The Workplace Safety and Insurance System includes workers, employers, the agencies—Workers’ Advisers Program (WAP), Workers’ Compensation Appeals Tribunal (WCAT), Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) and the Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia (WCB)—and others who provide services in the System.
Our vision is safe, healthy workplaces for Nova Scotians, and sustainable safety and insurance services.
Our mission is to work together to help keep people healthy and safe at work, to insure against loss and to support workers’ rehabilitation. We strive to be fair, open and responsible in everything we do.
Our strategic goals are to:
- improve outcomes for workers and employers;
- improve service delivery;
- ensure effective governance of the System; and
- ensure financial sustainability of the System
Workers' Advisers Program
The Workers' Advisers Program is a legislated provincial government service. We are independent from the Workers' Compensation Board, and provide legal services to claimants under the Workers' Compensation Act.
At the WAP, we are responsible for the development, implementation and maintenance of a program to advise, assist and represent eligible injured workers who have been denied benefits under the Workers' Compensation Act.
Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Department of Labour, Skills & Immigration
The OHS Division operates within the Department of Labour and Workforce Development. Our proposed mission statement is to establish, promote and enforce clear standards to reduce occupational injury and illness.
The objectives of the OHS Division are to work with our partners to reduce the incidence of injury and illness of employees, improve the understanding of occupational health and safety standards by all workplace parties, and improve health and safety conditions in the workplace by means of research, education, inspection, investigation and enforcement of legislation.
Workers' Compensation Appeals Tribunal
The Workers' Compensation Appeals Tribunal ("WCAT" or "the Tribunal") was created under the Workers' Compensation Act in February, 1996. We are an external appeals agency, independent of the Workers’ Compensation Board.
The Tribunal hears and decides appeals from hearing officers—the final level of appeal at the Workers' Compensation Board. Appeals may be taken by workers or employers and may involve claims-related issues or employer assessment matters. We also have exclusive jurisdiction to determine whether the Act bars a right of action against employers.
Workers' Compensation Board of Nova Scotia
The Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) was established by the provincial government in 1917 as a workplace accident insurance agency having responsibility to administer the Workers' Compensation Act. The Act was designed to protect workers and employers from financial loss due to workplace injuries.
Late in 2002, we took on the role of providing prevention education, and now focus on promoting a culture of safety in the workplace. We also continue to provide insurance services, as appropriate.
The WCB is a no-fault agency, meaning that coverage does not depend on whether the worker or employer is at fault when an injury occurs. We insure both workers and employers. Workers may receive financial benefits, health-care benefits, rehabilitation services and return-to-work assistance when injured on the job. Employers are protected from incurring the full cost of injuries at their workplace and from lawsuits arising out of workplace injuries under the Workers' Compensation Act.