News Release Archive

A key step in the Labour Department's efforts to make the
workplace safer will take place this Friday, April 18, when 14
members of the first Occupational Health and Safety Appeal Panel
are sworn in at the Law Courts in Halifax.

The panel was appointed by Cabinet and formed under the new
Occupational Health and Safety Act introduced earlier this year.
All members, except for the chair who is a neutral party, were
nominated by different organizations, including the Nova Scotia
Federation of Labour, the Construction Association of Nova
Scotia, Nova Scotia Associations of Health Organizations and the
Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association. There were also
nominees from other private industry and the Cape Breton Regional

The chair of the appeal panel, Michael Hewitt, was chosen for his
experience in occupational health and safety. He has served as a
member of Nova Scotia's Occupational Health and Safety
Legislative Review, as past president of the Canadian
Occupational Health Association, and as former general manager of
the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. Mr.
Hewitt is a former assistant deputy minister for the N.W.T.
Department of Justice and Public Service. He has also served as a
commissioner under New Brunswick's Inquiries Act, conducting a
public inquiry into occupational health and safety at the
Denison-Potacan Potash mine in Sussex.

Labour Minister Manning MacDonald said the formation of the panel
has many benefits to providing a safer workplace. "The panel will
provide people with a forum to present their disagreement with a
decision. And it shows the Labour Department is flexible to
change and to steps that have the best interest of individuals in

Mr. MacDonald said he also believes having representatives from
labour and business on the panel provides a broad and fair input.
"With these sectors represented, we are confident decisions will
be made based on knowledge and experience."

Matters proceed to the appeal panel level after an initial appeal
to the director of Occupational Health and Safety. Issues to be
settled by the appeal panel relate to technical aspects of health
and safety or the protection of individual employees from
reprisals after exercising their rights under the health and
safety laws.

The makeup of a panel considering a specific case will be
established after taking into account caseload of members,
familiarity with the type of workplace to which the matter
relates and proximity to the region where the hearing will occur.
Possible conflicts of interest will also be taken into account.
Such a panel will usually consist of three people, though in some
cases the appeal may be heard by just one member. All decisions
are binding.

Members of the new panel are: Ivano Andriani, Halifax; Gerardette
Brown, River Ryan, Cape Breton Co.; Ken Chisholm, Hubley, Halifax
Co.; Clifford Dahms, Dartmouth; Rhona Green, East Bay, Cape
Breton Co.; Michael Hewitt, Hubbards; John Kennedy, Lower River
Inhabitants, Richmond Co.; Ross Langley, Halifax; Hugh MacArthur,
New Waterford; Kevin McNamara, Dartmouth; Miriam Regan-MacNeil,
Halifax; Deborah Ryan, Dartmouth; Betty Jean Sutherland,
Westville and Robert Wells, Lakeview, Halifax Co.


Contact: Patricia Sherwood  902-424-4412

NOTE TO EDITORS: The ceremony will take place at 1 p.m. Media
wishing to attend should check at the Law Courts reception desk,
second floor, on Friday for the specific room number. A list of
the panel members indicating their place of work and who they
represent is available by calling 902-424-4492 or 1-800-670-4357.

trp                   Apr. 16, 1997 - 11:30 a.m.