News Release Archive

Nova Scotian companies with more than five employees must prepare
and post an occupational health and safety policy in their
workplaces effective July 1.

"Accident prevention starts with a strong commitment to health
and safety on the job," said Labour Minister Manning MacDonald.
"A written policy is a basic agreement for making workplaces
safer and healthier. It helps make sure everyone is playing from
the same game plan."

By Jan. 1, 1998, workplaces with more than 20 employees must also
establish and maintain a written occupational health and safety
(OHS) program.

These requirements are part of the new Occupational Health and
Safety Act that came into effect Jan. 1, 1997. Throughout fall
and winter 1996, workplaces across the province were briefed on
the new rules. The Department of Labour also conducted workshops
on how to write policies and programs, as did the Nova Scotia
Construction Safety Association.

An OHS policy is the employer's commitment to creating a safe and
healthy work environment. The employer must develop the policy
statement in consultation with the workplace's joint OHS
committee, OHS representative or other employees.

"The best way to make sure that the policy meets the needs of the
workplace is to involve everyone in the process," said Jim
LeBlanc, executive director of the department's OHS division.
"Everyone should be informed about the policy and understand
their roles and responsibilities."

The policy should be written in clear, plain language and posted
in a prominent location in the workplace. Companies must conduct
annual policy reviews.

The department has published a How-To Guide for an Occupational
Health and Safety Policy and Program. OHS officers are also
available to help companies refine their polices and programs. 


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

         Jim LeBlanc

NOTE TO EDITORS: For a copy of the How-To Guide for an
Occupational Health and Safety Policy and Program, please phone
902-424-5400. For a two-page sample of an OHS policy, please call

trp                    June 27, 1997 - 2:15 p.m.