Administrative Penalties Stakeholder Feedback Opportunities

The consultation process will end on September 26, 2013

Please provide your feedback!

Throughout consultations for the Workplace Safety Strategy, concerns were raised by stakeholders related to the administrative penalties system. Earlier this year, an initial stakeholder consultation was completed to gather feedback on the proposed framework of the new system. This framework has guided the detailed development of the proposed new system.

The proposed changes to the administrative penalties system will be an important step to creating, promoting, and maintaining a culture of safety in all workplaces in Nova Scotia. Further detail has been developed in the form of draft changes to the OHS Act, draft administrative penalties regulations, and draft guidelines for issuing administrative penalties to support consistency and predictability in the new system.
A discussion paper has been provided to introduce and explain the proposed new system, with further detail in the supporting documents for your review and comments. You can find all relevant documents at the following link: www.novascotia.ca/adminpenalties.
The Discussion Paper At a Glance
The province’s goal is to make Nova Scotia the safest place to work in Canada. Nova Scotia’s government, employers and employees each have a role to play in helping us achieve this, and we have to act. Since January 2010, administrative penalties have been used by government as one of many tools to help promote and ensure workplace safety across the province. Some aspects of the program have been effective in ensuring occupational health and safety (OHS) laws are followed in our workplaces; however, we have also heard from employers and workers that some parts of the system need to be improved.
We heard the system was unfair and inconsistent, and at the same time, employers did not want to back away from ensuring safety in workplaces throughout the province.
A discussion paper was released in February 2013 outlining the proposed direction of the new system. Employer and employee consultations were held to gather feedback on the new direction, with written responses and stakeholder workshops providing insight into what a new system should look like.
This next phase of the review will provide insight into the feedback government received from stakeholders and outline the key changes being proposed to the administrative penalties system.
Overview of proposed solution
The discussion paper released in February outlined the high level framework of the proposed system. It suggested the administrative penalties system be a graduated system with three levels – education ,order, and penalty. This approach would also include a clear and consistent fine schedule and a streamlined appeal process to give clarity and predictability to stakeholders. This framework has guided the detailed development of the new proposed system.
An overview of the direction of the proposed system is shown below.
Education

  • Education on noted Safety issues
  • Collaborate with employers to help ensure compliance and safety

Order

  • During inspections, issue compliance orders without financial penalty for contraventions, with timeframes to comply
  • Issue administrative penalties for high risk contraventions or previously identified contraventions

Penalty

  • Issue administrative penalties for repeat instances of falling comply with previously identified contraventions
  • Issue administrative penalties for risk contraventions

Graduated System – Focus on educating stakeholders and enforcing the law through compliance orders before issuing administrative penalties.
Predictable System – A structured fine schedule that outlines penalty amounts for contraventions and how penalties will escalate with repeat
contraventions.
Simplified System – A streamlined appeal process for compliance orders and administrative penalties managed by the Labour Board.
 
Make your views known!
We want to hear from Nova Scotians, including stakeholders, employers, employees, citizens, and all other interested parties. To make it easy for you to respond and comment, we are providing the following 3 options to respond:
1) Through e-mail LAEpolicy@gov.ns.ca
2) By providing a written submission to the following address:
Administrative Penalties Review
Department of Labour and Advanced Education
PO Box 697
5151 Terminal Road
Halifax, Nova Scotia
B3J 2T8
3) You are also invited to attend the last stakeholder session to provide your feedback on the proposed new system. The sessions will be held in Halifax on:
September 5 at 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Please identify if you can attend and what session you would prefer by emailing Craig Roy at roycx@gov.ns.ca by Friday, August 16, 2013. Each session will take place at the Department of Labour and Advanced Education located at 5151 Terminal Road, Halifax.

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