Bill 6, Alberta Farms and Ranches
Alberta, Bill 6, Workers' Compensation
New Bill 6 makes WCB Coverage Mandatory for Alberta farms

Starting January 1, as a new bill becomes law, Alberta farms and ranches will be subject to occupational health and safety regulations for the first time. Bill 6, the Increased Protection for Farm and Ranch Workers Act, also makes Workers Compensation Board coverage mandatory for the entire agricultural sector.

Rules for all farm and ranch workers

The rules will have an immediate impact on all farm and ranch workers, paid or not. They will be accountable to, and protected by, the same Occupational Health and Safety legislation as other industries in Alberta.

Last year, 25 people died on farms in Alberta. There were also many injuries but accurate statistics are hard to find. Reporting an accident isn't currently mandatory and investigations often don't take place.

The bill will also no longer exempt farms or ranches from following employment standards, including paying a minimum wage and overtime. These changes won't take effect though until after the legislation is finalized.

There has been a negative vocal reaction and protest to the bill from many farm and ranch owners. They state that small, family run businesses should not be governed by the same rules as corporations and have concerns with the speed in which the bill is going through. The government reminded these unhappy owners that the WCB also protects businesses from lawsuits. Without WCB coverage, an injured worker can sue a farm, an action that could potentially bankrupt the business.

A wider review of labour standards will take place over the next year to give all stakeholders a chance to voice their opinions.

Read the Full Story here.

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Also in this Edition (Winter 2015):

Bill 6 for farms and ranches ALBERTA - New Bill 6 makes WCB Coverage Mandatory for Alberta farms.
Bill 6 makes Worker Compensation Board coverage mandatory for the agricultural sector
Changes to WC act in BC BRITISH COLUMBIA - Changes to the Workers Compensation Act Give WorkSafeBC Enhanced Powers.
Changes to the Act strengthen WorkSafeBC's ability to enforce compliance.
Union Safety Effect ONTARIO - Study examines Union safety effect in Construction Sector.
Unionized firms submit more work-related and less lost-time injury claims
New Brunswick NEW BRUNSWICK - New Toolkit to prevent violence against Nursing Home workers.
A Prevention toolkit for workers who encounter violent behaviour in their job.

Rates 2016

WSIB Policy ONTARIO - WSIB say 2016 premium rates will not increase.
The WSIB announced that it will not increase premium rates in 2016.
Manitoba Policy MANITOBA - Changes to the Manitoba Rate Model in 2016.
The WCB will be introducing changes to its rate setting model in 2016.
Saskatchewan Policy SASKATCHEWAN - Saskatchewan 2016 Premium rates drop.
Employers will see a WCB premium rate drop in 2016 due to improved safety performance.
YUKON - Workers' Compensation Board to pay surplus to Yukon employers
The Board plans to pay out $10 million in cash rebates to employers, in an effort to shrink a hefty $52 million reserve fund.
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND - P.E.I. Workers Compensation Act change allows creation of safety associations
A bill to amend the act will allow for safety associations.
NORTHWEST TERRITORIES - WSCC Releases New Code of Practice on Return to Work
The code outlines the key components and steps to develop a return to work program.
MANITOBA - Manitoba Trucking Association, SAFE Work launch safety initiative
In this program, the acronym RPM (generally known as "revolutions per minute"), stands for "Risk. Professionally Managed."
BRITISH COLUMBIA - BC Notable Policy Updates
LMAPR and OHS Citations policy and others.