural electrification association;
restrictions for utility employees stringing or removing communication lines or cables near an electric utility facility; and
restrictions for work conducted on energized, high-voltage lines or equipment.
Part 41 sets out a variety of new and additional requirements for occupational (industrial and non-industrial) rope access work, but does not apply to workers using fall protection systems specified in Part 9 of the Code. The requirements for employers include:
safe work plans and practices;
instruction of workers and worker competency;
tools and equipment requirements;
specifications for, and inspection and maintenance of, rope systems; and