Government of Canada taking steps to protect workers’ health and safety
July 11, 2018 Gatineau, Quebec Employment and Social Development Canada
Today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, announced changes to the occupational health and safety regulations for workers exposed to grain dust and flour dust in federally regulated workplaces.
These changes to the Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations on grain dust and flour dust come into force today. They will significantly lower the risk of workers coming into contact with airborne substances in the workplace, while ensuring consistency with most provincial and territorial regulations. These changes will also align the exposure limits for these hazardous substances with the highest safety standards in Canada and internationally.
The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring the health and safety of workers across the country. The new regulatory provisions ensure that employees are not exposed to levels exceeding prescribed exposure limits of hazardous substances.
“Every employee has the right to a safe workplace. That’s why the government is helping to put an end to harassment and violence in the workplace, we are banning asbestos, and we’re implementing tough new penalties for workplace health and safety violations. Now I’m pleased to be announcing these changes to grain and flour dust exposure limits. These amendments help ensure the health and safety of workers.”
– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
- Grain dust and flour dust are both considered hazardous airborne substances because of the health dangers associated with exposure and inhalation over time.
- The Occupational Exposure Limit (OEL) for grain dust in the federal jurisdiction of 10 mg/m3 is higher than the limit recommended by scientific consensus to protect the health and safety of employees at risk. The OEL for grain dust will be decreased to 4 mg/m3. This limit takes into consideration the scientific evidence available, the economic feasibility and health effect, as well as the limit in force in all provincial jurisdictions.
- The OEL for flour dust will be increased from 0.5 mg/m3 to 3 mg/m3. This limit takes into consideration the scientific evidence available, the economic feasibility, as well as the health and safety benefits to ensure that occupational exposure levels were technically feasible and achievable.
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada