Nova Scotia announced new regulations today, which will ensure more workers will have easy and immediate access to resources to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
“Amending the Workers Compensation Act to ensure more workers are protected against the harms of workplace trauma was the right thing to do,” said NSGEU President Jason MacLean, “We have taken steps in the right direction, but there is more work to do, as there are many other workers in occupations that are still not included in this legislation.”
Amendments to the Workers Compensation Act were made last fall, ensuring continuing-care assistants, correctional officers, emergency-response dispatchers, firefighters, nurses, paramedics and police officers no longer have the burden of proving that a diagnosis of PTSD is work-related. Now, it has been expanded to include sheriffs.
“This list should be further broadened to include social workers, probation officers and other professions who may have to deal with horrific situations in their day to day work,” said MacLean.
For example, social workers and probation officers are subject to many of the same traumatizing experiences that first responders face in the workplace: they are present in courtrooms during trials that deal with very disturbing details; they are often threatened by clients they are dealing with; and they experience trauma alongside the people that are in their care.
“We owe these public servants the same duty of care that we afford to the people they are trying to protect and serve. We hope government will recognize the importance of the role they play, and ensure these workers are also protected by these new regulations.”