News Release Archive

The flags at Province House are flying at half-mast today to
commemorate National Day of Mourning for Persons Killed or
Injured in the Workplace.

"Workplace health and safety is an issue that involves every Nova
Scotian -- employers, employees, families, business and
government," said Labour Minister Manning MacDonald.

Each year in Canada more than 700 workers are accidently killed
on the job -- an average of two workers each day. On average, one
in every 15 Canadian workers is injured each year, bringing the
national total to more than 800,000. In Nova Scotia, more than
10,000 accidents cause people to lose time from work each year.

The total cost of workplace accidents in Canada is estimated at
$10 billion per year. In Nova Scotia, the cost of workers'
compensation claims alone totalled more than $100 million in

"Workplace accidents leave a real emotional and financial impact
on Nova Scotians," said Mr. MacDonald. "It is important to
remember that behind the statistics are real people whose stories 
bring home the importance of accident prevention. We need to work
together to change the statistics and reduce workplace injury and

This year, Nova Scotia has a new Occupational Health and Safety
Act. The act improves three basic rights: the right to know about
workplace hazards, the right to refuse unsafe work, and the right
to participate in workplace health and safety issues. There are
also new regulations on scaffolding and first aid. Regulations on
violence in the workplace and general safety are planned for the
coming year.

"Nova Scotia is serious about health and safety," said Mr.
MacDonald. "The new rules focus on prevention and shared
responsibility. It's in everyone's best interest to spread the
health and safety message."

This June, the message will spread across international borders
with the advent of the first North American occupational health
and safety week. Canada, Mexico and the United States will join
forces to promote workplace health and safety.

"Working safely strengthens Nova Scotia's reputation as a safe
and attractive place to live, work and invest," said the
minister. "Workers and their families have greater security and
peace of mind. Employers benefit from a healthy workforce and
cost-effective practices. Overall, working safely gives Nova
Scotia a competitive advantage."

The minister encouraged Nova Scotians to start the work week by
remembering those who have been killed or injured on the job.
"Let's begin the week with a renewed commitment to creating a
safer, healthier Nova Scotia."


Contact: Jennifer MacIsaac  902-424-4680 or 902-424-3219

         Jim LeBlanc        902-424-8477

trp                    Apr. 28, 1997 - 11:30 a.m.