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Newfoundland increases burial coverage for work-related fatalities

Up to $10,000 now available to families; change retroactive to Jan. 1, 2019
By COS staff

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has amended the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Regulations to increase burial coverage for a death resulting from a workplace injury or illness.

The maximum coverage for burials has been increased from $5,000 to $10,000. This increase is retroactive for work-related deaths occurring on or after Jan. 1, 2019.

Threads of Life, a national charity that supports families who have been affected by a workplace fatality, life-altering injury or occupational disease, welcomes this move.

“When a workplace fatality occurs, the family faces huge emotional and financial challenges in addition to the many other concerns and adjustments they suddenly find themselves coping with. Increasing the coverage for burial costs will provide further financial assistance during this difficult time,” said Shirley Hickman, executive director, Threads of Life.

This change brings coverage for burial expenses due to work-related injury or illness in Newfoundland and Labrador in line with the national average, the government said.

WorkplaceNL will be contacting the families of those who have been paid burial expenses since Jan. 1 to determine if they are eligible for a retroactive payment.

On average, there are 25 work-related fatalities in the province each year, the majority due to occupational disease resulting from exposure to harmful substances on the job many years ago.

“The impact of a workplace fatality is felt by family, friends and co-workers, and resonates with all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. Our continued goal is to protect the health and safety of employees in all workplaces, so such tragedies are preventable,” said Minister of Service NL Sherry Gambin-Walsh.

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