Workers Comp improving safety rules
Incidents in the workplace have led the Workers Compensation Board to bring in new rules to protect Islanders.
One of those new regulations comes as the direct result of a workplace death two years ago.
Brent Joseph O'Brien, 32, was working at an auto body shop in St. Rapheal died when a van he was working on fell on him. The vehicle was on a hoist, which collapsed and caused fatal head injuries.
A coroner's inquest was called into his death, and one of the recommendations it made was to have mandatory yearly inspections of all hoists in the province. That will become the law on May 1.
"Those types of automobile types of hoists weren't mandatory to be inspected at that point in time, and now they are," says George Stewart of the P.E.I. Workers Compensation Board.
"There is a list of qualified people to do those inspections. If you look at all your service stations, this will make it a consistent process and they will be looking at the same things."
Changes to the Workers Compensation Act also add new rules to cover Island employees who work alone. Their employers will have to do a risk assessment and provide an emergency plan. This change is particularly focussed on the hospitality and retail sectors.
"We had a few incidents here in the past where workers were injured while working alone in that type of environment, where there has been a robbery or some type of instance like that," says Stewart.
While employers have to come up with plans to protect lone workers, there are no new rules limiting who can work alone, or limiting the age or the hours of those workers.