The Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Advanced Education is hiring more inspectors to focus on education and compliance, as well as working with industry to identify and target high-risk companies with poor safety records.
Workplace inspection and enforcement of safety laws and regulations are valuable opportunities to promote better safety practices.
• The Public Prosecution Service has hired an additional prosecutor who will be dedicated to occupational health and safety.
• The Occupational Health and Safety Division of the Department of Labour and Advanced Education (LAE) completed a reorganization based on a comprehensive review process. The new structure will build capacity, increase accountability, and enhance service delivery. The addition of 17 positions will balance strategic and regulatory focus and create a new business unit focused on Education and Outreach.
• Collaborative efforts between WCB and LAE have been further cemented. Cross-training initiatives have been developed to better inform new employees, who work in client outreach, at both WCB and LAE about what each organization does, and how these services can complement one another.
• The Joint Workplace Initiative is a collaborative coaching model through WCB and LAE introduced to encourage workplaces to allow a focused approach on system improvements regarding prevention, OHS Regulation compliance, and Return to Work programs.
• The Target-Zero initiative, in conjunction with the Nova Scotia Construction Safety Association, is underway to identify high-risk companies with poor safety records in that sector.
• Phase I of the Workplace Health and Safety Regulations came into effect in October, including changes to the Administrative Penalties system
• Hundreds of Nova Scotians provided input as part of consultation to review the Administrative Penalty system. Proposed changes include a clear fine schedule, streamlined appeal process, and graduated penalty system. Other benefits to workplaces include:
– Increased focus on educating and enforcing the law through compliance orders; and
– Using penalty revenue to fund workplace safety education initiatives.