While there are no specific regulations on this matter, the New Brunswick Occupational Health and Safety Act requires employers to address health and safety hazards at the workplace, including buildup of ice and snow.
As for the steps you should take, first raise the matter with your supervisor or employer. If you are not comfortable doing this, you could approach your joint health and safety committee (JHSC) at your workplace, if one exists.
You may also contact your human resources department if it is responsible for workplace health and safety. If the matter is still unresolved, you can contact WorkSafeNB to file a complaint. We often respond by sending a health and safety officer to investigate. If you prefer your complaint to remain anonymous, we will respect your wishes.
To file a complaint, contact WorkSafeNB at 1 800 999-9775.
WorkSafeNB does not conduct routine air quality testing. Our agency conducts testing when complaints or concerns are made by workers regarding exposure to biological, chemical or physical agents. In other circumstances, an employer could request assistance from external consulting firms that specialize on this matter.
Your co-worker may contact our agency to provide details of the work location, conditions of the work environment and any other information that may be helpful for WorkSafeNB. The worker’s complaint can be kept confidential. Depending on the information provided, WorkSafeNB may send an occupational health and safety officer to investigate. At the very least, an officer from our agency would contact your co-worker to assess the nature of the complaint.
If your co-worker and your employer want to hire a consultant to conduct air quality tests, we can provide a list of specialists.
Any decision made by an employee of WorkSafeNB can be appealed to the Appeals Tribunal. Decisions brought to the Appeals Tribunal for a final decision are wide and varied. One can appeal any decision made on any issue of a claim during the life of the claim. Decisions may concern the acceptance of a claim, reopening of a claim, the determination of benefits, suspension of benefits, all types of prescriptions or medication, assessments, work capacity evaluations, choice or duration of any treatments, and the level of care allowance, to name a few. A one-year time limit does apply to appeals made under the Workers’ Compensation Act, the Firefighters’ Compensation Act and the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission Act. The Appeals Tribunal has the authority to extend the period within which an appeal may be made.
WorkSafeNB does not publicly release the name of a person who was injured in a workplace incident. WorkSafeNB can and often releases the type of injury or disease that occurred as well as details regarding how an injury or disease happened. It does not, however, release details of a person’s medical condition. Following its mandate to promote safe and heathy workplaces, WorkSafeNB does provide some information that may lead to awareness and prevention of workplace incidents and diseases.
There are two types of coverage a worker can receive when working outside the province: temporary coverage from the receiving jurisdiction and extended WorkSafeNB coverage.
The employer must first determine from the receiving jurisdiction (board or commission) whether coverage is mandatory in that jurisdiction. If it is, the employer must obtain temporary coverage in that region. If it is not mandatory, WorkSafeNB recommends that coverage be extended. To qualify for this coverage, the worker’s usual place of employment must be within the province of New Brunswick. Other conditions also apply. See page 10 of Workers’ Compensation: A Guide for New Brunswick Workers.
Employers have two different timeframes to report accidents:
Employers should also be aware that they have an obligation to write a procedure that requires a worker to notify the employer of a workplace incident.
Incidents not meeting the reporting requirements do not have to be reported to WorkSafeNB, however, employers are encouraged to report injuries that result in disablement beyond the date of incident. Further details on the criteria for reporting injuries are available on our website.
A claim application, Form 67, must be completed by the employer and the injured worker (employee). In the event that one of the parties is not able to complete the form, the injured worker or the employer can complete their portion of the form and submit to WorkSafeNB. WorkSafeNB will follow up with the other party. Once the Form 67 has been submitted, WorkSafeNB will proceed with adjudicating the claim. If you have any further questions, please call 1 800 999-9775.
Sections 38(1) and 41(2) of Regulation 91-191 apply to personal protective equipment (PPE) in a warehouse setting.
Under Section 38(1), an employer must provide PPE and ensure that the employee is trained in its proper use and care. Section 41(2) states that employees exposed to a hazard at the workplace (other than a project site) that could injure the foot must use protective equipment appropriate to the hazard and that conforms to CSA standard CAN/CSA-Z195-M92, Protective Footwear or a standard offering equivalent protection. Also note that employers are required to acquaint workers with hazards associated with the work being carried out (Section 9(2)(b) )
Click here for WorkSafeNB’s legal interpretation of “provide.”
In New Brunswick we cite American National Standards Institute’s (ANSI) standard Z89.1-1997, American National Standard for Personnel Protection – Protective Headwear for Industrial Workers – Requirements or equivalent. Therefore, the use of protective headwear in provincial workplaces must meet both this standard and the manufacturer’s requirements.
Z89.1-1997 contains the following definitions:
The standard’s design, performance or testing requirements do not vary between caps or hats. In other words, as far as ANSI’s concerned, certified hats and caps both provide equal impact and penetration protection. In fact, throughout the document there is no mention of testing the peak or requiring the peak to be pointed forward during testing. The impact and penetrations test required for the front, rear and sides of the test samples are identical.
Furthermore, Appendix A – Recommendations, Cautions, Use and Care does not recommend the peak be worn forward, nor does it oppose the peak being worn backwards.
Lastly, there exists ANSI-certified protective headwear that is marketed as rearward peak protective headwear. The technical director of one such manufacturer confirmed that they have simply installed the harness backwards.
If the harness is oriented in the proper direction and the manufacturer does not disallow re-installing the harness in the orientation so the peak is towards the back of the head, then it is acceptable to wear the headwear with the peak backward. However, workplaces may impose requirements above and beyond the requirements of General Regulation 91-191. As an employer, if you feel the peak adds protection, you may require your employees to wear their protective headwear with the peaks forward.
In cases where workers purchase safety equipment instead of the employer, the legislative requirements do not change. Your responsibilities as an employer are outlined in the fall-protection system section of the General Regulation 91-191 under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
To answer your question regarding body harness inspection and who is responsible, the responsibility stays the same under the General Regulation, no matter who purchases the equipment. As outlined in subsection 50.4(1):
Paragraphs 54.1(1)(a) and 54.1(1)(b) puts inspection responsibilities of the equipment on the employer. But from paragraph 50.5(1)(a), the responsibility for the equipment to be inspected before use is shared by the employer and the employee:
As you are probably aware, Quebec and New Brunswick concluded an agreement in 2008 concerning labour mobility and recognition of qualification, skills and work experience in the construction industry. More information is available at the link below:
Québec / New Brunswick Labour Mobility Agreement for the Construction Sector
An out of province contractor with three or more employees must apply for compensation coverage in New Brunswick. Follow the link for the Application for WorkSafeNB Coverage form.