BACK TO YOU: DON HURST
Remaining up to date on changes to Manitoba’s Workplace Safety and Health Act is essential for all safety professionals and workers alike.
As of May 20, 2021, the following changes have been made to the Workplace Safety and Health Act:
- The position of the Chief Prevention Officer role is eliminated;
- A “discriminatory action” is now referred to as a “reprisal”;
- Six-Month Time Limit for Discriminatory Action (now called Reprisal) Investigations – A reprisal complaint or referral must now be made to a safety and health officer within six months after the date of the alleged reprisal;
- No appeal of frivolous or vexatious complaints – An appeal of a decision made by a safety and health officer may be dismissed by the director of Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) if the appeal is deemed frivolous or vexatious, or, in the case of a reprisal, if it was not referred to an officer within six months.
- Note: All decisions of a safety and health officer can still be appealed to the director of WSH, including work refusals. However, if the case is deemed frivolous or vexatious by the director, the director’s appeal decision is final and cannot be appealed further to the Manitoba Labour Board;
- Increase to Maximum Prosecution Fines – Maximum prosecution fines for offences under the Act are increased from $250,000 for a first offence to $500,000, and from $500,000 for a second or subsequent offence to $1,000,000; and
- Collections for Education Fund – The WSH Branch will now be able to collect the additional amounts when courts order an offender to pay an additional amount for the purpose of educating the public on workplace safety and health.
The link to the amendment on the Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health website can be found here and the website’s frequently asked questions (FAQ) section can be found here. For any questions regarding legislation changes please contact your regional safety advisor.