In 1918, New Brunswick’s workers’ compensation system was established based upon principles developed five years earlier by Sir William Meredith, a former Chief Justice of Ontario.
The development of The Meredith Principles achieved a historic compromise in which employers fund the workers’ compensation system and collectively share liability if, and when, workers are injured. In return, injured workers receive wage loss compensation and medical aid benefits while they recover from a workplace injury. In accepting the workers’ compensation benefits, the injured workers cannot sue their employers.
The Meredith Principles became the basis for workers’ compensation systems in Canada and remain so today.
WorkSafeNB is a Crown corporation committed to promoting healthy and safe workplaces in New Brunswick. While our primary objective is to prevent workplace injuries and occupational disease, we provide comprehensive rehabilitation services and wage-loss compensation benefits when these do occur.
WorkSafeNB is the regulatory body responsible for ensuring compliance with New Brunswick’s Occupational Health and Safety Act. We are also accountable to our stakeholders for fair administration of the Workers’ Compensation Act, the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission and Workers’ Compensation Appeals Tribunal Act and the Firefighters’ Compensation Act.
DRIVE A SAFETY-FIRST CULTURE
Keeping New Brunswickers healthy and safe through leadership and prevention initiatives.
ACHIEVE EFFECTIVE RECOVERY
Effectively and efficiently tapping into all available health care resources when rehabilitation is necessary, so that injured workers can safely return to work as soon as possible.
PROTECT SYSTEM SUSTAINABILITY
Ensuring we provide services and benefits that are fair, accessible, transparent and fiscally responsible.
BUILD A WORKPLACE COMMITTED TO SUPERIOR SERVICE
Investing in our people, technology, and processes to improve the overall customer experience for both workers and employers.
In 2018, three external reviews of WorkSafeNB were underway.The results of these reviews will be integral in shaping the future of our organization and played a pivotal role in our 2019 priorities and results.
Our vision is “Keeping people safe and healthy at work.” It guides and supports everything we do. We’re fully committed to bringing every New Brunswick worker home safely to their loved ones at the end of each day.
For workers and their families, a safety-first culture means they can enjoy a continued high quality of life. While someone’s quality of life is subjective, it may include things such as ongoing participation in family, work, leisure and educational activities. For businesses, a safety-first culture promotes more than safety. It benefits worker confidence and retention, employee engagement, organizational behaviour and even productivity.
An organizational restructuring to enable WorkSafeNB to better serve our stakeholders today and into the future resulted in the creation of an important new executive leader position – that of vice-president of prevention. Previously, the executive leader in that role was accountable for prevention, adjudication and rehabilitation services, but we recognized the importance of prevention as a singular focus and were pleased to appoint Tim Petersen to the position. In his first full year at the helm of the new division in 2019, Tim and his staff have contributed to a healthier and safer province.
This singular focus on prevention impels not only the vice-president, but every single employee in the prevention division. By concentrating exclusively on prevention, the team is better able to implement programs and processes dedicated to ensuring a safety-first culture, one committed to eliminating workplace injuries and occupational disease.
The Northern Group of Companies knows how critical leadership is to instill a workplace safety culture. With investment and a focus on safety, their leadership has inspired an exemplary safety culture, a source of pride for both the owners and staff.
“Just as health and safety is constantly changing, so are we. We continue to transform and improve. We don’t want our program to get stagnant; we believe in the saying ‘change before you have to’.”
While our goal is to prevent workplace injuries from occurring, when they do occur we are there to help the worker recover from their injury and assist in a safe return to work as early as possible. Effective return-to-work (RTW) practices and appropriate and timely medical care are fundamental to getting workers back to the job safely after an illness or injury.
Darren Shaw was an experienced carpenter with 24 years on the job. One day, as he helped a co-worker carry some drywall, the load slipped causing him significant elbow and shoulder injuries Thanks to a great support network, and hard work on his part, Darren followed a treatment plan and vocational rehabilitation, as returning to construction work was no longer an option. Testing revealed he had an aptitude for a career in health and safety. That aptitude became a passion and today, Darren is an accredited and certified safety expert, committed to workplace injury prevention.
For some people, the hardest part of being injured in the workplace isn’t the rehabilitation or the pain of an injury – it’s being off work.
Just ask Blaine Denton.
In June 2019, the property supervisor and handyman was renovating an apartment unit in Saint John when he tripped and fell while carrying a box.
At WorkSafeNB, we are committed to investing in technology, processes and our people to improve the overall experience for New Brunswick’s workers, employers, and our staff. Our goal is to create a highly engaged team who are committed to service excellence, clients who are pleased to do business with us because of the high value they receive, and a thriving organization that continually focuses on optimizing our service offerings, developing employee engagement, and achieving exceptional standards every day.
As stewards of New Brunswick’s workers’ compensation system, WorkSafeNB is accountable to our stakeholders to ensure that workers have the funds and services needed to support them if they are injured at work. To guarantee those funds and services are always available, we collect assessments from employers, but we also must ensure they pay fair rates that enable them to keep contributing to our provincial economy. This delicate balance must be maintained – without it there is no workers’ compensation system.
Under the Workers’ Compensation Act, WorkSafeNB met its legislative funding target of 100%. WorkSafeNB, however, has set its own funding goal in policy of 115-125%, a measurement we did not meet, but made improvement toward, in 2019. It is important to note that the 2019 assessment rate is set in 2018 and based on the claiming trends and financial health of WorkSafeNB at that time.
Setting our assessment rate requires striking the right balance between fair compensation benefits for injured workers, and fair assessment rates for employers. It means ensuring that the rates provide for current and future claims costs, as well as for the costs of administering the legislation.
The legislative amendments enacted in December 2018 and subsequent amendments in 2019 have positively impacted our operational results, and we believe will help us meet our targets of system sustainability in the coming years.