On Tuesday November 3, 2015, Bill 35 passed second reading in the Legislature. Committee debate commenced on Wednesday November 4, 2015 and was completed November 5th, 2015. Bill 35 also passed third reading November 5th, 2015, with an amendment to the Bill that was introduced by the Opposition Critic during committee debate and approved by the Legislature (both government and opposition members).
The additional approved amendment adds a new section 7.1 to Bill 35, which amends section 175 (2) of the Workers Compensation Act, as follows:
7.1 Section 175 (2) is amended by striking out “and“ at the end of paragraph (b), by adding “, and“ at the end of paragraph (c) and by adding the following paragraph:
(d) as soon as practicable after the report is completed, either
(i) provided to the joint committee or worker health and safety representative, as applicable, or
(ii) if there is no joint committee or worker health and safety representative, posted at the workplace.
Section 175 sets out the requirements for employers to undertake a preliminary investigation and complete a preliminary investigation report within 48 hours of certain significant accidents and other safety incidents (as specified in section 173).
Once in force, the additional amendment adding 175(2)(d) will require employers to submit the preliminary investigation report to the occupational health and safety committee or worker health and safety representative, as applicable, or to post it in smaller workplaces where there is no OHS committee or worker health and safety representative.
This amendment effectively mirrors the amendment being made to section 176 of the Act (section 8 of bill 35) requiring the disclosure of the full investigation report to workers.
Bill 35 still requires Royal Assent before it becomes law. The additional amendment, along with sections 4 to 8 of Bill 35, will then come into force on January 1, 2016. [Sections 1 to 3 come into force on Royal Assent].
The version of Bill 35 with the above amendment is not yet available on the Legislative Assembly website, so there is no link at this time.