At WorkSafeNB we value collaboration with workplaces to keep New Brunswickers safe. Administrative penalties are a new tool to encourage a focus on safety.
Safety is everyone’s responsibility and we all have specific obligations. Chief among them is ensuring all parties comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and regulations and taking every reasonable precaution to ensure the health and safety of employees.
When workplaces operate unsafely, WorkSafeNB health and safety officers have tools at their disposal including education, consultation, writing orders and prosecutions. Introducing administrative penalties means prosecution can be reserved for the most severe offences.
Why introduce administrative penalties?
WorkSafeNB proposed adding administrative penalties as part of our 2019-2021 strategic plan to strengthen health and safety compliance through both legislative change and enhanced enforcement and inspection tools. Our intent to introduce administrative penalties was presented by WorkSafeNB President and Chief Executive Officer, Douglas Jones, at our public Annual General Meeting in 2019.
While education and collaboration remain the primary means for improving health and safety in New Brunswick workplaces, administrative penalties provide WorkSafeNB with an additional tool to influence safe behaviours when other approaches have not been successful.
The intent is to utilize administrative penalties in situation where there are repeat contraventions and areas identified as high-risk. Some examples of high-risk areas are lockout, fall protection, machine guarding and confined spaces.
When will administrative penalties take effect?
As of September 1, 2020, administrative penalties are included in New Brunswick’s Occupational Health and Safety Act. While there may be situations related to COVID-19 that necessitate the application of administrative penalties, the general intent is to operationalize this tool in April, 2021.
Further information including information on the process will be added to this page by the end of 2020. Please check back for updates.