OHS Insider Month in Review – January 2019 Prince Edward Island
LAWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
|Workers’ Comp Filing Deadline
February 28, 2019
Dec. 29: New Electrical Code licensing regulations took effect. Highlights:
- Electrical contractor license required to contract for installing, extending, changing or repairing electrical installations
- Licences issued by Chief Electrical Inspector
- Electrical contractor can only hire certified electrician, apprentice working under the supervision of a certified electrician, or permit holder to do installation work.
Dec. 5: Following in the footsteps on New Brunswick, PEI passed Bill 42 adding new harassment protections to its OHS Act. Highlights:
- Clarify that Act’s purpose includes ensuring workers’ “psychological wellbeing” at workplace
- Employer need no longer post OHS orders involving workplace harassment that include identifying information about individuals involved
- New duty to implement harassment prevention policy and investigate complaints
- New worker duty to comply with employer harassment policy
- Clarification that JHSC/health safety representative duty to receive and investigate safety complaints doesn’t apply to harassment complaints.
Workers’ Comp Coverage
Dec. 5: Highlights of workers’ comp changes under Bill 40 which received Royal Assent:
- Workers’ comp coverage for volunteer firefighters
- New presumption that heart injuries suffered by fire inspectors or firefighters within 24 hours of responding to an emergency is work-related
- List of other diseases presumed work-related for fire inspectors or firefighters. Workers’ Comp Rates
Jan. 1: The 2019 average assessment is $1.58 per $100 payroll, 2¢ below last year’s rate. Calculated strictly on the basis of actual costs, the average would have been $1.66 but because of the system’s strong financial position, the WCB was able to apply an 8¢ downward adjustment. In addition to lower rates, the WCB will distribute a share of the surplus to eligible employers during November. Meanwhile, maximum assessable earnings increase from $53,400 to $55,000.
Nov. 27: Proposed Environmental Protection Act amendments call for regulations formalizing the province’s environmental assessment process. Although environmental assessment is required, PEI is the only province in which the EA process is governed by guidelines rather than formal regulations.