As Tyndale extends our managed arc-rated and flame resistant (AR / FR) clothing programs into Canada, we invite you to follow along in our Proud to Protect Canada series. While many of the topics in this series contain Canadian-specific content, there are some topics that are relevant on both sides of the border. We hope you enjoy “meeting” our Canada Team, exploring engaging and relevant content, while learning about our unique solution and the benefits it provides to companies and wearers alike.
Regulations for high-visibility safety apparel (HVSA) vary across Canada’s ten provinces and three territories, with nuances in the various jurisdictional or occupational requirements. What are the differences among this mixture of laws, and how do they relate to the federal HVSA requirement as well as CSA Z96, the safety standard that governs high-visibility safety apparel?
To help us sort through the various jurisdictional HVSA regulations, Tyndale Canada’s Technical Advisor, Sara Olsen reviews requirements across Canada with some specifics on regulations for specific industries, such as mining or construction.
Sara’s analysis begins at the federal level, referencing Section 12.7 of the Canada Labor Code, which specifies that in workplaces where there is a risk of injury due to moving vehicles, the employer must provide every person who is granted access to that workplace with high-visibility safety apparel that meets the requirements established in CSA Group Standard Z96 High Visibility Safety Apparel. As we learned in Episode 6, CSA Z96 specifies performance requirements for background material and retroreflective material (high-visibility tape), sets minimum coverage for each, and defines tape placement on garments.
Compliance with CSA Z96 is a requirement for several Canadian provinces. However, as Sara points out, some provinces and territories have specific requirements for HVSA, whereas others do not. In the absence of specific legislation, we recommend defaulting to the CSA Z96 standard. Below is a summary of the HVSA regulations for each territory and province:
Yukon has some of the most extensive regulations when it comes to high visibility apparel, spelled out in Section 1.48 of Yukon’s Occupational Health and Safety regulations:
Northwest Territories and Nunavut work together in their legislation but do not have specific requirements for HVSA. However, they do require:
British Columbia had both Work Safe BC and CSA options for compliance prior to September 2021, but they’ve recently simplified their regulations regarding HVSA, requiring:
Alberta regulations do not specify requirements to meet any standard with hi-vis PPE, only referencing:
Saskatchewan regulations only require:
Manitoba regulations specifically state in Part 6 of the Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Act:
Ontario is the province with the most specific HVSA special case requirements:
Quebec added HVSA requirements specific to mine workers to their legislation in 2018:
Newfoundland and Labrador only makes a brief reference to HVSA in Part VII, Section 81 of their Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, requiring:
Nova Scotia regulations include:
New Brunswick requirements include:
Prince Edward Island doesn’t have many high visibility requirements. Their Occupational Health and Safety Act General Regulations Part 45 Section 45.1 requires:
What’s the bottom line regarding HVSA requirements in Canada?
Since regulations can vary between provinces and territories, one must perform due diligence to know the requirements in a specific jurisdiction. Look at your province’s or territory’s occupational health and safety legislation for complete information. For provinces or territories that lack specific HVSA requirements for a particular work environment, we highly recommend using garments compliant with CSA Z96 to ensure enhanced worker visibility when working in the vicinity of heavy equipment, vehicular traffic, or other moving hazards. If you still have questions, we’re here to help!
Be sure to tune in to upcoming episodes in this series where we’ll examine variations in provincial and federal regulations for AR/FR clothing, protective footwear, and protective gloves. Visit our series hub to read episode summaries and catch up on all topics in the series.
Follow along with this series to explore our educational resources for companies and workers based in Canada. You’ll meet the technical and market experts from our Canada team and find everything from the basics on the hazards, to PPE and labeling requirements, a closer look at key safety standards and the hierarchy of standards and regulations in Canada, employer responsibilities under the Canadian Labour Code, and more.