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Our blog discussing workplace safety opportunities in Nova Scotia.


Improving Workplace Health and Safety in our Health and Community Services Sectors

PROGRESS OF THE WORKPLACE SAFETY ACTION PLAN

Similar to the approach taken to address workplace health and safety within Nova Scotia’s fishing industry, it was clear that placing a direct spotlight on the health and safety practices of the health and community services sectors was necessary in order to address the significant number of injuries taking place.

Representing 20 per cent of total assessable payroll, the health and community services sectors account for almost 30 per cent of time-loss claims to WCB Nova Scotia – that’s three out of ten time-loss claims are attributed to these sectors. Not only does this create an undesirable workplace for employees, it also impacts the delivery of care.

To address this, a number of stakeholder groups representing these industries came together in 2016 to develop the Workplace Safety Action Plan for Nova Scotia’s Health and Community Services Sectors. The five-year plan will look to improve occupational health and safety outcomes specifically in home care, long-term care, and community services.

Led by AWARE-NS, partners include the Departments of Health and Wellness, Labour and Advanced Education, and Community Services, the Nova Scotia Health Authority, IWK Health Centre, WCB Nova Scotia, employer organizations, and organized labour.

An intensive consultation process was held with hundreds of health and community services workers from across Nova Scotia. This process resulted in detailed Consultation Findings and is helping inform the next phase of the projects, focused working groups.

These working groups, with voices representing worker and employer perspectives, began meeting in May to address five key areas:

• workplace violence
• safe handling and mobility
• slips, trips, and falls
• mental health and wellness; and
• stay-at-work/return-to-work.

Participants ranging from front line workers from each of the three sectors, to employers and management, to government and organized labour are providing strategic advice and input through this important process. Their work, along with the consultation findings, will serve to inform the recommendations for the final action plan.

We’ll continue to keep everyone updated on the progress of this exciting and important initiative.



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Working together to develop a 2013-2017
Workplace Safety Strategy for Nova Scotia