OHS Canada Magazine

Should correctional officers get PTSD presumption like cops, firefighters? WorkSafeNB seeks input

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August 16, 2023
By OHS Canada

Health & Safety correctional officers New Brunswick PTSD workers' compensation worksafenb

WorkSafeNB has launched a public consultation to seek input on whether to pursue a legislative change under the Workers’ Compensation Act that would provide a presumptive clause for any correctional officer diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from a work-related incident.

Correctional officers are regularly exposed to violence, conflicts and disturbing incidents within correctional facilities, it said in a press release. There is increasing information on mental health impacts of public safety work on its employees, including correctional officers.

“We know our province’s correctional officers play a crucial role in ensuring the safety and security of our communities. Their dedication to upholding justice and maintaining order exposes them to physically challenging and emotionally taxing situations,” said Mel Norton, WorkSafeNB chairperson.

With this change, a confirmed diagnosis for PTSD for a correctional officer would be presumed work-related unless the contrary is shown, it said.

Police officers, firefighters and paramedics currently receive this presumption in New Brunswick under the definition of emergency support workers.


This consultation aims to gather public feedback on including correctional officers under the definition of emergency response worker. Additional amendments to this definition of emergency response worker may be considered in the future, it said.

Please complete the consultation survey at https://www.worksafenb.ca/about-us/what-we-do/engagement-activities/consultationptsd/ to share your thoughts on this proposed change.


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