Government of Yukon


FOR RELEASE
October 4, 2017

Government of Yukon tables Bill to amend the Workers’ Compensation Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Act

The Government of Yukon today tabled Bill No. 8, which will amend the Workers’ Compensation Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Act to better support and care for Yukon workers who are most at risk from suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

The proposed amendments to the Workers’ Compensation Act would establish the presumption that a PTSD diagnosis for an emergency response worker is work-related. Emergency response workers include paramedics, firefighters and police officers.

Proposed changes to the Occupational Health and Safety Act would permit the Yukon government to introduce regulations to protect the mental health of Yukoners in their workplaces and prevent psychological injuries, such as PTSD, from occurring.

Quotes

“I’m confident our two-pronged approach to mental health in the workplace is effective. We are ensuring support and care for those Yukon workers who are most at risk of suffering PTSD. At the same time, we are establishing a framework for regulations to improve employers’ abilities to implement psychological injury prevention practices in their workplaces.”

–Minister Responsible for Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board Jeanie Dendys

Quick facts

  • Most Yukon workers are already covered for many psychological injuries, including PTSD. A presumption will ensure that an emergency response worker’s PTSD diagnosis will be considered work-related unless it is otherwise shown.
  • The definition of paramedic in the bill would include community health nurses who attend ambulance calls and air ambulance medevacs.
  • The 'What We Heard' report issued by the Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board following a month of public engagement found that over two-thirds of respondents supported amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act to promote development of regulations aimed at preventing mental injuries at work.

Contact:

Sunny Patch
Cabinet Communications
867-393-7478
sunny.patch@gov.yk.ca

Andrew Robulack
Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board
867-335-6040
andrew.robulack@gov.yk.ca

News Release #17-210