In February of 1993, government approved funding for labour and management to review, cooperatively, the:
The Nova Scotia Occupational Health and Safety Advisory Council accepted responsibility for managing this task. Members of the Council represent key labour groups, employer and manufacturing sectors in Nova Scotia.
During a period of two and one-half years the process included:
As a result, the new Occupational Health and Safety Act received Royal Assent on May 17, 1996.
To help explain two major parts of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Occupational Health and Safety Division has prepared this guide for Section 27 - Requirement for Policy, and Section 28 - Requirement for Program.
An organization employing five to 19 employees in Nova Scotia, must comply with Section 27 - Requirement for Policy, which we explain in the first part of the guide.
An organization employing 20 or more employees in Nova Scotia, must comply with both, Section 27 - Requirement for Policy and Section 28 - Requirement for Program.
The reasons the Act requires a workplace to have a written health and safety policy are:
Your policy is a statement of the intention and commitment of the employer toward the health and safety of the employees at the workplace. Some important points to consider when writing the policy are:
Your policy statements should include references such as the following:
Please Note: These references may not be all inclusive. They are minimum requirements; and, the individual needs of your organization may require a broader version. Each organization is unique; local conditions will dictate the specifics of your policy.
Communicating Your Policy:
Communication of your policy is vital to realizing its benefits. It should be written in clear language and easily understood by all employees. It must be posted in a prominent area in the workplace and made available on request to an employee or to a Department of Labour and Advanced Education Occupational Health and Safety Officer.
This policy will apply to Your Company Name / Organization and all of its locations. Policy
Your Company Name / Organization is committed to providing a healthy and safe work environment for its employees and preventing occupational illness and injury.To express that commitment, we issue the following policy on occupational health and safety.
As the employer,Your Company Name / Organization is responsible for the health and safety of its' employees. Your Company Name / Organization will make every effort to provide a healthy and safe work environment. We are dedicated to the objective of eliminating the possibility of injury and illness.
As ( president, owner, operator, chief executive officer, etc.), I give you my personal promise to take all reasonable precautions to prevent harm to workers.
Managers and supervisors will be trained and held responsible for ensuring that the employees, under their supervision, follow this policy. They are held accountable for ensuring that employees use safe work practices and receive training to protect their health and safety.
Managers and supervisors also have a general responsibility for ensuring the safety of equipment and facility.
Your Company Name / Organization through all levels of management, will co-operate with the Joint Occupa- tional Health and Safety Committee,or the representative and employees to create a healthy and safe work environment. Co-operation should also be extended to others such as contractors, owners, officers, etc.
The employees of Your Company Name / Organization will be required to support this organization's health and safety initiative and to co-operate with the occupational health and safety committee or representative and with others exercising authority under the applicable laws.
It is the duty of each employee to report to the supervisor or manager, as soon as possible, any hazardous conditions, injury, accident or illness related to the workplace. Also, employees must protect their health and safety by complying with applicable Acts and Regulations and to follow policies, procedures, rules and instructions as prescribed by Your Company Name / Organization.
Your Company Name / Organization will, where possible, eliminate hazards and, thus, the need for personal protective equipment. If that is not possible, and where there is a requirement, employees will be required to use safety equipment, clothing, devices and materials for personal protection.
Your Company Name / Organization recognizes the employees duty to identify hazards and supports and encourages employees to play an active role in identifying hazards and to offer suggestions or ideas to improve the health and safety program.
.............................................of Your Company Name/Organization
President / CEO / Owner / Operator
NOTE: This policy statement has been developed in co-operation with the Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee , representative or employees.
A key element in making sure that the policy works in your organization is to involve everyone in the process. That means the policy is drafted with input from all levels of the company. Also, your policy should have enough flexibility built in to adapt to the needs of diverse company applications.
To put your policy into effect, make sure that:
The occupational health and safety program of an organization contains the elements that makes it possible to realize your policy objectives.
Each program will be unique to each company; but, there are some common elements required to comply with legal obligations and meet general health and safety requirements. Overall, to realize maximum effectiveness, a program will have the following:
An Occupational Health and Safety Program must have:
Please Note: the aforementioned represents summary requirements according to the Occupational Health and Safety Act. It should serve as an example only and may be used as a guide to develop a policy and a program to suit your own work environment.
This information has been prepared by the Occupational Health and Safety Division. For clarification on the above material or any other parts of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, or Regulations please contact the Division. Please send any remarks or comments to the address mentioned above and send it to the attention of: “Policy and Program”, Occupational Health and Safety Division.