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Fall protection, scaffolding top orders in weeklong Nova Scotia safety blitz


Safety inspectors in Nova Scotia conducted a weeklong provincewide blitz last week of 78 residential and commercial businesses.

Sharing information, raising awareness and checking compliance with workplace safety rules were the goals of the blitz.

Labour and Advanced Education Minister Kelly Regan says that doing blitzes every few months is a way to help educate businesses and workers about their roles and responsibilities when it comes to safety.

"More Nova Scotians, especially young people, start new jobs during the summer months and they need to know about workplace safety rules," said Regan. "These blitzes aren't just about writing orders or tickets, they're about making sure workers and employers are knowledgeable about safety and know where to go for support."

Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency staff accompanied occupational health and safety officers on the blitz to promote proper training and certification in the trades.

"Nova Scotians who hire a tradesperson in the compulsory trades need to make sure they have the proper qualifications or are a registered apprentice," said CEO of the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency, Marjorie Davison. "If a worker does not have the proper certification, they could make mistakes and put both themselves and others at risk."

Results of the blitz included:

•25 inspections involving young workers

•37 orders issued for fall protection and scaffolding

•16 additional compliance orders for violations such as not having the proper safety documentation on site

•61 warnings for violations such as not having the proper first-aid kit on site.

"When you hear about officers coming to a work site to do an inspection, usually people get their backs up. But, at the end of the day these officers are just making sure we are working safely, that we are aware of the rules and we have the proper training to do the jobs right," said Dwayne Landry, a construction electrician apprentice. "I have to take responsibility for my own safety on the worksite, but it is good to know that someone has my back if things aren't operating the way they should."

Photo: REUTERS/Beawiharta

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