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Occupational Health and Safety (OHS)

The health and safety of workers in the construction industry is protected by Nova Scotia's Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Occupational health and safety (OHS) information and requirements for the construction industry are organized on this page in three sections.

  • requirements under the OHS Act, followed by requirements found in regulations under the OHS Act
  • posting requirements (placing information where visible / accessible) under various acts and regulations
  • information on OHS topics

See Occupational Health and Safety Act and associated regulations.

Occupational Health and Safety Act
Requirement Information / Forms
Time lines in the OHS Act Act Time Lines Information Sheet
Need for a policy Act Reference Guide (PDF)
How To Guide for an OHS Policy (PDF)
Need for a program Act Reference Guide (PDF)
JOHS Committee or Health and safety representative Act Reference Guide (PDF)
Need for Committee or Representative
Information Sheet
Single Employer Guide for Committees (PDF)
Construction Project Guide for Committees (PDF)
Communication of information Act Reference Guide (PDF)
Employee’s right to refuse unsafe work Your Rights and Responsibilities booklet (PDF)
Vos droits, vos responsabilités, et la loi sur la santé et sur la sécurité au travail (PDF)
Right to Refuse - Employers’ Information Sheet
Right to Refuse - Employees’ Information Sheet
Submit written notice of accident at the workplace Act Reference Guide (PDF)
Retaliating against an employee for OHS actions Discriminatory Action Information Sheet
Employee Discriminatory Action Complaint Form (PDF)
Orders and compliance Compliance Notice Form (PDF)
Who to appeal orders to Act Reference Guide (PDF)
Appeal of Order to Director Form (PDF)
How to apply for a deviation from a regulation Application for a Deviation Form (PDF)

More Information - Occupational Health and Safety Act and related Regulations

OHS - General

Blasting Safety Regulations
Requirement Information / Forms
Notification of blasting incidents Section 12
Fall Protection and Scaffolding Regulations
Requirement Information / Forms
Need to train Reference Guide (PDF)
Need for fall protection/arrest on roof work Reference Guide (PDF)
Fall Protection on Roof Information Sheet (PDF)
Need for fall arrest Reference Guide (PDF)
Need to have work platform designed Reference Guide (PDF)
General design and construction of scaffolds Reference Guide (PDF)
Inspection and supervision by competent person Reference Guide (PDF)
Need for engineer certification Reference Guide (PDF)
Occupational Health and Safety First Aid Regulations
Requirement Information / Forms
What first aid training is needed First Aid Supplies and Services Information Sheet
Organizations Approved to give First Aid Training
First Aid Plain Language Guide (PDF)
Type of first aid kits First Aid Supplies and Services Information Sheet
First Aid Plain Language Guide (PDF)
Occupational Safety General Regulations (OSGR)
Requirement Information / Forms
Training requirements under the OSGR List of sections where training is used
Competent Person under the OSGR List of sections where "competent person" is used
Need to designate certain persons in writing List of sections where "designated" is used
Need to inspect machinery, tools, personal protective equipment etc List of sections where "inspect" is used
Need to follow manufacturer’s specifications List of sections where "manufacturer’s specifications" is used
Need for Engineer Certification or approvals List of sections where an engineer is or may be required
General need for personal protective equipment Plain Language Guide - Part 3 Personal Protective Equipment (PDF)
Ventilation and lighting requirements Plain Language Guide - Part 4 Ventilation, Lighting, Sanitation, and Accommodation (PDF)
Sanitation requirements Plain Language Guide - Part 4 Ventilation, Lighting, Sanitation, and Accommodation (PDF)
Accommodation requirements Plain Language Guide - Part 4 Ventilation, Lighting, Sanitation, and Accommodation (PDF)
Storage and handling of material Plain Language Guide - Part 5 Handling and Storage (PDF)
Need for a machine lock-out Plain Language Guide - Part 6 Lock-out (PDF)
Using hoists and mobile equipment Plain Language Guide - Part 7 Hoists and Powered Mobile Equipment (PDF)
Need for a signaler Plain Language Guide - Part 7 Hoists and Powered Mobile Equipment (PDF)
Guarding for machines Plain Language Guide - Part 8 Mechanical (PDF)
Using chain saws Plain Language Guide - Part 8 Mechanical (PDF)
Using space heating equipment Plain Language Guide - Part 8 Mechanical (PDF)
Using tools Plain Language Guide - Part 9 Tools (PDF)
Welding Plain Language Guide - Part 10 Welding (PDF)
Practice electrical safety Plain Language Guide - Part 11 Electrical Safety (PDF)
Entry of a confined space Plain Language Guide = Part 12 Confined Space Entry (PDF)
Practice building safety - construction and demolition Plain Language Guide - Part 13 Building Safety (PDF)
Code of Practice for Removal of Friable Asbestos
Code of Practice for Managing Asbestos in Buildings
Trenching safety Plain Language Guide - Part 14 Excavation and trenches
Temporary Workplace Traffic Control Regulations
Requirement Information / Forms
Need for controls when disrupting traffic NS Temporary Workplace Traffic Control Manual 2009 (PDF)
Temporary Workplace Traffic Control Person - Training Manual (PDF)
Violence in the Workplace Regulations
Requirement Information / Forms
Hazard assessment Sample Hazard Assessment for Violence in the Workplace
Violence plan

Reference Guide to the Violence in the Workplace Regulations (PDF)

Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)
Requirement Information / Forms
Need for training Interpretation Guide for WHMIS (PDF)
Chemicals in the Workplace Information Sheet
Need for labeling Interpretation Guide for WHMIS (PDF)
Chemicals in the Workplace Information Sheet
Availability of MSDS sheets Interpretation Guide for WHMIS (PDF)
Chemicals in the Workplace Information Sheet

More Information - WHMIS

Posting Requirements

The following is the information that must be posted according to the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Note: posting requirements under the regulations are in addition to those needed under the Act, and apply if your business operates under those regulations. Posting requirements for the Smoke-free Places Regulations are also included here.

Posting means to physically placing the material so that it is easily visible in an area where employees have free and easy access. Posting on a computer network or intranet is acceptable if employees have access, know where to find the information and the computer works.

A requirement to make information available does not mean posting. This information may be kept by a manager or supervisor and would be available upon request; for examples any regulations that apply to the worksite.

Occupational Health and Safety Act
Material to be posted by the employer includes: OHS Act
The names of the current joint occupational health and safety committee members or the health and safety representative and how they may be contacted. Section 37(a)
The minutes of the joint occupational health and safety committee meeting where there is one. Section 37(b)
A current copy of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Section 38(b)(I)
The telephone number of the Occupational Health and Safety Division. Section 38(b)(iii)
A copy of an occupational health and safety policy where one is required. Section 38(b)(iv)
Any order, compliance notice, notice of appeal, deviation or decision relating to the workplace and employer. Section 39(1)(d), Section 67(2), s69(4), s83(4), Section 83(11) , Section 38(b)(ii)

The following do not need to be posted, but the employer must make them available:

  1. Any regulations that relate to the workplace. Section 38(a)(I). OHS Regulations
  2. Any information and reports that an officer asks to be made available to employees. Section 38(a)(ii), and
  3. A listing of chemical substances in the workplace. Section 59(3)

In addition to the Act, the following regulations have posting requirements an employer will need to follow if they apply to them.

Blasting Safety Regulations
Material to be posted by the employer includes: Blasting Safety Regulations
Warning signs on all public roads into and out of a blasting operation Section 14
Occupational Health and Safety First Aid Regulations
Material to be posted by the employer includes: First Aid Regulations
The location of first aid supplies and the location or phone number of the first aid attendant. Section 9(2)
Emergency telephone numbers, where there is a first aid room at the workplace Section 17(2)(d)
Occupational Diving Regulations
Material to be posted by the employer includes: Occupational Diving Regulations
The boundaries of a dive site Section 29(3)
Warning signs on any building or structure used to store oxygen at the dive site Section 40(1)(b)
A contaminant management plan at the dive site where the dives are in a contaminated environment Section 80(4)
Occupational Safety General Regulations
Material to be posted by the employer includes: OSG Regulations
The names of the gases stored and signs prohibiting smoking in any storage area for portable compressed gas cylinders Section 47(4)
A readable statement of a hoist’s rated load Section 73(7)
The maximum number of revolutions per minute of an abrasive wheel and a grinder Section 97(1)
A sign that says "Danger - High Voltage" on the outside of a room where electrical components are rated at more than 750 v Section 128(1)
The current certification at the entrance of a confined space Section 131(3)
Violence in the Workplace Regulations
Material to be posted by the employer includes: Violence in the Workplace Regulations
The workplace violence prevention statement Section 9(2)
Smoke-free Places Act and Smoke-free Places Regulations
Material to be posted by the owner includes: Act / Regulations
A “Designated Smoking Room” sign Section 7(2)(a)

Other Health and Safety Topics