Province Takes Steps to Protect Offshore Workers

Energy

May 3, 2013 10:04 AM

The province is moving forward with legislation to better protect Nova Scotian offshore oil and gas workers.

Energy Minister Charlie Parker today, May 3, introduced proposed amendments to the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Resources Accord Implementation (Nova Scotia) Act to establish one set of occupational health and safety rules for offshore energy workers.

The amendments mirror changes introduced federally and in Newfoundland and Labrador this week. The federal government and two provinces have been working to adopt a common approach to offshore energy safety to fill a gap in legislation.

"Industry and offshore employees need consistent regulations when it comes to health and safety on the job, especially since we're dealing with an industry that overlaps federal jurisdiction and two provinces," said Mr. Parker. "The proposed amendments will provide clear authority on issues of occupational health and safety, and better protect people involved in offshore oil and gas.

"This legislation complements the work already underway to promote workplace safety in every industry across the province to ensure all workers, whether on land or sea, return home safe at the end of the day."

The amendments will clarify the roles and responsibilities of governments, regulators, employers and employees, add authority for occupational health and safety, and give regulators the authority to disclose occupational health and safety information to the public.

The amendments will:
-- ensure offshore occupational health and safety laws offer at least as much protecting for workers as onshore laws.
-- protect employee rights
-- support an occupational health and safety culture that recognizes shared responsibilities in the workplace
-- separate occupational health and safety and production issues
-- provide joint management by the federal and provincial governments
-- comprehensively apply to offshore petroleum activities
-- provide effective and efficient regulations

The amendments will create more legal certainty and transfer provincial oversight to the Department of Labour and Advanced Education from the Department of Energy.

The federal Natural Resources Minister, in consultation with the federal Minister of Labour, will remain responsible federally.

The Canada Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board will continue to administer Nova Scotia's offshore regulations.

The provincial changes will take effect after the federal amendments are approved.


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     The province is moving forward with legislation to better

protect Nova Scotian offshore oil and gas workers.

     Energy Minister Charlie Parker today (May 3) introduced

proposed amendments to the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum

Resources Accord Implementation (Nova Scotia) Act to establish

one set of occupational health and safety rules for offshore

energy workers.

     The amendments mirror changes introduced federally and in

Newfoundland and Labrador this week.

     Mr. Parker says the proposed amendments will provide clear

authority on issues of occupational health and safety, and

better protect people involved in offshore oil and gas.

     The amendments will clarify the roles and responsibilities

of governments, regulators, employers and employees, add

authority for occupational health and safety, and give

regulators the authority to disclose occupational health and

safety information to the public.

     The provincial changes will take effect after the federal

amendments are approved.

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Media Contact: Darcy MacRae
              902-424-1575
              E-mail: MACRAEDA@gov.ns.ca