Supervision

In New Brunswick, a supervisor has specific obligations depending on the work being carried out. A supervisor can also be responsible for the employer’s obligations. Appropriate and effective supervision at any level of an organization is critical to eliminating or minimizing risks to protect workers.

The New Brunswick legislation does not specifically define supervision or supervisor. However, the definition of employer includes “(b) a manager, superintendent, supervisor, overseer or any person having authority over an employee.” The extent that a supervisor carries out the employer’s duties depends on many factors, including the responsibilities assigned to the supervisor by the employer.

What is appropriate and effective supervision? This will vary, and several factors must be considered:

  1. Level of risk and complexity in the job (for example, are there existing controls in place?).
  2. The employees’ age and work experience (are they competent?).
  3. Responsibilities assigned, authority and resources provided to the supervisor (by the employer) to carry out their duties.
  4. The supervisor’s competency.

As such, a competent supervisor is qualified to supervise the work to ensure a worker’s health and safety, is knowledgeable about the applicable acts and regulations, and is aware of the hazards associated with the work being supervised.

Specific situations under the regulations require supervision. (Note that this list is not considered complete – consult all acts and regulations that may apply.) Examples include:

  • Providing supervision to an employee who may have to use respiratory protective equipment
  • Erecting a structural framework
  • Blasting, when more than one blaster is involved in a blasting operation
  • Operating hoisting apparatus
  • Engineering inspection of a mobile crane
  • Apprenticing for electrical work , and when lifting, setting or removing poles, light standards or similar work
  • Diving operations
  • Logging and silviculture operations

While persons assigned to supervise workers may have the necessary experience and training to meet some of the competency requirements of a supervisor, their training may not include the legislative requirements and knowledge of the hazards of the work being supervised. Supplementary training may be required to ensure employee health and safety and compliance with legislation.

Several sources, including WorkSafeNB and WorkSafeNB recognized training providers can provide supervisor training.

Recent incident trends in New Brunswick show that some supervisors have been seriously injured while carrying out work that they consider unsafe for their own employees. Supervisors must work safely to set a positive example for the employees they supervise.

Supervisors may also be required to undertake tasks legislated under the Act such as:

  1. Provide training and instruction to their employees (in classrooms or through safety talks during tailgate meetings at the worksite). For Safety Talks, pull down the menu beside the Type box under Publications, and click on Safety Talks. This will bring up a list of all Safety Talks. You can also type in the topic name under Key Words.
  2. Become a JHSC representative.
  3. Conduct inspections of their work area.
  4. Investigate incidents that occur while under their supervision.
  5. Investigate a right to refuse.

General Regulation - Occupational Health and Safety Act
N.B. Reg. 91-191

Part XII EXPLOSIVES

Section 147 Control of Blasting Operation

147. (1) Subject to subsection 148(2), an employer shall ensure that a blasting operation is conducted by a blaster who holds an appropriate certificate of qualification issued under the Apprenticeship and Occupational Certification Act for the work involved.

(2) Where more than one blaster is involved in a blasting operation, an employer shall designate one of the blasters to supervise the blasting operation.

[N.B. Reg. 93-8, s. 2]

Part XV MATERIALS HANDLING EQUIPMENT AND PERSONNEL CARRYING EQUIPMENT

Section 210.1

210.1 (1) An employer shall ensure that a person who operates a hoisting apparatus is competent or is under the direct supervision of a competent person.

(2) No person shall operate a hoisting apparatus unless the person is competent or is under the direct supervision of a competent person.

[N.B. Reg. 98-78, s. 3]

Section 213.21

213.21 (1) An employer shall ensure that a mobile crane is inspected every twelve months by an engineer or a competent person who is supervised by an engineer.

(2) An engineer referred to in subsection (1) shall certify in writing that the inspection complies with the requirements of subsection (4) and that the crane is in safe working order.

(3) A certification under subsection (2) shall provide details on the conditions under which the mobile crane was inspected.

(4) An engineer referred to in subsection (1) shall ensure that the inspection under subsection (1), including a visual weld inspection, is conducted in accordance with the requirements of clause 4.3.5.1 of CSA standard Z150-98 , "Safety Code on Mobile Cranes".

(5) An employer may accept a certification from an engineer in another jurisdiction with respect to a mobile crane if the crane has been inspected and certified in that jurisdiction in accordance with subsection (2) and the certification would otherwise be valid under this section.

(6) An employer shall ensure that a copy of the certification provided under this section is accessible to the operator when in the cab and is available to an officer on request.

(7) An employer shall ensure that a mobile crane that

(a) does not have a certification that meets the requirements of subsection (2), is inspected and certified under this section no later than twelve months after the commencement of this provision, and

(b) has a certification that meets the requirements of subsection (2), is inspected and certified no later than twelve months after the date of the certification.

[N.B. Reg. 2001-33, s. 68]

Part XIX ELECTRICAL SAFETY

Section 286

286. In this Part

"electrical equipment" means any wiring, apparatus, instrument, fitting, fixture, machinery or device that transforms, transmits, distributes, supplies or utilizes electricity, but does not include energized electrical utility lines or utility line equipment or household appliances;

"qualified person" means

(a) when applied to work on electrical equipment, a person who meets the requirements of section 11 or 24 of New Brunswick Regulation 84-165 under the Electrical Installation and Inspection Act;

(b) when applied to work on an energized electrical utility line or utility line equipment,

(i) a person who is the holder of a certificate of qualification issued under the Apprenticeship and Occupational Certification Act for the operating lineman trade, construction lineman trade or distribution construction lineman trade, or

(ii) a person who is registered as an apprentice under the Apprenticeship and Occupational Certification Act for an occupation described in subparagraph (i) and who is working under the supervision of a person described in subparagraph (i),

(c) when applied to work in an arboricultural operation described in section 369 that occurs closer to an energized electrical utility line or utility line equipment than the distances set out in subsection 289(1), an employee who meets the requirements of section 369, and

(d) when applied to any other type of work that occurs closer to an energized electrical utility line or utility line equipment than a distance set out in subsection 289(1), an employee who is trained to use and follows a code of practice established by the employer.

[N.B. Reg. 2001-33, s. 94]

Section 294

294. (1) Where an employee is to set or remove poles, light standards or any similar object between energized electrical distribution conductors exceeding 750 volts, an employer shall ensure that the conductors are

(a) covered with adequate protective devices, or

(b) protected by an adequate guard installed on the pole before being lifted.

(2) An employer shall ensure that an employee required to perform the work described in subsection (1)

(a) wears appropriately rated rubber gloves,

(b) uses cant hooks or other appropriate controlling devices, and

(c) does not get on or off the lifting machine or device until the pole is secured in position.

(3) An employer shall ensure that a machine or device used for lifting, setting or removing poles, light standards or any similar object between or within 3 m of an energized electrical utility line or utility equipment

(a) is grounded, and

(b) if applicable, has its outriggers extended.

(4) An employer shall ensure that at least one qualified person is present at all times during the operations described in this section and that the employee described in subsection (1) works under the direct supervision of the qualified person.

Part XXI LOGGING AND SILVICULTURE OPERATIONS

Section 344

344. An employer shall ensure that

(a) at least one supervisor is present in each work area, and

(b) a procedure is established for responding to an emergency that may occur in a work area and that all employees are informed of such procedure.

Part VII PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT

Section 46

46. (1) An employer shall implement a training program for an employee who may have to use, issue, test or maintain respiratory protective equipment or supervise an employee who may have to use respiratory protective equipment.

(2) An employer shall use clause 8 of CSA standard Z94.4-93 , "Selection, Use, and Care of Respirators" as a guide to the necessary content of the training program required by subsection (1).

[N.B. Reg. 2001-33, s. 20]

Part X CONSTRUCTION, TRAFFIC AND BUILDING SAFETY

Section 94.2 Structural Framework

94.2 (1) Where structural framework is being erected using structural steel or precast concrete, an employer shall ensure

(a) that drawings for the erection of the structural framework are prepared,

(b) that an engineer

(i) certifies the drawings referred to in paragraph (a), and

(ii) establishes safe procedures for ensuring the stability of the structural framework, and

(c) that a competent person, designated by the employer to supervise the erection of the structural framework,

(i) establishes the sequence for erecting the structural framework,

(ii) ensures the stability of the structural framework during its erection, and

(iii) is present on the project site until the structural framework is stabilized.

(2) If it becomes necessary to modify the procedures referred to in subparagraph (1)(b)(ii), an employer shall ensure that the procedures as modified are certified by an engineer.

(3) An employer shall ensure

(a) that employees engaged in the erection of the structural framework are instructed in the procedures referred to in subparagraph (1)(b)(ii), or as modified under subsection (2), and

(b) that the procedures referred to in subparagraph (1)(b)(ii), or as modified under subsection (2), are followed.

(4) An employer shall ensure that the drawings referred to in paragraph (1)(a) and the procedures referred to in subparagraph (1)(b)(ii), or as modified under subsection (2),

(a) are kept on the project site, and

(b) are made available to an officer on request.

(5) Where structural framework is being erected,

(a) an employer shall ensure that all persons not engaged in the erection of the structural framework are clear of the immediate work area and have been instructed to remain clear until the structural framework is stabilized, and

(b) any person not engaged in the erection of the structural framework shall remain clear of the immediate work area until the structural framework is stabilized,

unless adequate precautions have been taken to ensure the safety of all persons in the immediate work area.

[N.B. Reg. 96-61, s. 1]

OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY ACT
A.N.B. 1983, c. O-0.2

Section 1 Definitions

1. In this Act

"Appeals Tribunal" means the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Tribunal established under the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission and Workers’ Compensation Appeals Tribunal Act ;

"Chief Compliance Officer" means the chief Compliance officer designated under section 5;

"Commission" means the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission established under the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission and Workers’ Compensation Appeals Tribunal Act;

"committee" means a joint health and safety committee established in accordance with this Act;

"construction" includes building, erection, alteration, repair, dismantling, demolition, structural maintenance, painting, moving, land clearing, earth moving, grading, excavating, street and highway building, concreting, equipment installation and alteration and the structural installation of construction components and materials in any form or for any purpose, and any work in connection therewith;

"contracting employer" means a person who through a contract, agreement or ownership, directs the activities of one or more employers as defined in paragraph (a) of the definition "employer";

"contractor" means

(a) a person who by contract undertakes all the work at a project site,

(b) an owner who undertakes all or part of the work at a project site, or

(c) an owner who by contract engages more than one person to undertake all or part of the work at a project site;

"discriminatory action" means any action by an employer or union that adversely affects an employee with respect to any terms or conditions of employment, opportunity for promotion or membership in a union, and includes the action of dismissal, layoff, suspension, demotion, transfer of job location, reduction in wages, change in hours of work or reprimand;

"employee" means

(a) a person employed at or in a place of employment, or

(b) a person at or in a place of employment for any purpose in connection therewith;

"employer" means

(a) a person who employs one or more employees,

(b) a manager, superintendent, supervisor, overseer or any person having authority over an employee, or

(c) an agent of any person referred to in paragraph (a) or (b);

health and safety representative" means a health and safety representative elected under section 17 or designated under section 17.1;

"medical examination" means a medical examination satisfactory to the Commission;

"mine" means any work or undertaking for the purpose of opening up, proving, removing or extracting any metallic or non-metallic mineral or mineral bearing substance, rock earth, clay, sand or gravel;

"Minister" means the Minister of Post-Secondary Education;

"occupational disease" means any disease or illness or departure from normal health arising out of employment, and includes an industrial disease as defined by the Worker's Compensation Act ;

"officer" means an occupational health and safety officer appointed under section 5;

"owner" includes a trustee, receiver, mortgagee in possession or a tenant or a person for whose direct benefit on completion work is being done, but does not include a landlord who, under the terms of the lease, has transferred all responsibility for risks in relation to a place of employment;

"peace officer" Repealed. [S.N.B. 1990, c. 22, s. 26]

"place of employment" means any building, structure, premises, water or land where work is carried on by one or more employees, and includes a project site, a mine, a ferry, a train and any vehicle used or likely to be used by an employee;

"project site" means any building, structure, premises, water or land where construction is carried on;

"protective equipment" means any piece of equipment or clothing designed to be used to protect the health or safety of an employee;

"sub-contractor" means a person who by contract undertakes part of the work at a project site;

"supplier" means any person who manufactures, supplies, sells, leases, distributes or installs any tool, equipment, machine, device or any biological, chemical or physical agent to be used by an employee;

"union" means

(a) a trade union as defined under the Industrial Relations Act,

(b) any organization other than a trade union referred to in paragraph (a) representing employees to whom this Act applies formed for purposes that include the regulation of relations between employers and employees that has a written constitution, rules or by-laws setting forth its objects and purposes and defining the conditions under which persons may be admitted as members thereof and continued in such membership.

[S.N.B. 1989, c. 28, s. 1; 1990, c. 22, s. 36; 1994, c. 70, s. 5; 1998, c. 41, s. 92; 2000, c. 26, s. 232; 2001, c. 35, s. 1; 2006, c. 16, s. 127; 2007, c. 10, s. 71; 2007, c. 12, s. 1; 2014, c. 49, s. 34; 2017, c. 63, s. 43]