What has changed in OH&S in Nova Scotia

The 1992 Westray mine disaster, some might argue, was the originating catalyst 0f change in the safety realm  on both provincial and federal levels…

In 2005, once the coal dust had long settled, the Federal government
enacted Bill C-45.  Bill C-45 was a new punishment scheme to allow the Courts not simply to fine corporations, but also to impose jail sentences.  Since the
enactment of Bill C-45 Nova Scotia has continued to change its perspective on
occupational health and safety and the obligations of employers, supervisors
and employees.

In 2007, the Nova Scotia government enacted the Violence in the
Workplace Regulations.  From 0ur perspective nearly all employers have an obligation to protect their employees from violence under these Regulations.

On January 15, 2010 the Nova Scotia government imposed Administrative Penalties.  These Penalties are a fining system under the OHS Act whereby Administrative Officers can fine employers, supervisors and employees; up to $4000 for an employer, $2000 for a supervisor and $1000 for an employee.  More than 900 fines were levied in 2010 and more than 850 of these fines were levied against employers.

In 2010, the OHS Division of the Department of Labour and Workforce
Development hired more than 30 new OHS Officers to inspect and audit workplaces.

In April 2011, the Nova Scotia Government increased the maximum fine
under the OHS Act from $250,000 to $500,000; the largest fines in the Atlantic


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