North American Occupational Safety and Health Week (NAOSHW)


The first week of each May is set aside, North American-wide, to focus employers, employees, partners and the public on occupational health and safety.  NAOSHW brings awareness to the importance of preventing injury and illness – in the workplace, at home and in the community. 

“All Nova Scotians should be able to go to work knowing they are safe from injury and illness on the job,” said Mark Parent, Minister of Labour and Workforce Development. “Safety needs to be a priority, not just during North American Occupational Safety and Health Week, but every week of the year.”

In 2008, 29 Nova Scotians died and 8,050 were hurt while on the job. 

NAOSHW was first launched in June 1997, marked by an agreement between Canada, the United States and Mexico.  Using the Canadian Occupational Health & Safety Week (COHW) as the foundation, NAOSHW became a landmark cornerstone of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). 

NAOSHW is an excellent opportunity to reiterate legislated safety policies and programming including: 

  • your Corporate Safety Statement
  • the function and composition of your Joint Occupational Health & Safety Committee (JOHS)
  • the importance of accident / incident / near miss reporting and your Accident Investigation program
  • your Workplace Hazardous Materials System program
  • your Housekeeping Inspection Program
  • your Prevention of Violence in the Workplace program


For more information on occupational health and safety in Nova Scotia and how to protect yourself at work everyday, visit the department’s website at

Should you require assistance building your safety programming and internal safety responsibility system please contact HR pros by using the contact form on the contact page.  Tanya has a strong background in safety, having spent a number of years in the mining and manufacturing industries.

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