As you are probably aware, a defibrillator is a machine that can help when ventricular fibrillation happens in the human heart. Ventricular fibrillation is a cause of cardiac arrest or heart attack. Since heart attacks can occur in the workplace, having an automated external defibrillator or (AED) available could save lives.
First Aid Regulation-2004-130 (Schedule A) outlines the equipment and supplies requirements for the workplace. You will note that AEDs are not a specific requirement.
However, you should note subsection 4(3) of the regulation:
This means that if your workplace believes that an AED could supplement your workplace’s first aid program, then the regulation would support such a decision.
First, it should be noted that working outside the regulatory environment is not allowed unless a deviation from the regulations is granted. Subsection 3(3) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act allows the chief compliance officer to grant deviations from the regulations if the proposed alternative provides protection to workers that is equal to or better than what the regulations requires.
(a) in accordance with the standards, if any, prescribed by regulation for granting such deviations, or
(b) where no standards for granting deviations are prescribed by regulation, if he is satisfied that the deviation affords protection for the health and safety of employees equal to or greater than the protection prescribed by regulation.
In the example you give, you seem to assume that by using a crane to lift personnel in an emergency situation in confined space work may be a breach of the regulations.
In General Regulation 91-191, section 207, CSA standard Z150-98 must be complied with when mobile cranes are used in New Brunswick workplaces. From this standard, review section 5.4.7, Personnel Lifting.
You will note that not only does the standard allow for mobile cranes to be used to carry personnel but should you be able to comply with all the provisions, a deviation would not be required.
If, on the other hand, you are required to deviate from any of the sections above to use the crane in an emergency situation, a deviation will be required.
Finally, paragraph 263(3)(d) of the regulations requires that a competent person establish the emergency procedures for work in confined space. Should the competent person make the decision that a mobile crane will be required for rescue, this person would need to be aware of the mobile crane requirements for use to carry personnel and ensure compliance with those provisions and any conditions set if a deviation is granted.
Employers must comply with Regulation 91-191, paragraph 216(1)(h), which states:
American National Standards Institute’s (ANSI) standard ASME B56.1-1993, “Safety Standard for Low Lift and High Lift Trucks” states:
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard MH29.1:2012, Safety Requirements for Industrial Scissor Lifts, defines “dock lifts, work access lifts and lift tables as the three categories of industrial scissor lifts and identifies their differences and similarities.” The standard also states that mobile and stationary industrial scissor lifts raise, lower and position materials and personnel in various applications. General Regulation 91-191 defines a hoisting apparatus as “mobile cranes, tower cranes, electric overhead travelling cranes, vehicle hoists, winches, and other similar equipment, but does not include elevators, dumbwaiters, or mine hoists.” A legal interpretation of this definition states that “any device or piece of equipment whose main purpose is to raise or lower material or equipment is considered a hoisting apparatus". Therefore it is WorkSafeNB’s opinion that a dock lift meets the definition of a hoisting apparatus under General Regulation 91-191 and therefore is required to meet the applicable sections from 207 to 212, including the requirements for annual inspections.
ANSI standard MH30.1 – 2007, For the Safety, Performance, and Testing of Dock Leveling Devices defines a dock leveling device as “a manufactured structure designed to span and compensate for space and height differentials between a loading dock and a transport vehicle to facilitate safe and efficient freight transfers.” These structures do not have the capabilities to raise or lower materials and/or equipment. Since this does not meet the General Regulation 91-191 definition of a hoisting apparatus, these types of devices are not required to comply with the requirements of sections 207–212. However, employers must still maintain and operate these units as specified by the manufacturer.
Under the Workers’ Compensation Act, all employers with three or more workers at any time during the year must register for coverage with WorkSafeNB. These workers may be full-time, part-time, casual workers or non-registered contractors, subcontractors or brokers. This is referred to as mandatory coverage. Exception: an employer in the fishing industry must register for mandatory coverage when 25 or more workers are employed. Employers with fewer than three workers can apply for optional coverage.
You can train staff yourself if you have the proper knowledge and skills. New Brunswick employers, by law, must provide employees who work with or near hazardous products with workplace-specific education, instruction and training. WHMIS training must be customized for each workplace. As an employer, you must know what hazardous products are in your workplace and understand how the new WHMIS requirements affect you and your employees. If you have any questions, please call us at 1 800 222-9775 or visit our Safety Excellence NB site (Transition to WHMIS 2015) for several resources, including videos, fact sheets and posters.
Legislation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act requires every employer with 20 or more employees regularly employed at a place of employment to have a JHSC. Although it refers to ‘place of employment,’ the requirement is specific to an individual employer. If employers in a building are not related – like a commercial complex with many small retail outlets – then we would not require a JHSC for that workplace, provided none of the employers has more than 19 employees. In your case, even though the owner of the two firms is the same, we would not require a JHSC if they have different employer names and numbers.
Requirements of the New Brunswick Occupational Health and Safety Act require employers to address health and safety hazards at the workplace, including buildup of ice and snow. Section 102(8) of the General Regulations 91-191 states: “An employer and a contractor shall each keep outdoor passageways from becoming slippery by removing ice or snow and using materials such as ashes, sand or salt where necessary.” If an employee were to fall and injure themselves because the outdoor passageways were not kept from becoming slippery, they could be eligible for compensation. If you have raised the matter with your employer and it still has not been resolved, you can contact WorkSafeNB by calling 1 800 222-9775and file a complaint. Normally, a health and safety officer would investigate. If you wish for your complaint to remain anonymous, we will respect your wish.
If you have a concern about workplace safety, you have several options. First, we encourage workers and employers to work together to solve concerns. An effective safety solution is often best found by both parties. Identify the situation to your supervisor. Secondly, you can bring your concern to your workplace joint health and safety committee or health and safety representative. If the situation continues and you feel you or your co-workers are being asked to complete an unsafe task, you have the right to refuse unsafe work without fear or penalty. Here are the steps you must follow if you choose to exercise this right. Exercising this right is serious and should not be done lightly or as a routine method of solving workplace problems.
Results of accident investigations are only shared with internal staff, and not the public. However, once an accident investigation is complete, the file is presented to WorkSafeNB’s Accident Review Committee. Its members determine whether we should develop Hazard Alerts to advise the public, or whether we should advise that particular industry about the accident findings. They also decide whether charges are recommended. In addition, if staff identify accident trends or patterns, they can recommend prevention or compliance strategies, which may end up in a public awareness campaign, such as our current Safe Waste Collection campaign.
All incidents reported under the Occupational Health and Safety Act are available on our website. The incident list is updated monthly and contains two years of data. It is available from our home page by selecting the Incidents tab, and then selecting any of the more recent incidents listed. You can also receive the monthly report through E-News, our monthly electronic newsletter. You can sign up here to receive it. Fatalities, incidents and other statistics are also reported in our Annual Report.