POA Decision – 2000/01/21-04 – Policy for Determining Administrative Penalty Amounts Under Section 196 of the Act
The Workers Compensation (Occupational Health and Safety) Amendment Act, 1998 (Bill 14) took effect on October 1, 1999. Among other changes, it added Section 196 to the Workers Compensation Act. Section 196 authorizes the Board to impose administrative penalties of up to $500,000 for prevention violations by employers. The Panel of Administrators approved policies to implement the Amendment Act last year, including a number of policies regarding administrative penalties under Section 196. Those policies were incorporated into a new Prevention Manual. The Manual did not, however, include a policy on how to determine the amount of an administrative penalty once the decision had been made to impose the penalty. More work was required in the area. As an interim measure, the Panel extended the existing "Recommended Schedule of Sanctions" until that work had been completed. The Panel of Administrators has now approved a new policy with the following general features: • basic amounts. determined by formulas based upon assessable payroll and risk, ranging from $1,000 to $75,000; • power to vary (up or down) the basic amounts by up to 30% to reflect the circumstances; • special provisions for situations where the violation is confined to one site of a multi-site employer; and • increased amounts for repeat penalties, egregious situations such as deliberate high risk violations causing fatalities and where the employer has profited from the violation. The new policy was effective May 1, 2000 and applies where a decision is made to levy a penalty in respect of a violation occurring on and after that date. Penalties for violations prior to May 1, 2000 will be determined on the basis of the "Recommended Schedule of Sanctions". The policy will be reviewed after it has been in effect for three years.