October 15, 2014:
The Manitoba government has proclaimed the Workers Compensation Amendment Act, which puts in place new measures to protect workers and prevent injuries in the workplace, Labour and Immigration Minister Erna Braun announced today.
“Every worker in Manitoba deserves to come home safe at the end of the day,” said Minister Braun. “This new law is one more step toward making the province the safest place to work in North America.”
The amendments establish a prevention committee as part of the Workers Compensation Board (WCB) to oversee and provide guidance to the Manitoba government’s new workplace prevention initiative known as SAFE Work Manitoba. It will provide oversight to SAFE Work Manitoba on prevention initiatives, public awareness campaigns, and strategic planning and budgeting.
The amendments also broaden worker protection by increasing penalties and requiring an employer who takes discriminatory action against a worker to prove the action was unrelated to the worker making a claim.
Minister Braun said Bill 65 builds on a Five-year Plan for Workplace Injury and Illness Prevention. In addition to establishing Safe Work Manitoba, Bill 65 commits to introduce greater rewards for employers who take action to make workplaces safer, higher penalties for employers who suppress claims and greater clarity around responsibilities for reporting workplace injuries. The new compliance measures will come into force in January 2015.