Businesses that are permitted to remain open during Level 3 of the Winter Plan are required to demonstrate compliance with the Mandatory Order and Public Health Act Regulation 2021-67. This includes taking action to protect the public and workers from COVID-19. Learn more.
If your positive employee has had close contact with other employees in the workplace this is considered a workplace exposure that must be reported. Close contacts are the people they were within two metres of for at least 15 minutes without masking or barriers in place during the 48 hours before they developed symptoms OR 48 hours before they tested positive (whichever came first).
The employee’s name must be kept confidential, except when the disclosure is necessary to identify close contacts in the workplace or required by law. Any personal information collected, used, or disclosed must be limited to the minimum amount necessary. We have developed this simple reporting tool.
WorkSafeNB is dedicated to protecting privacy and safeguarding all personal information. The Right to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (RTIPPA) and the Personal Health Information Privacy and Access Act (PHIPAA) apply to protect the privacy of personal information, including personal health information gathered, used, disclosed and maintained by WorkSafeNB. See also our Access to information and privacy statement.
Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, employers must report workplace exposures to physical, chemical and biological agents to WorkSafeNB and COVID-19 is considered a biological agent. Until recently, many employers were not aware of this requirement.
We are not currently following up on all reports of exposure. WorkSafeNB may visit your workplace or request a copy of your documentation to verify and review that appropriate measures are in place.
The requirement to report physical, chemical and biological exposures to WorkSafeNB is in the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act and applies to all NB workplaces. It is a separate from filing a claim for compensation benefits, which falls under the Workers’ Compensation Act. More information about reporting requirements
Reporting workplace exposures under the OHS Act is not related to assessment premiums that are based on an employer’s claim history.
We are not currently following up on all reports of exposure to COVID-19 and also are not investigating to determine if workplace exposure or transmission has occurred.
A complaint of non-compliance with COVID-19 protective measures may result in a visit by an occupational health and safety officer to your workplace to review your procedures and control measures to protect your workers from exposure. The officer may identify procedural gaps or recommend improvements. If you comply with the officer’s direction, there would be no further action. However, if you do not implement the corrections, you may be ordered to comply or potentially be ordered to close your business until you follow the requirements.
No. The employer is only required to report workplace exposures and is not required to determine if actual workplace transmission has occurred.
Reporting to WorkSafeNB is only required if your positive employee has had close contact with other employees in the workplace. Close contacts are the people they were within two metres of for at least 15 minutes without masking or barriers in place during the 48 hours before they developed symptoms OR 48 hours before they tested positive (whichever came first).
More info here: What to do if your employee tests positive for COVID-19
Until late December 2021, Public Health conducted contact tracing on positive cases and would provide advice and direction to employers when there was a possibility of workplace exposure or transmission.
With the recent increase in positive cases associated with the Omicron variant, Public Health can no longer conduct contact tracing and workplaces of concern are no longer being identified by Public Health.
WorkSafeNB provided information to ensure employers understand their requirement to report these exposures, along with guidance resources to support employers, joint health and safety committees or employee representatives dealing with workplace exposures. The online reporting tool provides a simple and quick way for employers to fulfill the requirement to report to us.
Effective January 4, 2022 at 11:59pm, any case or contact that is currently under isolation and have met the updated isolation requirements of five days if vaccinated or 10 days if unvaccinated/immunocompromised, may discontinue their isolation. These individuals must follow the protocol; wear a well fitted 3-layer mask, maintain distancing, avoid large gatherings and vulnerable settings for an additional five days upon completion of their isolation.
Additional details are available online.
People will need to show proof of vaccination whenever they access certain services, businesses and events. View the full list from Public Health and the Government of New Brunswick.
Individuals who are unable to receive a vaccine due to a medical exemption will be required to show proof. Businesses will have access to materials such as posters to inform their patrons about the new regulations. Business owners with questions about the rules may contact the Business Navigators at 1-833-799-7966 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
While a COVID-19 operational plan is no longer required, we strongly recommend employers develop a communicable disease prevention plan. It is important to note that WorkSafeNB may require a written plan depending on the circumstances observed during inspections and investigations. COVID-19 is not going away. It will continue to circulate, as will other communicable diseases such as seasonal influenza, H1N1 and norovirus. COVID-19 variants also remain a threat. As an employer, you must take every reasonable precaution to keep your workplace healthy and safe.
Workers’ compensation is available for a work-related injury or illness and is not provided for workers who withdraw from work for preventive reasons. Claims submitted for a COVID-19 virus infection contracted through a work-related exposure are adjudicated on a case-by-case basis. For a claim to be accepted, evidence must show that the infection arose out of and in the course of employment and the risk of contracting the disease through the employment is greater than the risk associated with contracting it through day-to-day living. Learn more about the application of benefits. Policy 21-109 Conditions for Entitlement – Infectious Diseases