Administrative penalties

At WorkSafeNB we value collaboration with workplaces to keep New Brunswickers safe. 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 (OHS) 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.  Administrative penalties are a new tool to motivate workplace parties to focus on safety. An administrative penalty is a monetary amount that may be imposed on an employer, supervisor, employee or other workplace party for failing to comply with the OHS Act or regulations.

Introducing administrative penalties means that prosecutions can be considered for the most severe violations resulting in serious injuries.  Although prosecutions can lead to a fine as well, administrative penalties can be imposed more promptly resulting in a more immediate deterrence in preventing future violations of the legislation but more importantly making workplaces safer.  The amounts would normally be lower than what could be imposed by the court. 

Administrative penalties will therefore be imposed in situations where there are repeat violations and areas identified as high-risk. Some examples of high-risk areas are lockout, fall protection and  machine guarding.

When will administrative penalties take effect?

As of September 1, 2020, administrative penalties are included in New Brunswick’s Occupational Health and Safety Act.  

WorkSafeNB is implementing administrative penalties in two steps:

  • Starting in the fall of 2020, officers may impose administrative penalties on contraventions relating to COVID-19 Public Health measures.
  • In May 2021, administrative penalties will be implemented beyond COVID-19 Public Health measures.

Further information including information on the process will continue to be added to this page. Please check back for updates. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Information on how to pay the administrative penalty is included in the Notice of Administrative Penalty. You will also receive a return form that we ask that you return with your payment. Payment can be made by cheque to WorkSafeNB or internet banking Administrative penalties are to be paid within 30 days of receiving the notice.

Date: March 2, 2021 Last Revised: June 4, 2021

Administrative penalties can be appealed to WorkSafeNB’s Chief Compliance Officer. Instructions on how to appeal can be found on the appeals process information page.

Date: March 2, 2021 Last Revised: June 4, 2021

While administrative penalties can be applied whenever an officer issues an order as a result of a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act or Regulation, WorkSafeNB has selected specific provisions* where administrative penalties could be imposed.

* provisions will be reviewed on a regular basis and are subject to change.

Starting in May 2021, administrative penalties may be imposed:
• When a workplace party is in violation of sections of legislation identified by WorkSafeNB as high risk and are more likely to result in serious injury;
• When a workplace party is in repeated violation of the same section of legislation, within a 2-year period; and
• As directed by a WorkSafeNB health and safety initiative such as the enforcement of COVID-19 Public Health measures.

Date: June 4, 2021

When a health and safety officer issues an order for a violation subject to an administrative penalty, the affected workplace party will be verbally informed. If confirmed, a Notice of an Administrative Penalty will be delivered by registered mail within 28 days of the order. There may be situations where in-person delivery may be necessary.

Date: June 4, 2021

Anyone who has responsibilities to comply with the requirements of the Act and the regulations (employer, contractor, sub-contractor, contracting employer, supplier, supervisor, owner or employee) may receive an administrative penalty. 

Date: March 2, 2021

Amounts are specified in legislation and allow for increasing amounts when the workplace party has already received a penalty within the past three years.

Workplace party

1st Administrative Penalty

2nd Administrative Penalty

3rd or more Administrative Penalty

Employer, Contractor, Subcontractor, Contracting employer, Supplier




Supervisor, Owner









Date: March 2, 2021

The money from administrative penalties goes to the WorkSafeNB Accident Fund and will be used to support health and safety initiatives in New Brunswick.

Date: March 2, 2021

Failure to pay an administrative penalty is a debt owed to WorkSafeNB and may be filed in the Court of King’s Bench of New Brunswick and may be enforced by judgement by the court.  The judgement may also include reasonable additional costs and charges resulting from the filing, entering and recording of certificate in the court system.

Date: March 2, 2021

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List of High Risk to Health or Life Sections 

Administrative Penalties video




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