The government of Manitoba has introduced legislation that would see the maximum penalties for the most serious workplace infractions doubling to $500,000 for the first offence and $1,000,000 for a subsequent offence.
The change was announced by Workplace Safety and Health Act, Growth, Enterprise and Trade Minister Blaine Pedersen who noted that raising the maximum fines would better align Manitoba’s penalties for workplace infractions with those in other jurisdictions, including the Western provinces.
Another change proposed in the Workplace Safety and Health Amendment Act is to eliminate the chief prevention officer (CPO) position and shift the position’s responsibilities to Safe Work Manitoba, the prevention division of the Workers Compensation Board (WCB).
“Over the last five years, as part of the WCB’s prevention mandate, we have worked to develop a robust workplace injury and illness prevention system in the province that consults with stakeholders, establishes strategic priorities and measures and reports on progress,” said Winston Maharaj, president and CEO of the WCB. “SAFE Work Manitoba is well positioned to accept the responsibilities of the CPO position as part of its ongoing efforts to prevent workplace injury and illness in Manitoba.”
The proposed bill would come into force upon royal assent.