Labour and Advanced Education Minister Kelly Regan introduced amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act Dec. 4, as a first step in rolling out the new administrative penalty system. New regulations in the new year will focus on the most serious infractions, repeat offenders, and workplace safety education.
"Nova Scotians said loud and clear they want specific changes to the administrative penalties system to target serious infractions and repeat offenders, and to make the system more consistent and fair," Regan said. "Two of the biggest concerns were how the funds were spent and the process around appeals. We listened and we're making these changes."
The amendment will streamline the appeal process, with the Labour Board now hearing all appeals, including compliance orders and administrative penalties, which will lead to consistent, fair decisions.
The revenue collected will be directed into a fund to support workplace safety initiatives.
"These changes are great; I'm glad to see government is listening," said Nova Scotia Construction Safety Association's General Manager Bruce Collins. "Stakeholders were clear this revenue should be redirected to safety initiatives as opposed to general revenue and this is good news."
The province launched a review of administrative penalties system in February 2013 after employers said fines were issued inconsistently and, sometimes, unfairly.
CANS participated in many consultations with the province as part of the Administrative Penalties review process advocating for a simplified appeals process and investment in education, additional resources and training.
The Auditor General also highlighted the need for greater…
Province: | Section : Construction & Transportation