The last quarter of 2011 saw a number of important developments in workers compensation and occupational health and safety. Some developments will impact all employers in the province, while some will have particular impact on the maritime community. Regardless, all of the issues raised here will probably mean additional WCB-related costs for employers in the province.
Expanded Benefits for Mental Stress
Perhaps the most important development in the latter part of 2011 is the proposed expansion of coverage for mental stress claims. These claims are made by workers suffering psychological or “mental stress” symptoms but not a physical condition or injury. Proposed amendments to the Workers Compensation Act expand the circumstances where workers can receive workers compensation benefits for such conditions.