Updated: Jul 10, 2018
Several changes have happened in Alberta in the past two years, and another change to safety is coming in what is being called a major overhaul of the current WCB program. This includes the change that workers will be given the right to refuse unsafe work without loss of pay as some believe that the system has been tipped in the employer’s favor for too long.
Other changes listed from an article from CBC news in Bill 30 include:
An end to the $98,700 cap on insurable earnings for workers compensation benefits. That means people who earn more than that amount would receive benefits based on their current income.
Workers would still get paid even if a stop work order is imposed on their worksite. The government hopes this would encourage more people to report unsafe conditions.
Employers and supervisors would be required to take measures to prevent harassment and violence in the workplace. Workers would be prohibited from engaging in harassing, bullying or violent behaviour.
Spouses of workers killed on the job would be treated equally. All would receive benefits for five years. Spouses with children would receive benefits until the youngest child is 18, or 25, if that child is in college or university.
The government would create an independent Fair Practices Office to guide injured workers through the WCB system and provide support.
Larger workplaces, those with 20 or more workers, would have to create a joint work health and safety committee. Sites with five to 19 workers would need to designate a health and safety representative. These provisions apply to projects lasting 90 days or more. Alberta would be the last province to make these committees mandatory
Workplaces would have to report “near-miss’ incidents that could have killed or seriously injured someone.
Links to find out more about the changes that could be coming: