The Selinger New Democrats introduced legislative amendments today to strengthen workplace safety and health laws.
"Manitoba has some of the strongest health and safety laws in Canada," Family Services and Labour Minister Jennifer Howard said today.
"These amendments will give us new tools to make sure workers are safe and that we are working with employers and employees to prevent workplace injury and illness."
The province said new provisions would clarify responsibilities and protections to ensure appropriate measures are taken in cases of clear disregard for worker safety through:
- providing immediate fines for activities presenting an imminent risk to workers or for backsliding to unsafe conditions after an improvement order has been issued,
- strengthening protections when a worker refuses unsafe work,
- enshrining workers' rights in legislation and penalizing employers that prevent workers from exercising their rights,
- requiring a workplace safety and health representative in every workplace with five or more workers,
- requiring mandatory safety and health orientations for all new workers, and
- providing a framework for the new chief prevention officer to review workplace injuries and deaths and report to Manitobans on prevention efforts.
The amended legislation would take effect in the fall of 2013.