OHS Insider Month in Review – October 2017: New Brunswick

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LAWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS

Workplace Smoking
Sept. 15: New regulations took effect letting government inspectors issue tickets for smoking within 9 metres of the doorway, window or air intake of an indoor workplace. Before, tickets were allowed only for smoking in a vehicle with a child present. Other public places where you can now be ticketed for smoking:

  • On or within 3 metres of patios where or alcohol is served
  • On or within 20 metres of kids’ equipment and sports areas
  • On or within 9 metres of public walking or jogging trails
  • Within the boundaries of provincial parks (except in designated areas)
  • On the grounds of regional health authorities.

Workers’ Compensation—Rates
Oct. 2: Ouch. WorkSafeNB is raising the average 2018 assessment rate 15%, from $1.48 to $1.70 per $100 of payroll. Rising claim costs necessitated the increase; reduced administrative costs kept it from being even higher. Municipalities will be happy to learn that firefighter rates are dropping 25% to $515 per active firefighter. Rates for other industries will be published later.

Workers’ Compensation—Policies
Nov. 10: Comments close on a pair of proposed WorkSafeNB policy revisions containing mostly minor changes:

Shellfish Sector
Oct. 13: The government issued a new shellfish aquaculture development plan designed to sustainably increase oyster production 10% per year over each of the next 4 years.

Air Quality
Oct. 5: The government gave itself high grades for air quality improvement. Key findings of the new monitoring report (covering 2015):

  • New Brunswick met its national air quality objectives for year
  • No recorded excesses of carbon monoxide or nitrogen dioxide
  • Acid rain levels reached all-time low.

Water Quality
Nov. 20: That’s the deadline to comment on the DOE’s newly proposed 10-year strategy for drinking water management and use.