News Release Statement from WorkSafeNB’s Chairperson, Mel Norton, regarding legislative amendments enacted to the workers’ compensation system

December 20, 2019

On behalf of WorkSafeNB’s board of directors, I want to thank the Government of New Brunswick for enacting the legislative amendments introduced by Trevor Holder, Minister of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour in Bills 26 and 27. These changes will enhance workplace safety, facilitate recovery for workers following a workplace injury, and continue to optimize our cost structure so that we are able to stabilize assessment rates for employers and consider benefit improvements for injured workers.

Highlights of the amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act, the Workers' Compensation (WC) Act, and the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation and Workers’ Compensation Appeals Tribunal (WHSCC & WCAT) Act include:

  • Clarifying the obligations of employers and supervisors respecting workers’ health and safety.
  • Extending the time frame for bringing forward prosecutions under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
  • Amending the duty to accommodate language in the Workers’ Compensation Act to reinforce the employer’s obligation to return injured workers to work, unless the accommodation causes the employer undue hardship.
  • Introducing administrative penalties for Workers’ Compensation Act violations.
  • Clarifying that WorkSafeNB has the discretion to determine the medical aid that may be provided to injured workers to ensure it is appropriate for the type of compensable injury and based on up-to-date scientific evidence about effective health care;

These legislative changes are a critical step in further promoting workplace health and safety across our province. Ensuring worker health and safety contributes to a healthy family life, a robust community and a stronger economy for the benefit of all New Brunswickers.

Resources to help employers and workers fully understand the new legislation and ensure compliance with the Acts will be available from WorkSafeNB early in 2020.


Mel Norton,
Chairperson, WorkSafeNB

Media Resources
Media Inquiries

E-News Sign-up