New Brunswick Occupational Health & Safety Act (OH&S)

What is it for?

OH&S is the discipline concerned with protecting the health and safety of all stakeholders in the workplace from exposure to hazards and risks resulting from work activities. It is administered by Worksafe NB.

Do we fall under it?


What is it made up of?

It consists of the Act and the following 8 Regulations.

91-191 General Regulation

2016-6 WHMIS

92-106 Abestos

84-26 Administration

92-133 Working alone

96-105 Underground mining

2004-130 First Aid

2007-33 Training & Designated Trades

Who is the Employer/Employee?

As per OH&S Act – Definitions, you could be both an employee as well as an employer representative as a PIPSC member if you are also considered a supervisor.  Management should provide clarity on your role if you are an “Employer Representative.”

What must the Employer do at work?

OH&S act section 8.

Take every reasonable precaution to ensure the health and safety of the employees and comply with the Act and Regulations and orders.

Provide and ensure all protective equipment, work equipment and systems are used with minimal risk to safety, train on workplace hazards, provide and post required information on health and safety (includes OH&S Act and Regulations where employees can view them).

Establish and co-operate with the Joint Health and Safety Committee and must establish a safety policy and a health and safety program.

There may be other specific training involved and it would depend on the work description. Examples would be WHMIS and a code of practice for working alone.

What must the Employee do at work?

OH&S act section 12

Comply with the OHS Act and regulations, conduct themselves in a safe manner and not put themselves or others at risk, report any workplace hazards and wear appropriate personal protective equipment.

Co-operate with the joint health and safety committee (JHSC) or safety representatives and WorksafeNB and their representatives.

What type of Employee orientation should I receive?

OH&S act section 8.2

You should be introduced to the applicable contact information, JHSC committee representatives (along with employer safety officer), first aid information and designates, your rights and responsibilities, procedures and codes of practice. Also procedures for reporting accidents, emergency procedures and preparedness and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) usage.

What are my rights?

No matter what job responsibilities you may have, all employees have the following three fundamental rights:  http://www.worksafenb.ca/your-rights
1. Right to know
All employees have a right to receive the training needed to do the job safely.

2. Right to participate
All employees have a right to participate in solving health and safety problems and in the identification and control of workplace hazards.

3. Right to refuse dangerous work
All employees have the right to refuse work they believe is dangerous to their health or safety, or to that of others. If you are unsure about your safety at work, you should take the following steps:

Report the safety concern to your supervisor.

Report the matter to the joint health and safety committee or to the safety representative.

Call WorkSafeNB and explain the situation. Return to work only when the situation is no longer dangerous.

In all cases, you should stay at work until your shift is finished.

What’s an Accident?

Accident defined as a wilful, intentional act, not being the act of the worker who suffers the accident; or a chance event or incident occasioned by a physical or natural cause; or a disablement caused by an occupational disease; or a disablement or disabling condition; all arising out of and in the course of employment. (It does not include the disablement of mental stress or disablement caused by mental stress, unless it is a result of an acute reaction to a traumatic event.) Workers Compensation Act.

What happens if I am injured at work?


Employees must:

  • Report the accident to your employer as soon as possible and in accordance with the workplace procedure set by your employer for accident reporting.
  • Get medical treatment, if required, and advise the treating physician that this is a work-related injury so that the medical reports can be forwarded to WorkSafeNB as soon as possible.
  • Complete report Form 67 ASAP.

Supervisors must:  

  • Provide first aid.
  • Maintain a logbook of treatment.
  • Provide transportation if medical attention beyond first aid is needed.

Also see section below When must OH&S be called?

Complete and sign a WorkSafeNB Form 67 and forward to necessary personnel.

When must OH&S be called?

Described in OH&S section 43. But rule of thumb is anytime an incident causes bodily harm that would normally entail more than first aid treatment, accidental explosions, exposure to toxic agents or any catastrophic event or equipment failure that results, or could have resulted in an injury. Call 1 800 222-9775.

If I change jobs do I need any additional training/orientation?

Maybe, if you fall into the definition of a ‘new employee’ under the ACT 8.2 (1).