Mandate

In order to determine whether the workplace health, safety and compensation system is functioning appropriately and to its fullest potential, consideration must be given to what a New Brunswick worker faces when an injury occurs. To address this, two questions have emerged. Is the workplace health, safety and compensation system adequate compared to its Canadian counterparts? Does the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission provide appropriate coverage within the New Brunswick economic and social context?

The following mandate was developed to ensure the Review Panel arrives at a comprehensive and well-founded response to these questions, within a reasonable timeframe. The Review Panel's mandate comprises the following five elements:

  1. Independent and Comprehensive Review
  2. Parameters of the Review
  3. Time Frame
  4. Panel Members
  5. Deliverables

1. Independent and Comprehensive Review

The work of the Review Panel must be independent from the undue influence of any one interest group. The independence of the Review Panel will be fostered through independent research and respectful consultations and dialogue among interested parties.


2. Parameters of Review

It is suggested the review be conducted in the following four phases:

Phase I
Phase I will entail an open-ended and comprehensive examination of the workplace health, safety and compensation environment, allowing the Review Panel to pursue identified and unidentified areas of potential concern. The Review Panel will conduct an environmental scan of workplace health, safety and compensation to ascertain the current workplace environment, including the administration of the Workplace Health Safety and Compensation Commission and the services it provides.

The environmental scan may involve formal and informal discussions with officials from the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission and service providers involved in the delivery of workplace health, safety and compensation programs and services.

Phase II
Activities in Phase II will be based on the outcomes from Phase I. The Review Panel will develop a strategy for inter-jurisdictional consultations, which shall include a thorough analysis of the New Brunswick workplace health, safety and compensation system in comparison with equivalent systems currently in place in all other Canadian jurisdictions. The Review Panel will develop appropriate consultation tools (e.g., questionnaire) to ensure the completion of a comprehensive and effective comparative analysis.

Without prejudicing the outcomes of Phase I, at a minimum, the following questions will be addressed in Phase II:


  I .

How well does the Workplace Health Safety and Compensation Commission's legislated scope of coverage compare to other Canadian jurisdictions, including: number of workers covered; benefits offered to injured workers; treatment of workers while on benefits, and back-to-work activity reports.

 II.

How well does the Workplace Health Safety and Compensation Commission compare to other Canadian jurisdictions in terms of financial performance, including the degree of security for benefits offered; stability of assessment rates, and governance of the financial management.

III.

How well does the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission address prevention of injuries, including occupational health and safety education; resources allocated to education, and results achieved, such as measures of accident frequency?

IV.

How well does the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission compare to other Canadian jurisdictions in terms of the structure of the board of governance, policy development and foresight, and stakeholder input.

 V.

How well does the New Brunswick workplace health, safety and compensation appeal system compare in terms of processes, cost and efficiency.

VI.

How well does the New Brunswick Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission's relationship with healthcare and income support providers compare to the relationships held by other Canadian workplace health, safety and compensation groups and their providers?


Phase III
In Phase III, the Review Panel will develop and execute a targeted consultation to engage key stakeholders and obtain feedback on the findings from Phases I and II. Stakeholder perspectives and recommendations will be sought.

Phase IV
In Phase IV, the Review Panel will develop a Final Report summarizing the findings and analytical conclusions drawn from Phases I, II and III, as well as the methodology used for each stage.

The Final Report will detail specific recommendations for changes to the New Brunswick Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission and will provide a detailed rationale for each recommendation.

The Final Report will also detail possible benchmarks, including detailed rationale for each.

The Final Report will be submitted by the Review Panel Chair, on behalf of the Review Panel, to the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission and the Minister of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour.


3. Timeframe

The Review Panel will commence in May 2007 and will complete its mandate no later than January 2008.


4. Review Panel Members

The Review Panel comprises three members appointed by government to carry out the mandate. One member is appointed as Chair.

Review Panel members include a representative of labour and a representative of employers. The Chair is a neutral third party.

All Review Panel members will be highly respected individuals, with prior knowledge of how workers' compensation systems function and an understanding of the fragile environment in which these agencies operate.

At least one Review Panel member will be fluent in each official language.

The Review Panel will be supported by an Executive Co-ordinator who will oversee all phases and provide support as needed, including drafting the final report under the direction of the Review Panel.

The Review Panel will strive for consensus in all matters.

The Chair will be tasked with the overall direction and co-ordination of the review. As such, s/he will be responsible for ensuring the mandate of the Review Panel is clearly respected.


5. Deliverables

The deliverables include a Final Report which will be released publicly in both official languages.

In the Final Report, the Review Panel should detail the methodology adopted for each phase, findings and analysis, specific and realistic recommendations for possible changes to the New Brunswick Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission.

The Review Panel will establish benchmarks in key areas (determined through the review process) and provide a rationale for their selection.

The Final Report will be submitted simultaneously to the Workplace Health. Safety and Compensation Commission and the Minister of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour no later than January 2008.


Independent Review Panel
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