For this month’s Lions Library, let’s talk about New Brunswick workplace health and safety protocols! The goal of Lions Library is to provide you with short-form, easy to understand, explanations of workplace health and safety topics as well as act as a database for where to learn more. In today’s blog, we’ll be sharing information on New Brunswick’s provincial workplace health and safety programs and where to find the best information to keep yourself and your employees safe working within the province of NB.
We will be posting a new Lions Library each month this year focusing on all of the Canadian provinces! Tune in to our blog, or social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Linkedin) so you’ll be sure to catch when we publish your province’s!
What are workplace health and safety guidelines?
The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety (CCOHS) states, “A health and safety program is a definite plan of action designed to prevent accidents and occupational diseases.”
In most Canadian jurisdictions, some sort of a health and safety program is required under the occupational health and safety legislation. Because every organization is different, a specific health and safety program must be developed for each organization and cannot necessarily be expected to meet the needs of another.
New Brunswick Workplace Health and Safety Protocols
New Brunswick workplace health and safety law protects the rights of both employers and employees under five pieces of legislation and their regulations: the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission and Workers’ Compensation Appeals Tribunal Act, the Workers’ Compensation Act, the Occupational Health and Safety Act, and the Firefighters’ Compensation Act, and. the Smoke-Free Places Act.
WorkSafeNB, formerly known as the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission, is a Crown corporation under Part IV of the Public Service that is responsible for all five of the above regulations.Though WorkSafeNB is technically an independent organization, the Minister of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour is responsible for it’s legislation.
WorkSafeNB is committed to promoting New Brunswick workplace health and safety for workers and employers. Their priority is preventing workplace injuries and occupational disease while they also provide comprehensive rehabilitation services and fair compensation benefits when these do occur.
Your Safety Rights
The New Brunswick Occupational Health and Safety Act gives employees three basic rights to ensure their safety at work.
- Right to know – All employees have a right to receive the training needed to do the job safely. All employees, new, transferred or experienced, should be made aware of: Workplace hazards, safe work procedures, emergency procedures.
- Right to participate – All employees have a right to participate in solving health and safety problems and in the identification and control of workplace hazards.
- Right to refuse dangerous work – All employees have the right to refuse work they believe is dangerous to their health or safety, or to that of others. If you are unsure about your safety at work, you should take the following steps:
- Report the safety concern to your supervisor. If the problem is resolved, return to work. If not, then:
- Report the matter to the joint health and safety committee or to the safety representative. If it is still not resolved, then:
- Call WorkSafeNB and explain the situation. Return to work only when the situation is no longer dangerous. In all cases, you should stay at work until your shift is finished.
Certain conditions apply, and all those involved in a work refusal must follow a process – find documents here that outline special conditions.
The New Brunswick Occupational Health and Safety Act sets out employee responsibilities that are designed to help ensure a healthy and safe work environment. These responsibilities are:
- Comply with the OHS Act and regulations.
- Conduct themselves in a safe manner and not put themselves or others at risk.
- Report any workplace hazards.
- Wear appropriate personal protective equipment.
- Co-operate with the joint health and safety committee (JHSC) or safety representatives.
- Co-operate with WorkSafeNB and its health and safety officers.
If you fail to comply with these responsibilities, a WorkSafeNB health and safety officer may write an order requiring you to do so. Failure to comply with an order of this nature could result in prosecution and fines.
Helpful Resources for NB Employees
- About Your Benefits
- Improving Health and Safety
The New Brunswick Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act sets employer responsibilities designed to help ensure a healthy and safe work environment.These responsibilities are:
- Take every reasonable precaution to ensure the health and safety of your employees.
- Comply with the OHS Act and regulations, and any order made in accordance with them.
- Ensure that your employees comply with the Act and regulations, and any order made in accordance with them.
- Ensure that at the place of employment the necessary systems of work, tools, equipment, machines, devices and materials are maintained in good condition and are of minimum risk to health and safety when used as directed by the supplier or in accordance with the directions supplied by the supplier.
- Acquaint an employee with any hazard to be found at the place of employment in connection with the use, handling, storage, disposal and transport of any tool, equipment, machine, device or biological, chemical or physical agent.
- Provide such information, instruction, training and supervision as are necessary to ensure an employee’s health and safety.
- Ensure that work at the place of employment is competently supervised and that supervisors have sufficient knowledge of all of the following with respect to matters that are within the scope of the supervisor’s duties:
- The OHS Act and regulations under this Act that apply to the place of employment;
- any safety policy for the place of employment;
- any health and safety program for the place of employment;
- any health and safety procedures with respect to hazards in connection with the use, handling, storage, disposal and transport of any tool, equipment, machine, device or biological, chemical or physical agent by employees who work under the supervisor’s supervision and direction;
- any protective equipment required to ensure the health and safety of the employees who work under the supervisor’s supervision and direction; and
- any other matters that are necessary to ensure the health and safety of the employees who work under the supervisor’s supervision and direction.
- Ensure that work at the place of employment is sufficiently supervised.
- Provide and maintain in good condition such protective equipment as is required by regulation and ensure that such equipment is used by an employee in the course of work.
- Co-operate with a committee, where such a committee has been established, a health and safety representative, where such a representative has been elected, and with any person responsible for the enforcement of this Act and the regulations.
- Post a copy of the OHS Act and regulations in a prominent place where workers can see them.
- Draft and implement policies and procedures which become the safety program in the workplace.
- If the employer has 20 or more employees regularly employed in New Brunswick, the companies must establish a safety policy and a health and safety program. If the employer has 20 or more employees regularly employed in a workplace, a JHSC must be formed.
Helpful Resources for NB Managers & Supervisors
- Report an Injury or illness
- Improving Health and Safety
- Joint Health and Safety Commitees
- Orientation Guide
The best way to do something safely is to do it correctly, and that comes with proper training and education! Hercules SLR recognizes that and through the Hercules Training Academy, offers an extensive suite of high-quality safety training and certification courses.
Our courses can be customized to fit your workplace’s specific needs. We are always willing to design a course (or multiple courses) specifically for you!
If you’re interested in building a customized training program, please get in touch. One of our training representatives would be happy to help you get started.
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