Legislative amendments introduced to address WorkSafeNB task force recommendations

Yesterday, the provincial government tabled 5 legislative amendments to 6 acts that address the remaining recommendations from the Report of the Task Force on WorkSafeNB.

The Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour says amendments will be made to the following legislation:
- the Occupational Health and Safety Act;
- the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission and Wokers' Compensation Appeals Tribunal Act;
- the Workers' Compensation Act;
- the Firefighters Compensation Act;
- the Blind Workers' Compensation Act;
- the Silicosis Compensation Act; and
- the Training and Designated Trades Regulation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act;

"These amendments address the remaining task force recommendations requiring government action as well as recommendations made by the auditor general," said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Trevor Holder.

The following is a summary of the introduced amendments:
- Requiring WorkSafeNB to send copies of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations to employers, as well as publishing all convictions under health and safety legislation.
- Allowing for greater flexibility in training delivery (including online options), duration of the training and allowing for external organizations and in-house trainers to deliver the training.
- Allowing for fair and reasonable income replacement and apportionment of other revenue sources by clarifying that Canada Pension Plan Disability payments need to be taken into account when determining the amount of compensation payable by WorkSafeNB.
- Improving governance by enhancing the board appointment process.
- Providing a review of workers' compensation legislation and corresponding regulations every five years and regular value-for-money audits to be completed by the auditor general every five years.

The province says the Act Respecting Addressing Recommendations in the Report of the Task Force on WorkSafeNB implemented a number of legislative amendments and addressed the recommendations concerning the Workers' Compensation Appeals Tribunal, benefits and the three-day waiting period.

The Report of the Task Force on WorkSafeNB included 28 recommendations and can be found here.