Occupational Health and Safety Branch Initiatives

Sector Specific Inspections

There is a special inspection requirement this year for all Officers to carry out inspections in all sectors. Working with the sector specific Officer IIIs, all Officers will be conducting inspections in Construction, Fisheries, Forestry, Health Care, Mining and Retail-Manufacturing. The Officer IIIs have an inspection protocol in place that includes introductory inspections with each Officer. This will ensure increased inspections in all of these sectors.

^ Top of Page

Mining Sector Initiatives

The mining and exploration industry in Newfoundland and Labrador continues to grow in leaps and bounds. Presently there are 12 active mines operating and 3 more in the development stage. The Occupational Health and Safety Branch is continuing with its heath and safety initiatives in the mining industry. The Department along with Workplace Health Safety and Compensation Commission has developed a Mines Rescue Training standard for the Mining Sector. The Division will continue to monitor the emergency response plans and procedures to ensure that the mining properties are compliant.

^ Top of Page

Process Safety Management Code of Practice

During the consultations with our stakeholders on the proposed Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, the need for a Process Safety Management Code of Practice for the Petroleum sector, was identified. Given the anticipated increase of activity within this sector including potential petroleum development projects, the development of such a Code of practice would be a very timely and proactive measure. A working group, which includes representation from Petroleum Industry, Labour and Government, was established to develop the parameters around this Code of Practice. The process safety management code of practice is anticipated to be completed by Spring 2009.

^ Top of Page

Review of Occupational Health and Safety Regulations

One of the biggest initiatives that this branch has been involved in 2008, was the continuation of the review process of the OHS regulations. Throughout the past year, we have thoroughly consulted with stakeholders on the regulations, whereby we have accepted and reviewed formal submissions from major stakeholders. The Division kept major stakeholders informed of the status of the review process and provided feedback to stakeholders. In addition, Officials of the Occupational Health and Safety Division met with the majority of stakeholder groups individually to discuss the proposed changes and address any concerns or questions. Presentations were conducted at numerous conferences and other venues to promote the proposed regulation and raise awareness.

Some of the groups to whom presentations were given, include:

  • Newfoundland and Labrador Construction Safety Association (NLCSA)
  • Newfoundland and Labrador Industrial Health and Safety Association (NLIHSA)
  • City of St. John’s
  • Eastern and Western Home Builders Associations
  • Board of Directors – WHSCC
  • Government Departments
  • Federation of Labour
  • Newfoundland and Labrador Employers Council
  • Safety Services
  • Others

^ Top of Page

Guidance Document

In an effort to facilitate understanding of amendments or outstanding compliance issues, in relation to the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, an accompanying Guidance Document is also being developed. This Guidance Document will be a living document which will address issues as they arise. The first version will in large part be a response to questions that arose during the Regulatory consultation process. In addition, regulatory issues well known to the Division will be addressed.

^ Top of Page

Hazardous Materials Information Review Commission (HMIRC)

The Hazardous Materials Information Review Commission is an independent agency accountable to parliament through the Minister of Health. They work with Stakeholders in industry, labour and governments to help safeguard both worker and trade secrets in Canada’s chemical industry. Tools used include sound scientific expertise, good communication and education to the rights of very one involved. This Commission is governed by the Council of Governors consists of members representing workers, suppliers, employers, and federal provincial and territorial government. An industrial hygienist represents the OHS Branch on this Council.

^ Top of Page