Province listening to Nova Scotians on workplace safety

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HALIFAX – The province wants to hear from more Nova Scotians on how to make their workplaces the safest in the country.

The province and the Workers' Compensation Board are in the final stages of developing a five-year workplace safety strategy. More than 1,000 people and groups have participated in consultation sessions across the province and the province would like input from more people. The deadline to share to make workplaces safer is Jan. 22 at http://workplacesafetystrategy.ca .

"Workplace safety is a priority, and all Nova Scotians should come home safe at the end of the work day," Labour and Advanced Education Minister Marilyn More said Tuesday in a news release. "Over the past several months, we have gathered excellent insight and information from hundreds of employees, employers and safety partners on how we can make our workplaces safer. Before this important strategy is finalized, we want to be sure Nova Scotians had more opportunity to provide suggestions."

There were 30 consultations across the province. Key findings include: the importance of improving safety culture, getting leadership commitment from all organizations, education and training, inspection and enforcement, performance measures

and solutions for small and medium-sized businesses

"I found the process to be very accessible and open," said Jeff Brett, safety co-ordinator with the Nova Scotia Government Employees Union. "Throughout the process we were made to feel like our points of view were valued and ideas were welcome. I am pleased to see government and the WCB are listening."

The province is already acting on the input. A review of administrative penalties was launched in November, after employers and businesses voiced concerns with the penalties, their effectiveness, and inconsistent assessing. This review is part of the workplace safety strategy.

"We are committed to creating good jobs and growing the economy, and providing safe workplaces plays a major role in achieving that goal," said More. "We are seeing improvements in our safety record, but there is still much work to be done. I am looking forward to the feedback we receive from Nova Scotians, and to finalizing this important strategy in the next couple of months."

Organizations: Compensation Board, Nova Scotia Government Employees Union

Geographic location: Nova Scotians

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