January / February 2009

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In This Issue


JHSC 3-day Training

February 3-5, 2009
Saint John (E)

February 10-12, 2009 

Moncton (E), Dalhousie (F), Edmundston (F)

February 17-19, 2009 

Fredericton (E)

February 24-26, 2009 

Miramichi (E), Moncton (E)

March 3-5, 2009 

Saint John (E)

March 10-12, 2009 

Campbellton (E), Moncton (F), Saint-François (F)

March 17-19, 2009 

Florenceville (E),
Fredericton (E)

March 24-26, 2009 

Moncton (F), Tracadie (F)

E  indicates workshops given in English
indicates workshops given in French

Click here or call
1 800 222-9775  
for more information.


Did you know

Hand washing is one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of infectious diseases, including the flu. Click here for information on influenza prevention and protection from New Brunswick’s Department of Health. For a copy of WorkSafeNB’s hand washing poster, call 633-5660. Click here to view the poster.


Stakeholder Profile

Click here to read about Dan Ferris, an injured worker who didn't back down.


February is...
Heart Month

February 9-10
Health and Safety Training for Managers and Supervisors
Hamilton, Ontario

February 11-12
Conducting Internal Workplace Investigations
Toronto, Ontario

March 2-3
Health and Safety Training for Managers and Supervisors
Hamilton, Ontario

March 11-17
Canadian Agriculture Safety Week

March 25-27
Safety Services Nova Scotia
27th Annual Conference and Tradeshow
Halifax, Nova Scotia

April 20-22
Health and Safety Canada 2009
IAPA Conference & Trade Show
Toronto, Ontario

To have your health and safety event posted in this newsletter, please email

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WorkSafeNB and Canada Revenue Agency enter into information sharing agreement    

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and WorkSafeNB (formerly the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission) have entered into an agreement to share business information. This data is being shared to ensure that all New Brunswick employers required to register with WorkSafeNB and CRA are, in fact, registered. When all employers are in full compliance with federal and provincial laws, there is fairness to all, and everyone is working from a level playing field.


Section 241(4) of the Income Tax Act, amended in 1999, provides the CRA with the authority to disclose taxpayer information to provincial government bodies. Section 12 of the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission (WHSCC) Act permits WorkSafeNB to enter into information-sharing agreements with other levels of government.

A joint CRA-WorkSafeNB letter outlining the registration requirements was sent to employers whose information appears with only one of the organizations. The letter asked the employers to contact the appropriate organization to confirm that they are registered or to begin the registration process. If attempts to contact these employers are unsuccessful, WorkSafeNB will register and assess premiums for these employers, based on the information available through CRA records.


Employers required to register will be assessed and required to pay WorkSafeNB assessment premiums, plus arrears.


For information contact WorkSafeNB Assessment Services at
506 632-2820, or toll-free at 1 800 222-9775.

WorkSafeNB urges New Brunswickers to use snow sense    

We can see it, we can feel it – winter is definitely here. And with the cold temperatures, snow and ice, workers face additional hazards, and must be more vigilant.

Snow can bring with it a lot of joy, but also a lot of pain when you have to drive in it and shovel it. Shovelling snow is a strenuous exercise, and can be hard on the heart and back. So before picking up the shovel do some warm-ups to loosen up the muscles, and don’t over-exert yourself. Begin shovelling slowly to avoid placing a sudden demand on your heart, pace yourself and take breaks as needed.

The type of shovel you use is also important – it should be lightweight (no more than 1.5 kg or three pounds) and the blade should not be too large. A smaller blade will require you to lift less snow, putting less strain on your body.

Protect your back from injury by lifting correctly. Stand with your feet about hip width for balance and keep the shovel close to your body. Bend from the knees (not the back) and tighten your stomach muscles as you lift the snow. Avoid twisting movements; if you need to move the snow to one side reposition your feet to face the direction the snow will be going.

Wearing the proper clothing in winter is only common sense, but it is especially important for those who work in the cold, in industries such as construction, trucking, farming and logging, where the potential for hypothermia and frostbite is greater. It is an employer’s responsibility to ensure that workers are properly attired and supervised when working under extreme cold.

WorkSafeNB’s Risk Alert, Surviving the Cold, provides excellent tips on how to work safely in the cold, including how to prevent and detect cold stress, and the proper clothing and personal protective equipment required.

The snow and cold weather also present a bigger risk for slips, trips and falls, which account for a high number of claims. Good housekeeping practices, such as ensuring drives and walkways are cleared and sanded, and mopping up any spills or melted snow indoors will reduce the risk of slips, trips and falls. For those who spend a lot of time working outdoors, the proper footwear is essential, and the non-slip tracks that can be hooked onto boots are a good idea.

Snow and ice significantly increase the danger on our roads, so pedestrians and drivers alike must exercise extreme caution. Visibility is considerably reduced and roads become more treacherous, so it’s important to reduce speed and drive only when absolutely necessary during bad weather. You can check road conditions on the Department of Transportation’s 36 web cams located throughout the province, or by calling their toll-free, 24-hour line at 1 800 561-4063. If you must go out in bad weather, bring a cell phone and make sure you have an emergency kit. For more information on winter driving, click here for valuable tips from the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

Drivers should ensure their tires have good treads, and should never mix tires, as different tread patterns, size, and construction can compromise vehicle performance and safety. Since tire pressure drops in colder weather, affecting both safety and fuel consumption, check your tire pressure often.

It is important to remove all snow and ice from your vehicles, and make sure to keep your fuel tank full, as well as other fluids (windshield wash and anti-freeze).

WorkSafeNB urges all New Brunswickers, whether at work, on the roads, or at home, to make a resolution this year to think and act safely. (Click here to view our Working in the Cold news release)


PETL Minister proposes improvements to pension benefits    

Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Donald Arseneault introduced proposed changes to the pension benefits section of the Workers' Compensation Act in the legislature December 10. Workers’ compensation legislation recognizes the fact that a workplace injury may affect a worker’s ability to contribute to retirement income, and therefore provides pension benefits in addition to wage loss benefits.

If the changes are adopted, the percentage of wage loss benefits that WorkSafeNB will be required to set aside would increase to 10 per cent from five per cent. The proposed increased pension benefit would come into effect this year and apply to eligible workers turning 65 on or after January 1, 2009.

The changes will be retroactive to 1993, giving those eligible workers their pension benefit calculated as if it had been accruing at a rate of 10 per cent from the start of their eligibility period.

Roberta Dugas, chair of WorkSafeNB’s board of directors, said she is pleased with the government’s quick response to the recommendation that the pension benefit for injured workers be improved.

"The people who will benefit from the proposed changes are the injured workers who need help the most, and this improvement will provide them with financial security in their retirement years," Dugas said. "And while this year’s downturn in investment returns means that the board faces challenges in the years ahead, the board’s responsible financial management over the past several years has allowed WorkSafeNB to improve the pension benefits," she said.

Ask Us
Q: Section 47 under General Regulation 91-191 states: “An employee who may be required to use respiratory protective equipment shall co-operate in attaining an effective fit of the equipment and, in particular, be as clean-shaven as is necessary to ensure an effective facial seal.” Could you explain what
“clean-shaven” means; how clean-shaven does a worker have to be?

John Smith*

Moncton, NB


*Name has been changed for privacy purposes. 


A: “Clean-shaven” means being clean-shaven where the respirator seal meets the facial skin. The fit is important to keep contaminants out and to ensure an effective seal is maintained during use. Since respiratory equipment is often required in emergency situations, when there is not time to do repeated fit tests, WorkSafeNB advises employers and employees that an employee should be freshly clean-shaven when performing any work that may require a respirator for the task or for rescue.

When uncertain, the workplace should consult with the respirator supplier/manufacturer to determine where the boundaries of the respirator seal lie to help determine the facial area to be

Note: The Regulations prescribe the minimum requirements for safety. The CSA Standard (Z94.4-93) cited in the regulation requires that a competent person be appointed as the "program administrator", to administer and oversee the respiratory protection program. As determined by the standards of the trade or trade associations, the program administrator may prescribe certain additional requirements for safety, beyond the minimum regulatory requirements. These requirements must be respected for a successful respiratory protection program.

If you have a question for Ask us! please forward to beverly.stears@ws-ts.nb.ca.

Recent Accident Reports

Date of Accident:

December 9, 2008

Injury Type:  

Puncture to hand




Construction / Carpenter 



Notes: :



Worker shot himself in the hand with an air-nailer while installing spindles on a handrail.


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WorkSafeNB / Travail sécuritaire NB | 1 Portland Street / 1, rue Portland | PO Box 160 / Case postale 160 | Saint John | NB | E2L 3X9 | Canada  



Janvier / février 2009

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Dans ce numéro


Programme de formation pour les membres du comité mixte d’hygiène et de sécurité (3 jours) 

Du 3 au 5 février 2009
Saint John (en anglais)

Du 10 au 12 février 2009 
Moncton (en anglais), Dalhousie (en français) et Edmundston (en français

Du 17 au 19 février 2009 
Fredericton (en anglais)

Du 24 au 26 février 2009 
Miramichi (en anglais) et Moncton (en anglais)

Du 3 au 5 mars 2009
Saint John (en anglais)

Du 10 au 12 mars 2009
Campbellton (en anglais), Moncton (en françaiset Saint-François (en français

Du 17 au 19 mars