Yellow CrossDealing With Dementia Patients
Hi my question is can I refuse to provide care to the client who is violent if it puts the client at risk of injury at the time. An example would be what if the client is trying to exit the building and threatening to harm me if I try to prevent them from leaving. I know if they leave they may be injured, hit by a car/ not dressed for the weather etc. Thanks I thought the course was appropriate and met my needs.
According to section 43 of the Nova Scotia Occupational Health and Safety Act, every employee has the right to refuse work “…where the employee has reasonable grounds to believe that the act is likely to endanger the employee’s health and safety…”
Ideally a work refusal is never required. Instead clear communication of the safety concern to your supervisor or manager and a collaborative approach to hazard identification and mitigation should be used. By sharing safety concerns and working together on solutions to these concerns, not only can work refusals be avoided but injuries can be prevented by having clearly defined steps in place by way of policy and training to deal with situations like these. Your manager and safety committee are valuable assets in addressing workplace safety and if solutions are not in place for issues such as yours discussing this with the Committee is a great place to start.


The Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Advanced Education has embarked on a review of the administrative penalty program which has been in place in the province since January 2010. The Department is seeking input from employers and has published a discussion document to facilitate this process.
An administrative penalty is a monetary penalty that can be issued directly to an employer, manager or front line employee for a violation of an OHS law. It is separate from a fine as a result of a charge and conviction under the OHS Act. In order for an administrative penalty to be levied a compliance order from an OHS officer with the Department of Labour OHS Division must first be issued. All compliance orders have a chance to have an administrative penalty levied and this is determined by an administrator who reviews the order and determines if a penalty should be issued and to whom. Fines can range from $100-$2000 per offense which is determined by an apparently random process. Roughly 25% of all compliance orders result in an administrative penalty.
To date, 95% of the 2635 penalties issued province wide over the past three years have gone to the employer, 2% to managers/supervisors and 3% to employees. The average fine amount was $665.00 Roughly $1.6 million has been issued in fines since the inception of the program. These funds are direct to general revenues of the Department of Labour. An appeals process is available and in 2011-12 there were 170 appeals filled.
There have been several concerns with this program such as the impression that the Department is moving to a disciplinary model from an educational model, that the funds collects are not reinvested directly in OHS prevent strategies and the relationship between the employers and the Department are negatively impacted.
The Department of Labour has provided some optional models for which they are seeking feedback. The three models proposed are: a progressive system where the Department provides education, then warnings then penalties; a predictive system where the Department establishes set penalty values to specific infractions; and a simplified system which focuses on the appeals process.
We recommend that all stakeholders review the discussion paper and the proposed model and formulate a response to ensure our voices are heard.

Take A Time Out!

If you are feeling stressed out right now, you owe it to you health to take a quick break.
Give yourself a few moments to run through these 3 simple steps:

Individual Safety Champion – Cecil Haughn, Hillside Pines Home for Special Care

A member of the Hillside Pines’ Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee for the past 17 years, and Chair of the Committee for the past five, Cecil Haughn has played an integral role in implementing effective health and safety programs within his organization, such as the official safety and violence policies and developing the Return-to-Work program.
Cecil works hard to instill an environment of open communication at Hillside Pines, where employees can feel comfortable talking about safety concerns. He’s worked tirelessly to bridge the communications gap between management and staff and this collaborative approach has achieved positive results in the form of decreased injuries within the organization.
Cecil has recently been appointed to the Board of Aware NS, an accomplishment that recognizes his dedication to building a safety culture not only within Hillside Pines, but across the province so that all workers can feel safe and secure in the workplace.
Cecil Haughn has been recognized with a Mainstay 2012 Individual Safety Champion Award.