Health and Safety

Safe workplaces are created by people who care. Your health and safety in the workplace is protected by Nova Scotia's Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations. We are a key part of Nova Scotia's Workplace Safety and Insurance System. Our staff promote, coordinate, administer, and enforce occupational health and safety for you.
Staff Listing by Branch and Region

OH&S Positions: From time to time the OH&S Division has various positions that need to be filled. As with all Government positions these will be posted by the Nova Scotia Public Service Commission on Career Beacon.

Our Goal: To establish and enforce clear standards to reduce occupational injury and illness.

Contact us:

General Inquiries and Reporting
Toll-free: 1-800-952-2687 (24 hours) Note: this number valid only from 902 area code
Halifax Metro: 902-424-5400 (Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. only)
E-mail: ohsdivision@gov.ns.ca

Mailing Address:
OHS Division
5151 Terminal Road
PO Box 697
Halifax, NS
B3J 2T8


OHS Knowledge Base

Feature Items

Public Consultation: Workplace Health and Safety Regulations (WHSRs) Phase II

Labour and Advanced Education, as part of its commitment to workplace health and safety, has just released Phase II of the revised Workplace Health and Safety Regulations (WHSR). This phase of the continued consolidation of occupational health and safety regulations includes: Occupational Health, First Aid, Sanitation and Accommodation, Personal Protective Equipment, Excavation and Trenching, Blasting Safety, Confined Spaces, Surface Mine Workings, Occupational Diving and Committees and Representatives. Please participate by going to Workplace Health and Safety Regulations (WHSRs) - Request for Public Comment, by December 19. 2014.

New Administrative Penalties - Effective October 1, 2014

October 1, 2014, the new Administrative Penalty system will come into force. Highlights of the new system include:

  • The system will be based on a 'graduated approach, focusing on educating and raising awareness of workplace parties and enforcing the law through compliance orders before issuing administrative penalties.
  • The penalties in the system will be more predictable. There is a structured fine scedule that outlines penalty amounts for contraventions and how penalties will escalate with repeat contraventions.
  • The system will be timelier. After issuing an order the Officer will have 14 days to issue an administrative penalty. In circumstances where determining whetehr a penalty is warranted is not possible within 14 days, the director has the ability to notify the person they are being considered for a penalty at a later date.
  • The appeal process is simplified. The appeal process for compliance orders and administrative penalties will be managed solely by the Labour Board.

For details, a copy of the regulations is found at the Publications link (left side of page) under 'Regulations and Related Material'. For general information go to New Administrative Penalty System

Progress Update on the Workplace Safety Strategy

The Workplace Safety Strategy is a five year plan (2013-2017) aimed at making Nova Scotia workplaces safer. Currently there is a progress report available, outlining what has been achieved and what is being developed. If you wish to stay informed on further Workplace Safety Strategy work and progress please visit the Nova Scotia WSS web site.

Time Limited Offer from CCOHS on changes to labelling of hazardous products

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) has developed an e-course to help educate workers on upcoming legislative changes to Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) affecting them. The course is offered FREE to the first 100,000 participants (across Canada) to register. Take advantage of your free registration at WHMIS (After GHS) for Workers.

OHS News

UPDATE: Occupational Health and Safety Act Convictions

Table with information on convictions under the Occupational Health and Safety Act from the past five years, including the convicted employer or person, the offence and the penalty, has been updated to June 30, 2014. Note: the table has been amended to include a brief summary description of the incident.

New: Dosimeter Information Sheet for Nova Scotia Dental Offices

The OH&S Act and Regulations require employers be able to verify employees are not excessively exposed to radiation; the easiest way to verify limits are not exceeded is through the use of a dosimeter. The OH&S Division has recently developed and posted in the OH&S Publications link under Guidelines and Other Documents, a Dosimeter Information Sheet regarding the use of dosimeters in dental offices.

Lone Workers and Occupational Health and Safety Legislation an Information Guide

The OHS Division has received a number of calls regarding the legality of workers working alone. The Division has prepared a Lone Workers Information Guide to clarify the occupational health and safety requirements regarding working alone. While there are no OHS regulations that do not allow working alone, except in very specific cases such as confined space entry where an attendant is required, there are several OHS regulations that would apply to lone workers.

Bed Bugs - an OHS Information Guide

The OHS Division has received several questions regarding bed bugs in the workplace and what the possible OHS requirements may be. While there are no specific occupational health and safety regulatory requirements addressing bed bugs, there are some general requirements, similar to any potential health and safety hazard in the workplace, that would need to be met. The Bed Bugs - OHS Information Sheet outlines what hazard bed bugs pose, how to address the issues, general OHS requirements that apply and links to information resources.

CSA Standards used in OHS legislation now accessible through CSA Communities

The CSA Group has changed the link to their OHS View Access Site. The OHS View Access Site allows visitors to view OHS Standards referenced in federal, provincial and territorial OHS regulations. Originally developed in 2008, in collaboration with government OHS departments, the latest version now includes a search function allowing users to more easily locate the standard they are looking for, as well as including new references. Note: our link in the top right hand corner of the page has been updated to the new site - if you had book marked this page you may need to update your book mark.

Information on changes to Occupational Health and Safety Regulations

  • Frequently Asked Questions: New and Revised OHS Regulations. A 15 page pdf document containing answers to questions regarding changes to OHS requirements resulting from the newly enacted Workplace Health and Safety Regulations and amended Occupational Safety General Regulations
  • Summary of Changes to OH&S Regulations. A five page pdf file of recent amendments to the OSGR and newly enacted Workplace Health and Safety Regulations. This information is provided for your convenience only and cannot be relied on in place of the regulations; it is not exhaustive, not all changes are identified here.
  • "Consolidated Regs" a pdf file of the PowerPoint presentation given at the recently held (last week of May) public information sessions

Hazard Alert:

Training:

Occupational Health and Safety Education Trust Fund

For further information about the OHS Education Trust Fund please send e-mail to OHSTrustFund@gov.ns.ca