Workers Compensation Board of Prince Edward Island

News & Announcements


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Announcements

COVID-19: Workplace Health and Safety Information - March 22, 2020

The following provides workplace health and safety information for Island workers and employers during COVID-19. Please check here frequently for updated information.

 
The Workers Compensation Board (WCB) urges all employers and workers to follow the recommendations of the PEI Chief Public Health Office  during the COVID-19 crisis.  

 

What can a workplace do to help reduce the spread of COVID-19?

 

Workplaces can help by having an infection control plan, which should include:

  • Providing clean hand washing facilities.
  • Offering alcohol-based hand sanitizers when regular facilities are not available (or to workers working on the road).
  • Cleaning objects that are touched frequently, such as workstations, doorknobs, handles, railings, kettles, tools, etc. more often with regular disinfectants or soap and water.
  • Providing boxes of tissues and ensuring safe and sanitary disposal of used tissues.
  • Removing magazines and papers from waiting areas or common rooms (eg.staff break rooms).
  • Making sure ventilation systems are working properly.

 

As an employer, what are my occupational health and safety (OHS) responsibilities related to COVID-19?

 

The OHS Act sets out the obligation for employers to take every reasonable precaution to protect the occupational health and safety of persons at or near the workplace at all times. This means that employers must assess the risks of the workplace and take appropriate action to either eliminate or, if that is not possible, minimize those risks.

  

During the COVID-19 crisis, employers should follow the latest recommendations from the Chief Public Health Office about operating essential services. 

 

If it is necessary for workers to come to work, employers are required to ensure that the adequate precautions are in place to minimize exposure to COVID-19: These include, but are not limited to:

  • Enhancing cleaning and sanitizing efforts.
  • Ensuring that workers are aware of their safety rights and responsibilities.
  • Providing appropriate protective devices and equipment based on the nature of the work.
  • Putting social distancing and other preventative measures in place.
    • If possible, reconfiguring the workplace to maintain appropriate distance between workers
    • Providing workers with working from home options, where possible.
  • Eliminating work travel except for travel that is required to provide essential services.

 

When should workers stay home from work?

 

Workers experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 at work should go home immediately.

 

Employers should ensure that the following workers do not come to work:

  • Workers who are ill or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, whether or not the illness has been confirmed as COVID-19.
  • Workers who are required to self-isolate due to recent out of province travel. 
  • Workers who have had close contact with someone with confirmed COVID-19 or someone with symptoms who has recently returned to PEI.
  • Any worker who is required to self-isolate as recommended by the Chief Public Health Office.

 

All workers should check the Chief Public Health Office website regularly for up to date self-isolation requirements.

 

 

As a worker, what can I do to protect myself from getting COVID-19 if I have to go to work?


As a worker, you have responsibilities to protect yourself as well as others.  Workers should:

  • Monitor and follow the recommendations of the Chief Public Health Office.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer if hand washing is not possible.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Adopt social distancing techniques.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
    • Workers providing essential services, including health care, must use the appropriate personal protective equipment and protocols and take steps to minimize exposure to COVID-19 while away from work.
  • Cough or sneeze into your sleeve and not your hands.
  • Know when to stay home. Workers should follow the Chief Public Health Office recommendations for self- isolation.
  • Comply with the employer’s instructions around minimizing exposure to COVID-19.

 

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

 

People with COVID-19 may have little to no symptoms, and may not realize they have been infected, as the symptoms resemble those from a cold or flu.  Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to COVID-19 and may include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Difficulty Breathing
     

What should I do if I develop symptoms?

 

Employers and workers experiencing symptoms (cough, fever, or difficulty breathing), should call 8-1-1 to be screened and, if necessary, directed for testing. Visit the Chief Public Health Office website for up to date information. 

 

For more information about COVID-19, refer to:

 

For more information about workplace safety, contact WCB Occupational Health and Safety at 902-368-5680 or ohs@wcb.pe.ca. The Occupational Health & Safety 24hr Emergency Line is 902-628-7513.

 

 

 

WCB Operations during COVID-19 - March 18, 2020

The WCB is continuing to provide essential services to Islanders, but to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the WCB office is closed to visitors.

 

Please contact us by phone at 902-368-5680 or 1-800-237-5049, 8am - 4:30pm, Monday to Friday.  

 

The Occupational Health & Safety 24hr Emergency Line is 902-628-7513.

 

We are also available by email:

  • For Occupational Health and Safety, contact ohs@wcb.pe.ca
  • For information about workers compensation claims, contact workerservices@wcb.pe.ca
  • For information about employer accounts, contact safetymatters@wcb.pe.ca

 

We ask for your patience as we manage the impact of COVID-19 on the way we deliver services to Islanders.

  • WCB staff will continue to be available to assist workers and employers over the phone or by email.
  • OHS Officers will continue to assist workplaces with health and safety matters. Where worksite visits are required, Officers will use social distancing to ensure safety.  
  • All assessment due dates related to 2020 employer payrolls will be deferred until June 30, 2020. Neither interest nor penalties will accrue at during this time. For further details, see our Frequently Asked Questions
  • Benefit payments for eligible workers will continue and new claims will be processed. We will work to process payments and claims as quickly as possible. If you have any questions about your claim, please contact your case worker. 
  • The availability of non-urgent health care services may have an impact on the assessment and treatment of workplace injuries. Affected workers are encouraged to contact the WCB with any questions.
  • WCB staff are available to assist employers with their accounts.
  • Employers and health care providers can access WCB Online Services at any time.
  • All in-person meetings and events have been postponed or cancelled.
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Media Contact:
Laura Steeves, Senior Communications Coordinator
902-894-0362 or lsteeves@wcb.pe.ca

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