On January 15, 2010, the Occupational Health and Safety Administrative Penalties Regulations (N.S. Reg. 291/2009) became law. The Regulations give the Department of Labour and Workforce Development’s Occupational Health and Safety (“OHS”) division the ability to issue penalties when violations of health and safety laws are found in workplaces.
An Administrator within the OHS division will assign penalties after reviewing orders issued by a health and safety officer. Orders are issued when violations are found in the workplace. Employers, contractors, constructors, employees, the self-employed, as well as owners, suppliers, architects, engineers, and OHS consultants are subject to the penalties.
Penalties imposed on individuals who have control over a workplace such as employers and supervisors will be larger than those imposed on employees. Penalties initially range from $100 to $500 and will increase if it is a repeated offence. Penalties are also higher if there is an injury involved or potential for injury. The Administrator will also take into account whether any efforts were taken to ensure that contravention of the laws would not occur and/or whether any economic benefit was derived from the violation. The maximum penalty for an employee is $500; a supervisor is $1,000; and an employer is $2,000. If a previous offence has occurred within three years, the fines will double. (The three-year factor will relate to orders issued after January 15, 2010.)
Penalties can be appealed to the Occupational Health and Safety Appeal Panel.
For more information visit the Labour and Workforce Development Web site at: www.gov.ns.ca/lwd/healthandsafety/