OHS Canada Magazine

Construction Safety Coalition to tackle surge in time-loss claims related to falls in Nova Scotia

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April 5, 2023
By OHS Canada

Health & Safety Construction Construction Safety Nova Scotia Fall Protection nova scotia working at heights

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The number of time-loss claims from construction workers due to falls in Nova Scotia has jumped by 50 per cent in one year.

According to data from WCB Nova Scotia, there were 100 time-loss claims in 2021 from construction workers related to falls. Last year, that number jumped to 149.

In 2022, there were 15,259 days lost to workplace injury from falls in the construction sector, according to a press release from Construction Safety Nova Scotia (CSNS). The most common injury types from falls in construction are sprains/strains and fractures/dislocations, it said.

New awareness campaign

To address this issue, a total of 14 organizations making up the Construction Safety Coalition have come together to launch a new fall protection awareness campaign aimed at employers and workers, who both have a responsibility in making sure people are working safe at heights.

MJ MacDonald, CEO of Construction Safety Nova Scotia.

“I am tired of driving by sites and seeing workers with their safety harnesses on but not tied off. There’s just no excuse. A harness can save your life but not unless it’s tied-off,” said MJ MacDonald, CEO of CSNS, which is heading up the campaign along with the government of Nova Scotia’s Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Division.


“I am hopeful that this campaign will remind everyone working at height on construction sites that this behaviour is not okay. If you won’t do it for yourself, please do it for your loved ones.”

Eric Veniot, Atlantic regional vice-president at Flynn Canada, said safety is always be a top priority for the construction company.

“Due to the nature of our work in all scopes, proper training in fall arrest and fall restraint is a key focus item to ensure a high level of competency on our crews and job sites. Safety is not only a top priority with the ‘Flynn Family,’ it is also a shared responsibility,” said Veniot.

Resources for employers, workers

Resources and legislation pertaining to employers and workers can be found at www.TieOffNS.ca.

Employers are responsible for ensuring a safe work site and that all proper fall protection systems are in place and procedures followed, while workers have a responsibility to ensure they are tied-off and using fall protection properly, CSNS said.

Doing so ensures a supervisor or business owner never needs to make that life-changing call to a loved one, and workers can make sure they are around for their friends, family, and to do what they love when their shift ends.

Nova Scotians can call 1-800-9Labour if they have questions about fall safety, or to report concerns about unsafe work.


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