The Nova Scotia government is making changes to the Occupational Health and Safety Act that will help keep employees safe at work.
Beginning June 12, the amendments will better define when, how, and what injuries and incidents must be reported. Government will be given additional tools and authority to enforce safety requirements for those who put people at risk of serious injury or death.
“Most employers operate safe workplaces, but there are some who repeatedly break serious safety laws and put people at risk of injury or death,” said Kelly Regan, labour and advanced education minister. “We need to hold them more accountable.”
The occupational health and safety director now has the authority to deal with repeat offenders and can issue stop-work orders at all their sites, and apply to the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia for an injunction to prohibit them from working in an industry. Authorities will also be able to require offenders to advise them of future work locations and activities.
Government will continue to work with stakeholders between now and June to encourage further awareness and understanding of the changes.
Occupational Health and Safety Act changes are part of the government’s overall efforts to improve workplace safety which also include Nova Scotia’s Workplace Safety Strategy, enhanced education and outreach efforts, more targeted inspections and the hiring of a dedicated occupational health and safety prosecutor.