Workplace Accidents (Infosheet A-3)

Workplace Accidents : NS Labour and Advanced Education, Health and Safety

Do I have to report workplace accidents? How soon after the accident is notice required?

Employers are required to send written notice of certain kinds of accidents to the Director of the Occupational Health and Safety Division of the Department of Labour.

If... Written Notice is Required...
someone at the workplace is killed from any cause within 24 hours
there is an accidental explosion at the workplace (even if no one was hurt) within 24 hours
there is a fire or accident at the workplace that causes bodily injury to an employee within seven days

"Bodily injury" means unconsciousness, substantial blood loss, fracture of an arm or leg, amputation of a leg, arm, hand or foot, burns to a major part of the body, loss of sight in an eye or any injury that places life in jeopardy.

Does the Occupational Health and Safety Act require me to tell anyone else about the accident?

If you are required to give written notice to the Director of the Occupational Health and Safety Division of an accident as discussed above, you must give a copy of the notice to the Joint Occupational Health And Safety Committee or Health and Safety Representative at the workplace. Other pieces of legislation may require you to notify other parties, such as the police and the Workers' Compensation Board.

Is it alright to clean up the scene of the accident?

The scene of an accident where someone was killed or suffered bodily injury must not be disturbed, except as necessary to help an injured person, stop more injuries, or to protect property that may be in danger because of the accident. A Occupational Health and Safety Officer will tell you when you may clean up the accident scene.

If I witness a workplace accident, do I have to tell anyone what I saw?

Every person who was present when the accident took place or who knows something about the accident must tell what they know if they are asked by an Occupational Health and Safety Officer. They must also co-operate with any internal investigation launched by the employer.

How can I learn more?

To find out more about the role of Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committees and Health and Safety Representatives, contact:

Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Advanced Education
Occupational Health & Safety Division
5151 Terminal Road, 6th Floor
PO Box 697, Halifax, Nova Scotia
B3J 2T8

Phone: (902)424-5400 or 1-800-9LABOUR (in N.S.)
Fax: (902)424-5640
Secure Enquiry Form

Single copies of related publications are available from the Occupational Health and Safety Division at no charge.