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 Content Table

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

Schedule A of the First Aid Regulation lists the types of work that constitute high hazard work; however, section 4(3) of the First Aid Regulation requires employers to assess the risk employees are likely to face and provide additional first aid supplies, equipment, services and facilities in regard to those risks. The assessment will not only help you determine which additional industry specific items to include in your kits but also whether you should upgrade from a basic to  intermediate kit. The CSA standard provides guidance on performing a workplace first aid risk assessment in Annex A and Annex B.

Automatically approving standards is also known as “ambulatory incorporation by reference.” This is when a standard with no mention of date of issue or specific version is referenced in a regulation. An advantage of ambulatory incorporating by reference is that drafting regulations can be more flexible because the regulation:

  • incorporates by reference subsequent versions of the standard after it has undergone revisions
  • does not require a regulation change to take effect. 

One disadvantage is that there would be little or no stakeholder consultation before the standards come into effect. While the New Brunswick government is committed to stakeholder consultation, changes are being considered with limited ambulatory incorporation by reference that could allow some stakeholder consultation before adopting a revised standard.

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Resources:

New! OHS Updates - Harmonization Standards (video)

First Aid Kit Content Table

First Aid Kit Selection Table

PPE Comparison Table

Selection of Eye and Face Poster

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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