One of the first regulatory reconciliation agreements negotiated by technical experts and endorsed by the Regulatory Reconciliation and Cooperation Table (RCT) is an agreement on national common standards for specific areas of personal protective equipment and first aid kit contents.
It was negotiated from August to December 2018 with all federal, provincial and territorial jurisdictions participating.
When fully implemented, the agreement will allow businesses operating across multiple Canadian jurisdictions to be certain on what standard for personal protective equipment and first aid kit content will be accepted when required by regulation. The following common standards are being recognized in all jurisdictions that sign the agreement:
- Eye and Face Protection: 2015 CSA Standard (CSA Z94.3-15)
- Head Protection: 2015 CSA Standard (CSA Z94.1-15)
- Foot Protection: 2014 CSA Standard (CSA Z195-14)
- Hearing Protection: 2014 CSA Standard Selection Sections (CSA Z94.2-14)
- First Aid Kit Contents: 2017 CSA Standard (CSA Z1220-17)
- Personal Floatation Devices and Life Jackets: Those approved by Transport Canada or an agency approved by Transport Canada.
The adoption of common standards will provide certainty that an item used in one jurisdiction will be recognized in another jurisdiction. Canadian businesses who operate in multiple jurisdictions may no longer need to purchase multiple sets of personal protective equipment due to differences in the standard references being used. This is most evident in first aid kit contents that have significant variation across the jurisdictions. The recognition of the CSA standard will allow one kit to be accepted across all jurisdictions with no changes.
Employers and employees will need to continue to review the requirements on where specific protective measures are required. These may still vary by jurisdiction to reflect longstanding regulatory requirements. For example, a jurisdiction may require head protection be worn on all construction sites where another may reference it being required based upon a hazard assessment or a specific set of circumstances and criteria.
The agreement does not impact businesses that operate only in their home province.
It is estimated this agreement will save Canadian businesses $3 million annually.
Once all participating jurisdictions have signed, the full text of the agreement will be published on the CFTA website.
The agreement requires some jurisdictions to make regulatory or legislative changes and is expected to be implemented by the end of 2019.