Winter  2016  

Does Safety Fit in Your Strategic Plan?

Have you ever given thought to name 'Safety' as a Value, a Strategic Direction, a Goal or part of your Mission?
Many organizations talk about valuing safety, but only the best have a well-defined safety strategy. What are the key ingredients of an effective safety strategy?

Regardless of the business focus, a strategy is a framework of choices and plans to deliver value and be successful. To create a comprehensive safety strategy, several key elements are necessary.
1.    Define Your Success - Zero injuries? Best safety record? Excellence in safety and injury prevention?

2.    Leading Safety - Do your organizational leaders lead and manage safety? Is safety a core competency in all manager/worker roles? Do you have a designated OHS safety professional role?

3.    Create a Safety Road Map - Before going on the journey, be clear on the direction you aim to take. A strategy to meet or exceed regulatory compliance is much different than one focusing on a culture of excellence. Create measures and targets to help evaluate progress.
4.    Integrate Safety in all Services/Programs - A effective strategy requires alignment among the many activities, goals and plans of the organization. What programs or activities do you need to start, modify or stop? Does the safety strategy support or hinder the overall business strategy?
5.    Communication - Talk about and promote the importance of safety at all levels of the organization -  everyone plays a part - safety is both a core competency and core value. 

Strategy sets the course for the organization and defines success.  My wish and hope is that every organization will place safety as high importance within your strategy.

Yours in safety,
Susan Dempsey, Exe cutive Director, AWARE-NS
Promoting Compliance with OHS Regulations in Long Term Care

Department of Labour and Advanced Education has been  working closely with a range of partners, including  WCB, AWARE-NS, the Department of Health and Wellness, HANS, and others to address health and safety issues in the healthcare sector.  Part of this work has been focused on reducing injuries and time loss as a result of injuries  with a particular focus  related to activities like patient lifting, transferring and re-positioning.  

In the coming months, Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) officers will visit a select number of long-term care facilities across the province. The purpose of these visits will be to promote compliance with the OHS Act and Regulations, and to raise awareness of musculoskeletal injury (MSI) prevention Results of these visits will help guide efforts in educating workers on safety that can positively contribute to injury prevention, and improve the overall health and safety of those working in the healthcare industry. Compliance  Orders could be issued, however, the main objective is to ensure everyone in the workplace knows their rights and responsibilities.
How does your organization prepare?

You  can access information and resources on the key components of a safe resident handling program on the AWARE-NS website:
Questions? Please contact  Occupational Health and Safety staff at 1-800-952-2687 or email us at 
or AWARE-NS 902-832-3868 or



Exciting Changes to our Online Learning

We have been working to develop an automated certificate generator once the modules are completed correctly. We are very happy to announce that it is now live!
Everything will remain the same in the way the modules are accessed and completed, however, instead of AWARE-NS mailing a certificate to you, one will be automatically generated to download so that you may print it for yourself.


We can still accommodate groups who complete online modules together. Just contact for any questions.


Stay tuned for new modules coming soon! 

Workplace Violence Prevention: How to Get your Program Started  
Nova Scotia's Violence in the Workplace regulations prescribe specific requirements to do a risk assessment and implement a workplace violence prevention plan.  A Provincial working group developed Steps for Safety- Prevention of Workplace Violence as a consolidated resource of the best practices and tools for use in health care and community services. 
There are 6 steps in the program:
Step 1: Program Review & Perception Survey
Step 2: Leadership & Risk Assessment
Step 3: Policies & Procedures
Step 4: Reporting, Investigating & Documenting
Step 5: Education & Awareness
Step 6: Best Practices (coming soon)
To date WCB and our partners at AWARE NS have offered 3 workshops around the Province but we know some of you are finding it challenging to get started in implementing the program.
JOIN us, to have a "hands on" session to assess where you are and to help support you moving forward. 
Click on the link below to register or RSVP.
This session is specific for Administrators and/or those Managers that are directly accountable for the violence prevention program.

To maximize on this session, we would ask that you bring along with you:
  • Violence Policy
  • Applicable Procedures (Incident investigation)
  • Incident report form
  • Risk Assessment
Optional, yet would be really helpful:
  • Laptop
  • Injury stats on violence
  • Current training plan
Louise Barker, B.Sc., M.PP.A.L., CRSP | Relationship Manager
Health and Social Services

Heather Matthews | Occupational Health & Safety Specialist 
Did you know that AWARE-NS is active on social media?
Connect with us!

Like us on Facebook


201 Brownlow Avenue, Unit 1 Dartmouth, B3B 1W2

Phone 1-877-LETS-ACT (538-7228)  Local Phone 1-902-832-3868 
Fax 1-902-832-3445

Social Enterprise


The Best of Cape Breton Gift Shop is a proud social enterprise of Breton Ability Centre, which offers meaningful employment opportunities to persons with varying abilities.

The Best of Cape Breton Gift Shop, located in beautiful downtown Sydney Nova Scotia, offers hundreds of unique gift ideas made in and related to Cape Breton and the Maritimes. We specialize in custom gift baskets for businesses, organizations and special events! Shop online at 

Classroom Registration


Invitations to our in-class training have a new look and feel. The invitations will be coming through Constant Contact with the ability to click on the link to register for each course. 

You can also access the links to all of our classroom training registration through our website here


Upcoming Events

Make sure to check the Training calendar for regular updates.




Online Learning


New Courses...
WHMIS 2015 (GHS)

NS OHS Act and Regulations
(for JOHS committee

Steps for Safety- Preventing Workplace Violence