Frequently Asked Questions

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The following information can be helpful in ensuring safe use of space heaters at your workplace:

  • Space heaters must not have worn or damaged electrical cords, and all the plugs must be in good condition.
  • Space heaters must contain a mechanism whereby the heater shuts off automatically if tipped over.
  • Space heaters must be plugged directly into an electrical outlet. Do not use extension cords.
  • Units should be turned off and unplugged when not in use, and at the end of each day.
  • Units should be inspected frequently and before each use.
  • Any unit found to be in poor operating condition, damaged, or used improperly, should be turned off, unplugged and reported to the supervisor.
  • Keep space heaters at least three feet away from any combustible material (curtains, paper, cloth, etc.) and in a well-ventilated area.
  • Portable heater should not be used for permanent heating.
  • Heater location should not create a tripping hazard.
  • Only approved space heaters should be used by employees.
  • Do not use space heaters in wet areas.
  • Follow all the manufacturer’s specifications.
  • Ensure all the employees understand your policy.

This information can help you create a written policy on space heater use at your workplace. Additional information can be added in your policy as you see fit. This is not an exhaustive list, and if applicable you should include your joint health and safety committee on the creation of a space heater policy.

Date: January 8, 2019

When the food carriers are hired as independent contractors, they would be entitled to medical and benefit coverage only if they chose to purchase optional protection as a self-employed person.  

Date: November 21, 2018

Current back up alarms have limitations related to noise, localization, and hearing damage. The white noise alarms address many of these concerns. We have a section on our website devoted to the differences, where you can hear examples and learn more about the new technology.

Date: September 19, 2018

The only mention of reflectorized vests or jackets in the Occupational Health and Safety Act is under Section 91(2) of Regulation 91-191. It states: “An employer shall provide, and all signallers shall wear, a reflectorized vest or jacket when controlling the flow of traffic.” At this time, the regulation does not specify the colour of the reflective shirts, nor the colour of the reflective striping. Although not incorporated into the regulation, CSA Z-96.1 – Guideline on the selection, use and care of high-visibility safety apparel can be used in selecting reflective clothing.

Date: July 11, 2018

Supervisors and employers must develop and enforce safety policies fairly and equitably. Supervisors should be educated and trained on how to recognize possible impairment and how the workplace policies should be applied.

Common signs and symptoms of impairment – from cannabis use or other forms of drugs and alcohol – include the following and may help the early identification of an employee who might need help.

These signs and symptoms alone or in combination do not necessarily mean that somebody has a substance use problem and the signs are different from person to person. But they may be indicators that your employee is in trouble or in need of aid.

This list includes the main signs, but there may be others.

Physical: poor appearance/hygiene, sweating, headaches, tremors, diarrhea, restlessness, slurred speech, unsteady gait

Psychosocial: mood fluctuations, inappropriate verbal or emotional responses, irritability, confusion, memory lapses, isolation, lack of focus, lying

Performance: calling in sick frequently or working more overtime, arriving late/leaving early, extended breaks, errors in judgment, deterioration in performance, non-compliance with policies, changes in quality of work

Date: June 14, 2018

The Issues Resolution Office (IRO) provides an opportunity for a review of claim-related decisions or an investigation of service-related complaints. Guided by the principles of impartiality, fairness and service excellence, the IRO is committed to working with our clients in a timely, responsive, and open manner to try to bring resolution to their issues. The IRO is staffed by a manager, an administrator, four internal review specialists, and a client service specialist. The IRO members are trained in administrative justice through the Foundation of Administrative Justice. The IRO reports to WorkSafeNB’s corporate secretary and general counsel.

Review and appeal

Date: May 22, 2018

If you feel you have been treated unfairly or disrespectfully, you can file a complaint to the IRO by:

  • Completing the Issues Resolution form and forwarding it to the IRO at WorkSafeNB at:
    1 Portland Street,
    P.O. Box 160,
    Saint John, N.B.
    E2L 3X9
  • Contacting the IRO directly by phone or email. 1 800 222-9775 (option#5)

Date: May 22, 2018

If you disagree with a claim-related decision, you can request a review by the IRO by:

  • Completing the Issues Resolution form and forwarding it to the IRO at WorkSafeNB at:
    1 Portland Street,
    P.O. Box 160,
    Saint John, N.B.
    E2L 3X9
  • Contacting the IRO directly by phone or email. 1 800 222-9775 (option#5)

Date: May 22, 2018

Jack Callaghan, a professor in University of Waterloo’s department of kinesiology, has found that the ideal sit-stand ratio lies somewhere between 1:1 and 1:3. It is recommended that you begin using your standing desk slowly − start with 20 minutes at a time. Also make sure you’re using a gel mat. 

The ideal is to listen to your body. The key to success in any sedentary workplace is to avoid staying in the same position for extended periods of time.

Date: May 15, 2018

The OHS Act requires the employer to post a copy of the OHS Act and regulations, which include:

First, you should note that WorkSafeNB accepts "electronic" postings for the Act and regulations, provided that workers have easy access to these documents. WorkSafeNB has a web link to all of its OHS legislation, readily available for anyone with Internet access.

In addition, you also need to post the joint health and safety committee (JHSC) minutes and the names of the JHSC members or health and safety representatives, as well as any code of practice established or adopted by the employer.

With respect to First Aid Regulation 2004-130, you are required to post an emergency communication plan, the names of your trained first aiders and signs indicating the location of first aid kits.

The posting requirements outlined in General Regulation 91-191 are task-specific. They can be found in sub sections 51(4), 76(3), etc. You should review the regulations to determine which ones apply to you.

In summary, WorkSafeNB will accept electronic access of the Act if:

  • all reasonable steps are taken to keep the computers in active working order,
  • paper copies of the legislation and other required documents are made available on the request of an employee, and
  • training is provided in accessing computer-stored information to the affected employees including members of the joint health and safety committee, if any, or a health and safety representative, if any.

Date: April 17, 2018

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