It’s not just courts that are increasing fines for safety offences. The Manitoba government has proposed substantial increases to fines under the Manitoba Workers Compensation Act.
If Bill 65 is passed, the top fine under the Workers Compensation Act for workers would increase to $5,000 (from $1,500) and the top fine for employers would increase to $50,000 (from $7,500). The maximum term of imprisonment for an offence would increase to six months (from three).
Offences under the Workers Compensation Act include knowingly making a false statement to the Workers Compensation Board and failing to report a workplace accident giving rise to a claim for workers’ compensation.
The fines under the Workers Compensation Act are separate from those under the Workplace Safety and Health Act, which provides for fines of up to $500,000 and a six-month prison term in cases of workplace accidents or other incidents involving violations of that Act.
Bill 65 would also establish a “prevention committee” of the board of directors of the Workers Compensation Board. As well, it would require the Workers Compensation Board to undertake activities aimed at the prevention of workplace injury and illness. In addition, the Bill would give the Workers Compensation Board authority to inspect workplaces and to require employers and others to produce documents in connection with timely and safe return to work and to determine compliance with the Act.
The Bill may be accessed here.