Workers' Compensation Safety Board of Nova Scotia

Rights and Responsibilities

Workers and Employers

As the employer, you have the greatest control and, therefore, the greatest responsibility for maintaining health and safety in your workplace.

The basis of Nova Scotia’s Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act is the Internal Responsibility System (IRS). The IRS is founded on the principle that everyone at the workplace shares responsibility for creating and maintaining safe and healthy workplaces and that the greatest degree of responsibility goes to the party with the greatest control in the workplace. 

Rights - Workers

In all workplaces in Nova Scotia, employees have the following three basic rights:

  • To know about anything that could affect health and safety in the workplace. 
  • To take part in making the workplace safe. 
  • To refuse work that is not safe.

Responsibilities - Workers

  • Work safely
  • Follow safe work guidelines
  • Use safety equipment
  • Use machinery or equipment properly
  • Report any unsafe acts or conditions

Responsibilities - Employers

  • Provide a safe workplace
  • Give training on how to do the work safely
  • Ensure equipment is safe, with all guards in place
  • Inform you on what could harm you, and how to avoid it
  • Offer clear direction on who to tell if you think something isn’t safe.

For more information please refer to Section 13 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Office of the Employer Advisor - Assists businesses or associations through advocacy, advice, navigation assistance and training with the end goal of developing a healthy and safe workplace.

Office of the Worker Counsellor - Offers advice and assistance to injured workers and their family members on all aspects of workers' compensation in the province. 

Service Providers

Timely and comprehensive reports help the WCB effectively and efficiently manage claims toward a timely and safe return to work for our mutual clients. 

It is important for service providers to submit reports often and in a legible format. The frequency of reporting for each specialty is outlined below, as well as in your Letter of Agreement (if applicable). 

  • Provide services to injured workers to improve their ability and help them safely return to work in a timely manner. 
  • Identify issues and barriers influencing return-to-work plans and make recommendations to address these issues. 
  • Manage the injured worker’s recovery expectations. 
  • Communicate and collaborate with all parties involved in the return-to-work process as required. 

WCB Case Workers

  • Adhere to the Workers’ Compensation Act of Nova Scotia and WCB policies. 
  • Objectively and fairly weigh evidence and make claim decisions in a timely manner. 
  • Administer health care and earnings replacement benefits. 
  • Assist in the development and management of return-to-work plans. 
  • Coordinate and monitor the success of required health care and rehabilitation services. 
  • Communicate and collaborate with all parties involved in the return-to-work planning process. 
  • Manage worker and employer expectations.