The Government of New Brunswick has introduced draft legislation which would amend the General Regulation 91-191, made under the Occupational Health and Safety Act ("OHSA"), to include provisions respecting workplace violence and workplace harassment. The deadline for the public to provide feedback on the proposed law is May 16, 2018. If passed, the amendments would take effect September 1, 2018.
The proposed amendments would require employers to establish a written Code of Practice with respect to workplace violence and harassment, to ensure the health and safety of its employees. Similar to violence and harassment laws in most other Canadian provinces, employers would be required to conduct a workplace violence risk assessment and develop measures and procedures with respect to incident reporting, investigation and summoning immediate assistance. The Code of Practice would need to be developed and implemented in consultation with joint committees and reviewed annually, or more often as necessary. Employers would also be required to implement a training program on the Code of Practice, for each employee and for each supervisor.
Currently, New Brunswick is the only province in Canada that does not address workplace violence and/or workplace harassment in its occupational health and safety legislation.