The province released the 2012-13 Occupational Health and Safety annual report today, Dec. 18, showing what government did last year to make workplaces safer.
The report, which covers April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2013, focuses on things such as inspections, compliance, prosecutions, administrative penalties, legislation, and the number of fatalities in workplaces across Nova Scotia.
“This report is an important document that helps us see what’s been done in the past and what we can do with our partners to make the year ahead safer,” said Labour and Advanced Education Minister Kelly Regan.
Last year, the number of inspections increased. Safety officers conducted nearly 2,500 inspections, the highest number to date. Work began on the new workplace safety strategy, improvements were made to the administrative penalty system and new regulations we introduced for fall protection, scaffolding and temporary highway work.
Ten people died on the job from traumatic injury during the period, up from six. There were 22 workplace fatalities caused by a long-term injury or illness, an increase of one from the previous report.
“This report shows that there are still far too many people not returning home from work,” said Ms. Regan. “That’s why we are stepping up our safety efforts. We are hiring more inspectors, adding to our prosecution team, and working with industry to identify and target high-risk companies with poor safety records.”
These changes, and several others, are part of the province’s workplace safety strategy, and address auditor general recommendations to improve the province’s health and safety services.
“We will do everything we can to spare families from hearing the news that a loved one has had an accident at work,” said Ms. Regan.
To review the annual report, visit http://novascotia.ca/lae/healthandsafety/pubs.asp#anreport.