Nova Scotia conducted record number of safety inspections last year

Safety officers in Nova Scotia conducted nearly 2,500 inspections last year, the highest number to date, according to the provincial government's 2012-13 Occupational Health and Safety annual report.
The report, which covers April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2013, focuses on things such as inspections, compliance, prosecutions, administrative penalties, legislation, and the number of fatalities in workplaces across Nova Scotia.

"This report is an important document that helps us see what's been done in the past and what we can do with our partners to make the year ahead safer," said Labour and Advanced Education Minister Kelly Regan.

Last year, work began on the new workplace safety strategy, improvements were made to the administrative penalty system and new regulations we introduced for fall protection, scaffolding and temporary highway work.

However, 10 people died on the job from traumatic injury during the period, up from six. There were 22 workplace fatalities caused by a long-term injury or illness, an increase of one from the previous report, said the government.

"This report shows that there are still far too many people not returning home from work," said Regan. "That's why we are stepping up our safety efforts. We are hiring more inspectors, adding to our prosecution team, and working with industry to identify and target high-risk companies with poor safety records."

These changes, and several others, are part of the province's workplace safety strategy, and address auditor general recommendations to improve the province's health and safety services.

"We will do everything we can to spare families from hearing the news that a loved one has had an accident at work," said Regan.