Health and Safety

We are responsible for implementing health and safety legislation governing offshore oil and gas activities. Safety, along with environmental protection, is paramount in all of our decision making. We have a team of experienced technical professionals who are focused on ensuring the health and safety of those working in in the Canada-Nova Scotia offshore area.

Experience in the Field

Robert has over 25 years of health and safety experience, which has focused on emergency response, incident command, audits and investigations. In addition to his role as Advisor, Health, Safety and Environment Programs, he is the Chief Safety Officer, Occupational Health and Safety Officer as well as an Operational Safety Officer.

Robert Normore
Advisor, Health, Safety & Environment Programs

In fulfilling our regulatory mandate, we make every effort to ensure that operators take all reasonable precautions to ensure the health and safety of workers.

Operators must submit a number of documents for our review before they can receive our authorization to work in the Canada-Nova Scotia offshore area, including:

  • The Occupational Health and Safety policy governing its workplace
  • A Safety Plan that describes the Operators Occupational Health and Safety Management System and sets out the procedures, practices, resources, sequence of key safety related activities and monitoring measures necessary to ensure the safety of the proposed work or activity
  • Bridging documents explaining how work will be coordinated with other parties in the workplace
  • Medical care plan
  • Training plan
  • Incident management plan
  • Severe weather plans
  • Contingency plans, including an emergency response plan
  • Proof of an established Workplace Committee
  • Any regulatory queries
  • A suite of technical operational safety related documents

The offshore oil and gas industry in the Canada-Nova Scotia offshore area operates in a permissive-based regime, meaning that the operators must apply for and receive authorization prior to beginning any work or activity. It’s our job to confirm that activities will comply with the applicable legislation before permitting an operator to begin offshore work.

All documents related to safety that are submitted in support of authorization applications must be acceptable to us prior to our issuance of an Activity Authorization.

Once we issue an authorization, our role moves to Monitoring and Compliance. We are responsible for regulating the various workplace parties to ensure they are taking all reasonable measures, including those specifically required in legislation, to ensure health and safety in the workplace throughout the lifecycle of the project. This also includes the health and safety of passengers being transported to and from those workplaces.

Our Monitoring and Compliance program is designed to ensure that operators comply with their documented plans and procedures, commitments, regulatory requirements and any conditions of approval/authorization that we may affix to protect the safety of offshore workers and to ensure safe operations during the lifecycle of their activity. Other workplace parties have legislated responsibilities as well and we interact directly with other employers, supervisors, service providers, employees and workplace committees to ensure compliance and to help foster the workplace safety culture. 

We have designated officers with the necessary authorities to address situations of regulatory noncompliance. Enforcement actions may include: facilitated compliance, issuance of orders, directives or notices, administrative monetary penalties, suspension or revocations of approvals and authorizations and/or prosecution.  

 Some of the tactics we use for monitoring and compliance include:

  • Regular safety compliance audits and inspections at offshore worksites and local offices
  • Meeting regularly with operator representatives and, where applicable, certifying authority representatives to discuss work activities being carried out, issues encountered and regulatory compliance matters
  • Review of reports that detail the status of work programs, along with other documentation, such as Workplace Committee Minutes
  • Mandatory incident reporting
  • Tracking and trends analysis of safety related incidents
  • Review of operator safety monitoring activities and the reports filed by operators on their performance. Reports are submitted to us daily, monthly, quarterly and yearly, depending upon the length of the work program.

Learn more about some of our health and safety focuses.

Our officers are responsible for assessing the health and safety management systems for proposed operations and activities, and conducting various monitoring activities throughout the lifecycle of offshore projects. Learn more here.

Safeguarding against physical and cyber threats is more important than ever. Learn more here.