News Release Archive

  New fall protection and scaffolding regulations have been
  approved to help protect Nova Scotians who work at heights,
  announced Labour Minister Guy Brown today.
  "The new regulations mark a positive change in philosophy,"
  said the minister. "The old focus was on how to catch you if
  you fell. The new regulations focus on preventing the fall
  in the first place."
  Between 1991 and 1994, the cost of Workers' Compensation
  Board (WCB) claims involving work-related falls was
  approximately $13 million. "The new regulations provide
  employers and employees with a framework for preventing
  accidents, controlling costs and improving workplace health
  and safety."
  The regulations were developed as part of the review of
  workplace health and safety rules by the Nova Scotia
  Occupational Health and Safety Advisory Council. A working
  group of employer and employee representatives examined
  practical ways to improve the regulations. There was
  extensive consultation with industry groups on the impact
  and content of the new rules.
  The regulations create a general duty to use fall protection
  equipment if there is a risk of falling from heights in a
  workplace. Flexibility is maintained by allowing the
  employer to choose the type of fall protection that best
  meets the needs of the workers and the project.
  "The new guidelines are clear and complete," said Mr. Brown.
  "They provide a more consistent approach, tailored to the
  needs of individual workplaces."
  The new regulations also modernize fall protection and
  scaffolding rules - many of which date back 25 years. For
  example, the new regulations remove references to horse
  scaffolds, ladder jacks, and portable bracket scaffolds
  - no longer in use or generally regarded as unsafe.
  "Times and technology have changed, and the regulations
  reflect that reality. The rules will now work better for
  employees and employers alike."
  The changes include clearer standards for the performance,
  design and construction of scaffolds and fall protection
  equipment. It brings Nova Scotia's standards in line with
  those used across Canada.
  Provisions for working over water have been improved and
  updated, and protection from falling objects has been
  included. The regulations also incorporate the
  currently-used code of practice for roofing.
  The regulations are now in place and effective for the
  coming construction season.
  #1 -- Working group membership included: the Construction
  Association of Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Power, Halifax
  District School Board, Nova Scotia Home Builders
  Association, the Labourers' International Union, Marine
  Workers' Federation, International Brotherhood of Electrical
  Workers, Canadian Union of Public Employees, United
  Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America.
  #2 -- Copies of the new regulations are available at Nova
  Scotia Communications Services, Ground Floor, 1700 Granville
  Street, Halifax.
  Contact: Jennifer MacIsaac 902-424-4680 or 902-424-3219
           Communication Services  424-4492 or 1-800-670-4357
  trp                       Jan. 04, 1996