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Nova Scotia

Learn what the law requires of you

To successfully manage health and safety in your workplace, you should first understand that as an employer, you have obligations under the law.  You must:

  • Ensure the health and safety of the people at or near your workplace
  • Provide and maintain equipment, machines, and materials that are properly equipped with safety devices
  • Provide information, instruction, training, supervision, and facilities to keep your workers safe
  • Ensure that all workers are told about any health or safety hazards at your workplace
  • Ensure that all workers know when and how to properly use all devices, equipment, and clothing required for their protection
  • Conduct your business so that workers are not exposed to health or safety hazards
  • Work with your health and safety representative , if you have 5 or more workers
  • Cooperate with anyone performing a duty or exercising a power under occupational health and safety legislation
  • Comply with the Occupational Health and safety legislation that applies to your workplace, and make sure that your workers also comply 
  • Establish an occupational health and safety policy, if you have 5 or more workers

You must also make sure your workers know and understand their three basic rights:

  • The right to refuse unsafe work 
  • The right to know of any hazards in the workplace
  • The right to participate in identifying and resolving safety issues

Review the Nova Scotia Occupational Health and Safety Act

As an employer, it is your responsibility to know your obiligations under the OH &S Act. This Toolkit can help, but you should also read the Act yourself so you become familiar with it.

Request a paper copy of the OH & S act from the OHS Division:

For federally-regulated workplaces, contact Labour Canada at 1-800-641-4049.

Review Nova Scotia’s regulations under the act

Several regulations have been made under the OH&S Act. These regulations give detailed guidance on specific hazards and issues around occupational health and safety in Nova Scotia.

You are responsible to know the regulations that affect your workplace. Contact the OHS Division at 1-800-952-2687 if you have questions about which regulations apply to your workplace.

The following regulations apply to most workplaces in Nova Scotia:

  • First Aid Regulations
  • Occupational Safety General Regulations
  • Violence in the Workplace Regulations
  • WHMIS Regulations
  • Administrative Penalties Regulations
  • Workplace Health and Safety Regulations including Part 21: Fall Protection and Part 23: Scaffolding

Other regulations apply to specific hazards and workplaces:

  • Blasting Safety Regulations
  • Disclosure of Information Regulations
  • Occupational Diving Regulations
  • Occupational Health and Safety Appeal Panel Regulations
  • Workplace Health and Safety Regulations including Part 24: Temporary Workplace on Highways
  • Underground Mining Regulations

You must know and apply any regulations that may pertain to your workplace and the type of work being done.

Request a paper copy of the regulations from the OHS Division:

If you have any questions about occupational health and safety law and how it applies to your workplace, contact the OHS Division at the above number or email address.

© 2021 Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia & Nova Scotia Department of Labour, Skills and Immigration