LAWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
Nov.: WorkSafeNB’s OHS Strategic Plan 2017-19 calls for focusing on high risk industries like waste collection, nursing homes, garages, logging and silviculture, and hazards like combustible dust explosions, workplace violence in health care settings and young workers. Statistical goals:
- Workplace injury rate below 2.99 per 100 FTE by 2019
- Keep lost-time work injury frequency rate among 3 lowest jurisdictions in Canada
- Percentage of workers and employers who believe their workplace has a safe work culture to meet or exceed 90% by 2019.
Drugs & Alcohol
Nov. 9: It would be illegal to use cannabis in any workplace where smoking is currently banned under the New Brunswick Smoke-Free Places Act. That’s the key takeaway from the newly proposed Cannabis Control Act (Bill 16) implementing legalization in the province. The legislation also bans cannabis consumption in any location by a person under age 19.
Dec. 8: Consultations end on a plan to make workplace violence prevention an express duty under OHS laws. The goal is to finalize new regulations incorporating leading examples from other jurisdictions by April 28, the National Day of Mourning. Along with Québec and Yukon, New Brunswick is the only jurisdiction without specific workplace violence requirements in its OHS laws—although the duty is implied under the OHS Act general duty clause.
Dec. 7: That’s the deadline to comment on a government Task Force discussion paper reviewing the current fiscal condition, transparency and overall effectiveness of New Brunswick’s worker’s comp system. Meanwhile, 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.