Partnering to provide safe work environments
A change has been made to the Workers Compensation Act to allow for the establishment and funding of safety associations.
“In addition to health and safety programs, safety associations can help to promote awareness and education in accident prevention,” said Stuart Affleck, Chair of the Workers Compensation Board. “There are many success stories in other jurisdictions where safety associations have played a positive role in reducing workplace accidents and we know that together we can make a greater impact.”
Safety associations support employers, and work to promote workplace safety through education and other initiatives.
Safety associations are funded by employers in the industry represented by the association. In order to be established as an association, the majority of the employers would have to support the establishment of an association.
The WCB would facilitate the collection of the funds through an additional levy on employers.
The decision to make changes to the Workers Compensation Act was based on recommendations from the 2012 Legislative Review Advisory Committee. In 2013, a bill to amend the Workers Compensation Act was introduced into the Legislative Assembly. The bill included a provision to allow for the formation and funding of safety associations for the purpose of the promotion and training in accident prevention. This provision was brought into effect on October 1, 2015.
“The time period between the introduction of the bill and proclamation provided us with time to prepare a policy to support the implementation of the provision,” said Luanne Gallant, Acting Chief Executive Officer for the Workers Compensation Board.
The new policy sets out the terms and conditions related to a safety association including the application and approval process, monitoring, evaluation, and reporting requirements.
The policy has been approved in principle by the WCB Board of Directors and will go out to public consultation before final approval. It is anticipated that the policy process will be concluded by the end of 2015 and that the Workers Compensation Board would be in a position to accept applications in 2016.
The WCB is an independent, non-profit organization funded solely through premiums charged to Island employers as well as investment earnings. It provides no-fault workplace injury and illness insurance and promotes workplace health and safety for all Islanders.
Laura Steeves, Senior Communications Coordinator
902-894-0362 or firstname.lastname@example.org