Harmonization of safety standards

Keeping New Brunswick workers safe with nationally harmonized safety standards.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) and first aid kits are essential to a safe workplace.

The goal of harmonizing safety standards across Canada is to reduce red tape for employers that conduct business in more than one Canadian province or territory while continuing to maintain worker protection.

To achieve harmonization and improve safety, the General Regulation 91-191 and Regulation 2004-130-First Aid have been amended to reference newer standards for PPE and the new first aid kit CSA Standard.

What equipment is affected?

Personal Protective Equipment

The Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) used safely by New Brunswick workers didn’t suddenly become obsolete or unsafe, when the amendments came into force. Therefore, NB workplaces can continue to use equipment meeting the previous standards cited if they are properly maintained and inspected to ensure they are in good condition. When replacing these PPE, the equipment must conform to or be fabricated in accordance with the newer standards.  In most circumstances, the PPE has labelling indicating the standard number, year and the type and/or class.

Some noteworthy changes are listed below. This is not the complete list. For full details, purchase or access the standards for free (read only.)


Moving from ANSI Z89.1-1997 “Industrial Head Protection” to CSA Z94.1-15 “Industrial protective headwear – Performance, selection, care, and use”

  • The workplace must conduct a hazard assessment (guideline in standard);
    • The hazard assessment must be documented and conducted by a qualified person.
    • If hazard assessment is not conducted or available, type 2 Class E headwear must be used.
  • Protective headwear is to be worn facing forward. Reversible headwear can be selected if job, task, or work environment requires it (e.g. welding). Manufacturer’s instructions must allow headwear to be worn backwards.
  • The standard contains requirements and recommended practices for care which include:
    • No alteration to the headwear (including drilling holes)
  • The standard provides guidance on the use of accessories, including:
    • Baseball-type caps cannot be worn underneath headwear
    • Decals, laminates, stickers or tape must be compatible with the headwear and not compromise the ability to carry out an inspection.

Moving from CSA Z94.3-92 “Industrial eye and face protectors” to CSA Z94.3-15 “Eye and face protectors”

  • The new standard contains requirements for two additional hazards; laser radiation and electric arc flash.
  • It also requires that
    • Class 1 (spectacles) or class 2 protectors (goggles) must be used in addition to a welding helmet.

Moving from CSA Z195-M92 to CSA Z195-14 “Protective footwear”

  • The standard has been expanded to include requirements for footwear with chainsaw protection. These must have the green fir inside a white rectangle label.
  • It also provides guidance on selecting sole material that will minimise the hazard of slipping.

Moving from CSA Z94.2-94 “Hearing Protectors’’ to CSA Z94.2-14 “Hearing Protection devices – Performance, selection, care and use’’

The new standard contains

  • A table to assist with hearing protective device selection based on class and noise exposure.
  • Direction on issuing and using devices.

Life jackets, Personal Flotation Devices (PFD) and Inflatable PFD’s are to be approved by Transport Canada or an agency permitted by Transport Canada to approve them.

Look for a label that demonstrates approval by Transport Canada or permitted agency:

First Aid Kits

Moving from Schedule C of Regulation 2004-130 to CSA Z1220-17 “First Aid Kits for the workplace”

There are three types of first aid kits, each with specific content requirements; Personal, Basic and Intermediate. The Basic kits (for low hazard work) and Intermediate kits (for high hazard work), come in three sizes; small, medium and large. Employers will have flexibility in choosing a combination of kit sizes to best suit workplace needs. For example, an employer required to have 2 medium kits could comply by having 4 small kits or 1 large kit. More details:

First Aid Kit Selection Table

How does this impact my workplace?

It may not. If your current first aid kits continue to be maintained to meet the previous requirements, you can continue to use them. As well, if your current PPE are in good condition and appropriate for the work being done, you can continue to use them.

When you do purchase new first aid kids or PPE, they must comply with the new standard cited in regulation. Whether keeping existing equipment or buying new, NB workplaces must comply with the standard requirements for proper use, inspections and maintenance.

More information on the new standards and how to purchase or access them for free (read only.)

Frequently Asked Questions

The short answer to your question is no. If you are using any of these types of PPE, they are still allowed to be used as long as they are properly maintained and in good condition to provide the protection they were originally designed for. However, when equipment needs to be replaced, any new equipment is required to meet the new standard.

Harmonization will simplify regulatory requirements for employers who operate in more than one Canadian province and avoid having to purchase new equipment to comply with another jurisdiction’s requirement for PPE. As enforcement of the harmonized PPE standards will vary across provinces, if you have workers using them in other provinces you may want to focus on updating the PPE of these workers first.

Yes, the new cited standards are available at no cost to view (read only) on the CSA website.  A copy of the standard can be purchased from the same web page. 

WorkSafeNB has developed a summary document that highlights key changes. 

PPE Comparison Table

Anyone who wants to use PPE certified by an alternative standard setting agency other than CSA or other agencies cited in the regulations is responsible to confirm that the equipment provides equal or better protection. Determining equal or better protection may not be straight forward but a good place to start could be to ask the supplier or manufacturer.  Contacting CSA or other standard setting agencies cited in the regulation may also provide the required information. If alternate PPE is used, the employers or users must be able to provide evidence that the equipment provides equal or better protection.

If you have a kit that was in compliance with the regulation before May 29, 2020 you do not need to purchase a new kit. WorkSafeNB will allow workplaces to continue using existing kits that meet the repealed Schedule C.  To help you maintain these kits, see the Schedule C- First Aid Kit Content Table. If you plan on purchasing a new kit, you must purchase a CSA compliant first aid kit. 

The only marking requirement for suppliers is to include the word “first aid” or the symbol for “first aid” on the first aid kit container. Unfortunately, this will not be enough to determine if the kit meets the CSA requirements. As a purchaser, you can ask for a CSA-compliant kit and if you are not sure it meets the regulation, compare its contents with the CSA standard requirements. 



First Aid kits that meet the CSA standard are widely available from safety equipment suppliers, first aid training agencies and online.

As of May 29, the legislation references the CSA standard for first aid kit content only.  All the other requirements (first aid training, emergency first aid protocol, first aid room, first aid refresher, etc.) are unchanged.

The CSA standard lists three types of kits: personal, basic (for lower hazard work) and intermediate (for higher hazard work). The basic and intermediate kits come in small, medium and large sizes, based on the number of employees per shift. Schedule A of the New Brunswick First Aid Regulation cites only two types of first aid kits – a personal kit and a first aid Kit.

Going forward, when purchasing CSA kits, employers must follow the requirements of Schedule A for the number of first aid kits and CSA standard kit requirements with respect to the type and size.

To help clarify kit selection to comply with Schedule A, please see the First Aid Kit Selection Table

Furthermore, employers have flexibility in choosing a combination of kit sizes to best suit workplace needs. For example, an employer required to have two medium kits could comply by having four small kits or one large kit.


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New! OHS Updates - Harmonization Standards (video)

First Aid Kit Selection Table

Schedule C – First Aid Kit Content

PPE Comparison Table

Selection of Eye and Face Poster

Personal Protective Equipment – Head Protection Hazard Assessment

Personal Protective Equipment - CSA quick reference guide

Online access to CSA standards:

The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) provides a website that allows users to access CSA standards referenced in federal, provincial and territorial OHS regulations.

Users need to create an account on the CSA Communities website to access the standards.

The site allows users to view and/or purchase standards referenced in the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations.


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