New changes to the Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Act and Regulations
Effective April 1, 2014 amendments to The Workplace Safety and Health Act, Workplace Safety and Health Regulation, and Administrative Penalty Regulation strengthen workplace safety and health law by:
· Providing immediate fines for activities presenting an imminent risk to workers or for backsliding to unsafe conditions after complying with an improvement order,
· Penalizing employers that prevent workers from exercising their legislated safety and health rights
· Revising and clarifying requirements for workplace safety and health committees,
· Providing Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health the authority to issue a stop-work order to prevent an employer from engaging in a specific task anywhere in the province if that task may place workers at imminent risk of serious injury or illness,
· Clarifying employers' duties to provide workplace-specific safety and health orientation before a new worker begins work at a workplace or returns to a workplace where the hazards have changed during the worker's absence
Under the legislation, employers will be required to ensure that each safety and health representative or safety and health committee member is trained to competently fulfil their duties.
Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health will be explicitly required to take into account information provided by affected parties when making a decision with respect to appeals, exemptions and variances.
These new and amended provisions of the act and regulations incorporate changes recommended by the Minister's Advisory Council on Workplace Safety and Health during the 2012 five-year review of the Act.
The Province’s Workplace Safety and Health Branch have provided the two bulletins highlighting some changes. Additional details are provided in MB Regulation 90/2014 and 89/2014.
If you have any questions, please contact the Environmental Safety and Health Office (EHSO) at 474-6633 or the Workplace Safety and Health Branch at www.safemanitoba.com or 945-3446.