Regulatory Development and Review Process : NS Labour and Advanced Education, Occupational Health and Safety

The Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) Division is dedicated to maintaining up to date OH&S laws. To achieve this goal, the OH&S Division, in concert with the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education´s OH&S Advisory Council, has embarked on an ambitious schedule that would see all OH&S regulations reviewed on a five-year cycle.

Reviews of Existing Regulations

The following regulations are currently under review:
Fall Protection and Scaffolding Regulations 
General Blasting Regulations
Occupational Health Regulations
Temporary Workplace Traffic Control Regulations
OH&S Appeals Panel Regulations

Consideration of New Regulations

The Division is currently considering regulating, and is developing draft regulations, for the following areas:
Indoor Air Quality
Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committees
Occupational Diving
Violence in the Workplace

Schedule for Regulatory Development and Review Process
Year Regulations Under Review
2004 Appeal Panel Regulations
Disclosure of Information Regulations
General Blasting Regulations
Occupational Safety General Regulations
Workplace Hazardous Information System Regulations
2005 No regulation reviews scheduled
2006 Occupational Health and Safety First Aid Regulations
Temporary Workplace Traffic Control Regulations
2007 Occupational Health Regulations

The reviews or considerations of new or revised regulations could have up to 6 steps. How many steps are involved in reviewing or considering new regulations depends on the complexity, the potential effect on workplaces and the level of interest shown by labour and management groups.

The 6 steps in the regulation review/consideration process are:

Process Scoping

Labour and management are asked for comments on the proposed regulation.
Based upon the comments, the Department, in consultation with the OH&S Advisory Council decides which steps to include in the review/consideration process and develops a workplan for the process.

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Working Group

If the Department and the OH&S Advisory Council determine that the regulation warrants, one or more working groups will be created. These groups will be asked to review the regulation in detail and make specific and comprehensive recommendations.

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Internal Draft Regulation Created

After receiving the working group´s advice, the Department prepares a draft regulation. This is reviewed by both the Department and the OH&S Advisory Council.

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External Draft Regulation Created and Distributed

Based upon the Department´s and the OH&S Advisory Council´s reviews, a new draft of the regulation is created and made available to all workplaces. Labour and management are again invited to make comments on the regulation.

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Final Consideration of the Regulation

Based upon all the recommendations from labour, management and the OH&S Advisory Council, the Department creates a final version of the regulation. This version is considered by Cabinet, who may accept, amend or decline the regulation.

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Public Notification

Assuming Cabinet accepts a new or changed regulation, the Department will ensure that workplaces are made aware of the change and have access to copies of the new regulation. If the changes are significant, the Department will put on a series of presentations to inform people of the changes.