INPUT wanted on new Nova Scotia penalty system focused on worker safety
By Alyssa Dalton
August 12, 2013 – Nova Scotia has launched a penalty system focused on worker safety as part of its approach to get “tougher on employers who put workers at risk, and promote education and prevention for less serious infractions”.
According to the province, this means fines for employers who break serious workplace safety rules or repeat offenders. For less serious infractions, inspectors will educate employers and employees to help ensure compliance with health and safety regulations.
Frank Corbett, labour and advanced education minister, released a discussion paper that outlines proposed solutions for administrative penalties, which are fines for employers and employees who break safety laws.
“We are committed to protecting this province’s workers,” he said. “Hundreds of Nova Scotians have given us great ideas on how to improve the administrative penalty system. They want us to focus more on prevention, while sending a clear message to employers that there is zero tolerance for rule breakers who risk the lives and health of workers, or who are repeat offenders.”
Corbett said hundreds of Nova Scotians have given great ideas on how to improve the administrative penalty system.
“We are very pleased to see the proactive stance of government on workplace safety in Nova Scotia,” said Rick Clarke, president of the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour. “Not only do we now have stronger workplace health and safety regulations and enforcement, but we also now have a strong emphasis on public education, which is key.”
A structured fine schedule will outline penalty amounts for infractions and how penalties will escalate with repeat offences. The new system also proposes a streamlined appeal process for compliance orders and administrative penalties managed by the Labour Relations Board.
The deadline for comments on the discussion paper is September 26. CLICK HERE for more details.