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An Act to Amend the Occupational Health and Safety Act

Legislature :
55
Session :
2
Bill No. :
61
Member :
Hon. Blaney
First Reading :
2005-6-2
Second Reading :
2005-6-3
Committee of the Whole :
Amended :
Third Reading :
Royal Assent :
Download PDF :
Bill 61

Text of Bill :
Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick, enacts as follows:



1                           Section 1 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, chapter O-0.2 of the Acts of New Brunswick, 1983, is amended by repealing the definition "health and safety representative" and substituting the following:



"health and safety representative" means a health and safety representative elected under section 17 or designated under section 17.1;



2                           Section 9 of the Act is amended



(a)               in subsection (2)



(i)         by adding after paragraph (a) the following:



(a.1)          ensure that the place of employment is inspected at least once a month to identify any risks to the health and safety of his employees;



(ii)       in paragraph (e) by adding "or designated" after "elected";



(b)               by adding after subsection (2) the following:



9(3)                   An employer shall develop a program for the inspection referred to in paragraph (2)(a.1) with the joint health and safety committee, if any, or the health and safety representative, if any, and shall share the results of each inspection with the committee or health and safety representative.



3                           Paragraph 12(e) of the Act is amended by adding "or designated" after "elected".



4                           Section 14 of the Act is amended



(a)               by adding before subsection (1) the following:



14(0.1)          This section does not apply to a project site.



(b)               in subsection (1) by striking out "Subject to subsection (1.1), every" and substituting "Every";



(c)               by repealing subsection (1.1);



(d)               by repealing subsection (7);



(e)               by repealing subsection (11);



(f)                by repealing subsection (12).



5                           The Act is amended by adding after section 14 the following:



14.1(1)          This section does not apply to a project site.



14.1(2)          An employer shall ensure that each person who is designated to serve on a joint health and safety committee



(a)               has attended an educational program as prescribed by the regulations, or



(b)               attends an educational program prescribed by the regulations within twelve months after being designated, if the person has not attended such program.



14.1(3)          Subsection (1) does not apply to a person who, immediately before the commencement of this section, was a member of the committee at a place of employment, but only for so long as that person continues to be a member of the committee at that place of employment.



14.1(4)          A person referred to in subsection (3) may attend an educational program prescribed by the regulations if the committee of which the person is a member recommends to the employer that the person attend, and the employer grants leave to the person.



14.1(5)          Where an employer does not grant leave in accordance with subsection (4), the Commission may order the employer to grant the person leave to attend the educational program.



14.1(6)          Each member of the committee shall, for the periods during which the member is taking any educational program required under this Act that relates to the member's service on the committee or during which the member is attending any committee meetings, receive pay at his or her rate and other benefits to which he or she would otherwise be entitled.



14.2(1)          This section applies to a joint health and safety committee that is established for a project site.



14.2(2)          The employer and employee representatives of a committee shall each elect a co-chairman from their respective groups.



14.2(3)          A committee, unless it is dissolved under subsection 14.3(6), continues until work on the project site is completed, regardless of the number of employees working on the site.



14.2(4)          A committee shall meet at least once a month.



14.2(5)          A committee shall



(a)               take and maintain minutes of its meeting on a form approved by the Commission,



(b)               promptly provide the contractor with a copy of the minutes signed by the co-chairmen of the committee, and



(c)                send copy of the minutes signed by the co-chairmen of the committee to the Commission.



14.2(6)          Where a committee cannot agree on a matter related to health and safety, the committee shall call an officer to resolve the problem.



14.2(7)          Section 15 applies with the necessary modifications to a committee and the contractor on a project site, except as follows:



(a)               the reference to "employer" in paragraph (d) shall be read as "employers on the site";



(b)               the reference to "employer" in paragraph (g) shall be read as "employers";



(c)                subparagraph (k)(ii) shall be read as follows:



(ii)       may be assigned to a committee by agreement between the committee and the contractor, or



14.2(8)          A contractor who is responsible for a project site for which a committee is established shall ensure that



(a)               the names of the members of the committee are posted in a prominent place or places at the project site, and



(b)               the minutes of the most recent committee meeting are promptly posted in a prominent place or places at the project site.



14.3(1)          This section applies to a project site where



(a)               work on the site has continued for more than ninety days, and



(b)               thirty or more employees but fewer than five hundred employees work at the site.



14.3(2)          A contractor who is responsible for a project site shall ensure that a joint health and safety committee is established within two weeks after the criteria set out in subsection (1) have been met.



14.3(3)          A contractor shall ensure that a committee



(a)               is constituted of both employer and employee representatives, of which not less than half of the representatives are designated by employees in accordance with this section,



(b)               has at least two employee representatives designated by employees in accordance with this section, and



(c)                has at least one person designated by the contractor as the representative of the contractor.



14.3(4)          Where an employer has six or more employees working at a project site,



(a)               the employer may designate a person to serve on the committee as an employer representative, and



(b)               the employees shall designate a person to serve on the committee as an employee representative.



14.3(5)          Nothing in subsection (4) prevents employees who work for one employer from designating an employee who works for another employer to serve on the committee as an employee representative.



14.3(6)          If the number of employees working at the site at any time exceeds four hundred and ninety-nine, the committee established under this section is dissolved, and the contractor shall establish a committee in accordance with section 14.4.



14.3(7)          The documents, minutes, records and any other material of the committee that is dissolved become the documents, minutes, records and material of the committee that is subsequently established.



14.4(1)          In this section, "trade" means a trade prescribed by regulation and includes any trade designated by a committee under subsection (8).



14.4(2)          This section applies to a project site that has five hundred or more employees working on the site at any time.



14.4(3)          A contractor who is responsible for a project site shall ensure that a joint health and safety committee is established within two weeks after the criterion set out in subsection (2) has been met.



14.4(4)          A contractor shall ensure that a committee



(a)               is constituted of both employer and employee representatives, of which not less than half of the representatives are designated by employees in accordance with this section,



(b)               has at least two employee representatives designated by employees in accordance with this section, and



(c)                has at least one person designated by the contractor as the representative of the contractor.



14.4(5)          Where there are one or more employers engaged in work on a project site and the employees of those employers are working in the same trade at the site, the employees working in that trade shall designate a person to serve on the committee as an employee representative.



14.4(6)          Nothing in subsection (5) prevents employees who work in one trade from designating a person who works in another trade to serve on the committee as an employee representative.



14.4(7)          Nothing in this section prevents employers who provide services in one trade from designating a person who is a employer who provides services in another trade to serve on the committee as an employer representative.



14.4(8)          Where a committee is of the opinion that it is desirable to have a representative from a trade that has not been prescribed by regulation, the committee may designate the trade for the purposes of the definition "trade" in subsection (1) and shall promptly advise the contractor that the trade has been designated, and the contractor shall ensure that the employers and employees in that trade are advised of the designation.



14.4(9)          Subsections (4) to (7), inclusive, apply in respect of a trade designated under subsection (8).



14.5(1)          This section applies to a project site.



14.5(2)          On and after the date that is one year after the commencement of this section, no person may be elected to be a co-chairman of a joint health and safety committee unless the person has attended an educational program prescribed by the regulations.



14.5(3)          On and after the date that is two years after the commencement of this section, no person may be designated to serve on a committee unless the person has attended an educational program prescribed by the regulations.



14.5(4)          Subsections (2) and (3) do not apply if the person designated to serve on a committee was a member of a committee or a health and safety representative on a project site at any time within the twelve months previous to the commencement of this section.



14.5(5)          A person referred to in subsection (4) may attend an educational program prescribed by the regulations if the committee of which the person is a member recommends to the employer that the person attend, and the employer grants leave to the person.



14.5(6)          Where an employer does not grant leave under subsection (5), the Commission may order the employer to grant the person leave to attend the educational program.



14.5(7)          Each member of a committee shall, for the periods during which the member is taking any educational program required under this Act that relates to the member's service on the committee or during which the member is attending any committee meetings, receive pay at his or her rate and other benefits to which he or she would otherwise be entitled.



6                           Section 17 of the Act is amended by adding before subsection (1) the following:



17(0.1)          This section does not apply to a project site.



7                           The Act is amended by adding after section 17 the following:



17.1(1)          This section applies to a project site



(a)               with more than five but fewer than thirty employees working on the site, regardless of the length of time work is carried out on the site, or



(b)               where work carried out on the site has not exceeded ninety days, and thirty or more but fewer than five hundred employees work on the site.



17.1(2)          On and after the date that is one year after the commencement of this section, no person may be designated as a health and safety representative unless the person



(a)               has attended an educational program prescribed by the regulations, or



(b)               has served as a health and safety representative or as a member of a joint health and safety committee on a project site within the twelve months preceding the commencement of this section.



17.1(3)          Subject to subsection (4), the contractor and the employees working on a project site shall jointly designate a health and safety representative within two weeks



(a)               after work on the project site has commenced,



(b)               after a person designated as a health and safety representative resigns, is removed or ceases to work at the site, and



(c)                after any increase in the number of employees working on the site warrants another designation.



17.1(4)          Subject to subsection (5), health and safety representatives shall be designated as follows:



(a)               for five to fifty employees working at the site - one representative; and



(b)               for every fifty employees thereafter working at the site, or any portion in excess of a multiple of fifty - one representative.



17.1(5)          Where the contractor and the employees working at the site are unable to agree on a joint designation under subsection (3), the employees shall designate a health and safety representative within one week after the applicable period set out in subsection (3), and the contractor may designate a health and safety representative within the same period, and subsequent health and safety representatives shall be designated by the employees and may be designated by the contractor in accordance with subsection (4).



17.1(6)          A person who is designated as a health and safety representative remains in the position until he resigns, is removed, no longer works at the site or a committee is established under section 14.3 or 14.4.



17.1(7)          Section 18 applies with the necessary modifications to health and safety representatives and a contractor on a project site.



17.1(8)          Each health and safety representative shall, for the periods during which he or she is taking any educational program required under this Act that relates to his or her service as a health and safety representative, receive pay at his or her rate and other benefits to which he or she would otherwise be entitled.



17.1(9)          A person referred to in paragraph (2)(b) may attend an educational program prescribed by the regulations if the person requests the training and the employer grants leave to the person.



17.1(10)       Where an employer does not grant leave under subsection (9), the Commission may order the employer to grant the person leave to attend the educational program.



17.1(11)       The contractor shall post the name of the health and safety representatives in a prominent place or places at the project site.



8                           Subsection 37(3) of the Act is amended by striking out "where such a representative has been elected" and substituting ", if any".



9                           Paragraph 42(3)(a) of the Act is amended by striking out "where one has been elected" and substituting ", if any".



10                        Section 51 of the Act is amended by adding after paragraph (dd) the following:



(dd.1)       respecting the content, duration, administration and delivery of an educational program for persons who are or may become members of joint health and safety committees and or a health and safety representative;



(dd.2)       prescribing trades for the purposes of subsection 14.4(1);



11                        This Act or any provision of it comes into force on a day or days to be fixed by proclamation.



EXPLANATORY NOTES



Section 1



The existing provision is as follows:



"health and safety representative" means a health and safety representative elected by the employees at a place of employment as provided for under section 17;



Section 2



(a)(i)         New provision.



(a)(ii)       This amendment is consequential to the amendment in section 7 of this amending Act.



(b)               New provision.



Section 3



This amendment is consequential to the amendment in section 7 of this amending Act.



Section 4



(a)               New provision.



(b)               The existing provision is as follows:



14(1)               Subject to subsection (1.1), every employer with twenty or more employees regularly employed at a place of employment shall ensure the establishment of a joint health and safety committee.



(c)                The existing provision is as follows:



14(1.1)          Where twenty or more employees are employed at a project site, the principal contractor or, if there is no principal contractor, the owner shall ensure the establishment of a joint health and safety committee.



(d)               The existing provision is as follows:



14(7)               Each member of the committee shall receive when engaged in committee meetings pay at his rate and other benefits for the time periods during which the meetings are held.



(e)                The existing provision is as follows:



14(11)            The employer at a place of employment, in consultation with members of the committee at the place of employment, shall grant to the committee members the necessary leave to be trained in the duties and responsibilities of a committee member.



(f)                The existing provision is as follows:



14(12)            Where an employer does not grant a leave to members of a committee in accordance with subsection (11), the Commission may order an employer to grant a committee member leave.



Section 5



New provisions.



Section 6



New provision.



Section 7



New provision.



Section 8



This amendment is consequential on the amendment in section 7 of this amending Act.



Section 9



This amendment is consequential on the amendment in section 7 of this amending Act.



Section 10



Regulation-making authority is expanded.



Section 11



Commencement provision.

 

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