WorkSafeNB is a Crown corporation charged with overseeing the implementation and application of the New Brunswick Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Workers' Compensation Act of New Brunswick, the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission Act of New Brunswick, and the Firefighters' Compensation Act.
The majority of costs incurred to the WCB system go to compensate and rehabilitate injured workers. These costs are covered only by employers (who entirely fund the system through premiums) and are largely based on two things: how many people get injured and when they do get injured, how long they are off the job.
The most effective way to control your costs is to prevent accidents before they happen. And if they do happen, take every measure possible to get the employee to return to work in as safe and timely manner as possible.
Registering Your Business with WorkSafeNB
To establish workers’ compensation coverage, you must register your business with WorkSafeNB. Coverage is mandatory for any firm with three or more employees. To do so, you must complete an Application for WorkSafeNB Coverage.
When fewer than three workers are employed, coverage may be requested on a voluntary basis. This is referred to as "Voluntary Coverage." Employers making such an application must anticipate operating for at least six months and employ at least one full-time worker.
Exception: An employer with fewer than three workers, working exclusively for one principal, will not be granted voluntary coverage. The principal is responsible for all such subcontractors.
An Independent Operator may not be eligible to have mandatory coverage with WorkSafeNB. However, a business owner can be held responsible for the costs incurred when a person whom they believe to be an independent operator is injured while doing work for them or on their behalf. Contractors and subcontractors who are not individually registered with the WorkSafeNB are considered to be your workers for the purposes of workers’ compensation insurance, since the contractors are regarded as being regular workers.
Reporting an incident / illness
WorkSafeNB has very specific rules as to when an incident/accident needs to be reported and a Report of Accident or Occupational Disease (Form 67) needs to be completed and forwarded to WorkSafeNB. Note that there are penalties in place for those companies that don't comply.
Timelines for reporting an injury to WorkSafeNB:
- Immediately, if the accident causes or may cause a fatality, loss of limb, or occupational disease.
- Within 24 hours of occurrence, in the case of an accidental explosion or an accidental exposure to a biological, chemical or physical agent at a workplace [Subsection 43(4) of the OHS Act].
- Within 3 days of notification if the scenario does not fit either of the above two descriptions.
Office of Employers’ Advocates
The Office of Employers’ Advocates assists New Brunswick employers in matters concerning workers' compensation through communication, consultation and education, and by advising and representing them on issues before WorkSafeNB (WSNB) and in particular, the appeals process. Their service is funded by your employer premiums.