Compensation Amendment Act - Bill 14
Worker's Compensation Amendment Act was introduced for
first reading on November 3, 2011.
The proposed changes:
compensation coverage for mental stress conditions arising in the
workplace. Adjust compensation for injured apprentices to a
that fairly represents their loss of earnings. Grant survivor benefits
to common law couples without children after three years of
cohabitation (previously two years). Confirm the most recent inflation
adjustments for compensation and penalty amounts.
Labour, Citizens' Services and Open Government Margaret MacDiarmid
said, "Our government recognizes that we need to treat job-related
mental stress the same way we treat physical illness and injuries.
We know mental stress has a significant impact on workers,
families and their workplace."
Bill 14 proposes expanding
compensation for mental stress arising from the course of the worker's
employment to go beyond the current requirement of "an acute reaction
to a sudden and traumatic event" and include the reaction to a
cumulative series of significant work-related stressors.
resulting from employment decisions like discipline, termination or a
change in working conditions will continue to be excluded from
coverage. To be eligible for mental stress compensation in
a recognized diagnosis will be required.
conditions can be caused by many different work circumstances.
WorkSafeBC will be developing policy on when mental stress
be eligible for compensation. Examples that other
have accepted include: emergency service personnel who gradually
develop post-traumatic stress as a reaction to the traumatic events they
may regularly experience as part of their job. Exposure to workplace
violence or bullying.
has launched a new online tool that will
new and young workers with the resources they need to stay safe and
healthy at work.
Students at WorkSafeBC coverage
change to WorkSafeBC has expanded coverage of students in work
experience under section 3(7) of the Act. The Board of
Directors passed the following resolution which, on December 8, 2010,
the Board of Directors approved the expansion of the terms and conditions of coverage for public
and independent school students to
engage in work study/work experience programs.
changes in terms and conditions of coverage expanded the definition of
work experience to include all students engaged in non-paid
school-arranged work experience programs, not only students
participating in work experience in order to meet their Graduation
order-in-council approving these amendments was effective as
of July 21,
Resource for new supervisors
workers and employers in any industry in B.C. will benefit from a new WorkSafeBC
online safety training course. The information can be accessed
any time and is free of
for Safety course provides information and resources on
supervision and the key role it plays in providing and maintaining a
safe and healthy workplace.
Violence in the workplace
poster emphasizing "Violence is not part of the job"
has been developed by WorkSafeBC in cooperation with BCPSEA, BCTF and
CUPEBC. I will be distributing copies to School Districts. The BCTF and
CUPE are also providing copies of the poster.
has recently updated guidelines for the declaration of Unsafe Work.
This has been a problem in a number of districts this past year.
Part 3 Rights and Responsibilities
G3.12 Refusal of unsafe work
amended guideline defines what constitutes an "undue hazard" and
explains the test for making the determination whether a worker has a
reasonable cause to believe that an undue hazard exists. It clarifies
the requirement to further investigate a work refusal in the presence
of other parties, where the worker who made the report of unsafe work
and the employer representative receiving the report have been unable
to resolve the matter.
- Housekeeping changes in the WSBC
Prevention manual effective October
14, 2011 reflect a change in regulation 30.9 (6) to make alarms on
laboratory fume hoods mandatory: "A
laboratory fume hood that is being installed must have an alarm capable
of indicating when the average face velocity falls below the minimum
average face velocity level required in section 30.8 (2) when the hood
is in use."
using clay in projects should ensure they have a written procedure for
clean up. They should ensure that both teaching and non-teaching staff
are aware of safe procedures.
If you would like a sample procedure, please contact Sue Ferguson.
Mental Health in the workplace
Health issues are difficult for individual supervisors and principals
to effectively handle. With the number of waking hours workers spend on
the job, the workplace environment can have a profound impact on their
mental health and well-being.
mental health of your employees impacts their productivity, ability to
concentrate, and their interactions at work. When people are mentally
well, they are more likely to fulfill their potential and cope with
daily pressures in the workplace. Healthy work environments play an
important role in reducing stress levels, creating a positive approach
to work, and improving the mental well-being of employees. To help workplaces recognize,
understand and address mental health issues, there are several
workplaces recognize, understand and address mental health issues,
CCOHS has launched a new Healthy Minds at Work
website. The collection of quality online resources offers advice on
how to create a healthy, supportive work environment, promote mental
health, and effectively handle mental health issues that may exist - to
improve workplace mental health for everyone.
example of a tool available through this website "Mental Health First Aid in the Workplace -
Domestic Violence in the Workplace
is going to launch some resources to assist employers with
issues of domestic abuse in the workplace. The toolkit is being
prepared in response to a recommendation made in a 2010 report on the
findings of the Domestic Violence Death Review Panel. In the report the
Chief Coroner recommended that WorkSafeBC develop a resource to help
employers provide protection to employees from domestic violence in the
workplace, to enhance safety and to ensure compliance with the
Occupational Health and Safety Regulations (OHSR).
goal of this project is to equip employers with resources to assist
why domestic violence is an important workplace issue
the signs of domestic violence in employees (also useful for co-workers)
their legal obligations under OHSR
workplace policies and a culture where workers feel safe to disclose
steps to address risks before violent episodes spill over into the
Domestic Violence is not specifically referenced in OHS regulations in
BC, it is being viewed under the regulations on violence prevention.
For further information, please contact Sue Ferguson of BCPSEA, firstname.lastname@example.org.