OHS Insider Month in Review – March 2018 Newfoundland & Labrador
LAWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
Feb.: WorkSafeNL’s Work Plan for 2018-2022 identifies MSIs, falls, young workers, workplace violence, psychological safety and traffic control as priority risk areas. Strategic initiatives to be undertaken include:
- Comprehensive review of Radiation Health and Safety Act and Regulations
- Implement GHS changes to WHMIS
- Review training requirements for confined space entry and traffic control
- Promote mandatory orientation safety training for all new workers
- Refocus inspection strategy to target high-risk employers and sectors.
Feb. 20: The government said it will propose a bill to increase the income replacement rate (IRR) from 80% to 85% of an injured worker’s pre-injury net income. The adjustment will carry a high price tag considering that Newfoundland’s Maximum Compensable Assessable Earnings cap for income replacement is the highest in Canada ($64,375 in 2018).
Feb. 23: Setting a nice example for the private sector, the provincial government unveiled a brand spanking new state-of-the-art workplace harassment policy. Novel features:
- Mandatory harassment awareness and training for all employees
- A 90-day timeline for harassment investigations
- “Single-access-entry” point for submitting complaints to ensure consistency
- Communication checkpoints to provide regular updates to accuser and accused throughout the investigation and disciplinary process
- Expanded definition of “sexual harassment” to include gender-based discrimination and insults
- Complainant’s right to request a formal investigation.
March 30: That’s the newly extended deadline to comment on proposed WorkplaceNL’s workers’ comp coverage rules for mental stress. Current Policy EN-18 , which covers only stress resulting from a discrete, sudden and unexpected traumatic event at work, is out of touch with other jurisdictions and scientific research showing that PTSD and other psychological injuries develop gradually over time.
Feb. 5: Increased penalties for Highway Traffic Act offences took effect:
|New Maximum Fine||Old Minimum Fine||Old Maximum Fine|
|Failure to observe traffic-control device prohibiting parking or stopping||$100||$170||$20||$90|
|Driving with windshield covered with snow so as to obstruct vision||$100||$235||$45||$180|
|Operating vehicle without proper equipment or of improper construction||$100||$170||$20||$90|
|Failure to comply with vehicle inspection requirements||$100||$160||$60||$120|
EPA environmental assessment actions in Feb.:
- Registration of Incinerator Road Scrap Metal Processing Initiative [Reg. 1947]
- Registration of Harbour Arterial Mineral Workings Area Expansion [Reg. 1945]
- Registration of Argentia Cannabis Production Facility [Reg. 1946]
- Submission of Second Addendum for Argentia Access Road Industrial Composting Facility Project [Reg.1838]
- Environmental Assessment Committee appointed for Green Hill Quarry Reclamation and Rehabilitation [Reg. 1934]
- Environmental Assessment Committee appointed for Baie Verte Tailings Management Facility Expansion, Ming Copper-Gold Mine [Reg. 1939].