News release

Amendments to First Aid Requirements

The Province is updating workplace first aid requirements, fulfilling a commitment to harmonize its rules with other jurisdictions in Canada.

“When an accident or illness happens in the workplace, it’s critically important to have first aid ready until professional help can be provided,” said Jill Balser, Minister of Labour, Skills and Immigration. “Having consistent approaches across jurisdictions can help save people’s lives. It can also save businesses money and time and allow for greater mobility of workers across Canada."

Under the National Occupational Health and Safety Reconciliation Agreement, Nova Scotia committed to harmonizing its training requirements and workplace first aid kit requirements based on a new Canadian Standards Association (CSA) standard. The amendments help to modernize first aid requirements and consolidate them in Nova Scotia under the Workplace Health and Safety Regulations.

The regulations are part of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and apply to all employers in Nova Scotia.

The Department of Labour, Skills and Immigration will be helping workplaces prepare and understand the changes and ensuring the contents and terminology used in first aid kits are consistent. It will also make first aid training certificates transferable throughout Canada and clarify minimum requirements for workplace first aid training.

The Department hosted two public consultations and offered an online survey to help inform the changes.

It is also making minor administrative amendments to the Occupational Diving Regulations and Underground Mining Regulations to ensure consistency with the revised workplace first aid requirements.


For businesses working in more than one jurisdiction, the cost of complying with several variations of first aid kits and training requirements adds up quickly. Harmonizing first aid requirements between jurisdictions cuts unnecessary red tape and greatly improves our regulatory environment for businesses working across provincial lines. Fred Crooks, Chief Regulatory Officer, Office of Regulatory Affairs and Service Effectiveness

Quick Facts:

  • changes come into effect on June 13
  • first aid training certificates issued before regulatory changes take effect will be valid until they expire; first aid kits that meet the current requirements are in compliance until June 13, 2023
  • these changes will reduce the overall cost for employees and businesses by about $1.5 million annually
  • Nova Scotia’s chief regulatory officer sits on Canada’s Regulatory Reconciliation and Co-operation Table, a federal-provincial-territorial body established under the Canadian Free Trade Agreement to oversee the regulatory reconciliation process and promote regulatory co-operation across Canada
  • reconciliation agreements endorsed by the co-operation table in 2018 and 2020 align provincial requirements for first aid training and first aid kits