Nova Scotia introduces new workplace safety rules

Beginning June 12, Nova Scotia employers need to be aware of new workplace safety rules.

Companies on a worksite with a risk of falling from a height of more than three metres must now show proof of adequate fall-protection training. Employers conducting work on roads, public parking lots and highways must have a hazard assessment and written safe-work procedure.

The new laws will strengthen regulations, increase accountability through better public reporting, make consequences for law-breakers harsher and target more surprise inspections, according to Labour and Advanced Education Minister Frank Corbett.??

Nova Scotia is also making information on workplace convictions — such as the guilty parties, the offence and punishment — easier to find, on the department's website. It will be updated quarterly to increase accountability and act as a deterrent.??

The province is also working with the Public Prosecution Service to pursue harsher penalties for employers with serious and repeat offences. This includes establishing a prosecutor responsible only for occupational health and safety.

??Corbett has directed occupational health and safety officers to increase job-site visits in 2013, including more surprise inspections for employers with repeat violations. In 2012-13, the province conducted 2,481 job-site inspections. ??

The province has also introduced a public education campaign. Anyone who sees unsafe activity at a workplace is being asked to call 1-800-9-LABOUR, or to email ohsdivis[email protected]