7,000 new workers covered by WCB

Expanded coverage means Manitoba moving towards Canadian mainstream, says minister
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 08/21/2006

Manitoba is extending its Worker's Compensation Board coverage for the first time in nearly 40 years, announced the province's Minister of Labour and Immigration Nancy Allan.

This expansion of the Workers Compensation Board (WCB) will include industries such as aviation and land surveying and represents about 1,150 employers, 67 per cent of which already have voluntary coverage.

"Approximately 70 per cent of the Manitoba workforce is currently covered by workers' compensation, the lowest level of coverage in the country. We are pleased that over 7,000 new workers will now receive worker's compensation coverage and benefits," said Allan.

The changes follow a comprehensive public review of the Workers' Compensation Act, which recommended coverage of workplaces be extended. The WCB undertook extensive consultations including public information sessions across the province.

"We are committed to gradually extending WCB coverage starting with the industries where it makes the most sense," said Allan. "After extensive consultations, we believe that this is an important and reasonable first step that will move Manitoba towards the Canadian mainstream."

The industries that will be covered effective Jan. 1 are similar in terms of the nature of work and kinds of hazards that are faced by workers already covered by the WCB. They are also presently covered by most other workers compensation boards across Canada. The industries are:

• outside window cleaning

• aviation and air transport including the operation of an aircraft, provision of air transport services and the operation of an airline

• exploration and prospecting including assaying, archeological, environmental, geological, geophysical or mapping services

• mushroom plants

• taxidermy

• testing laboratories including product manufacturing, development and testing;

• land surveying

• landscape architecture and design, landscaping and yard maintenance

• property management

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