Labour federation demands more application of Westray Law in N.S.

HALIFAX, N.S. – The president of the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour (NSFL) is speaking out about the lack of criminal investigations of workplace fatalities in the province. According to a Sept. 29 press release from the Federation, recent occupational deaths have failed to spur application of the Westray Law, a provision in the federal Criminal Code that imposes an obligation pursue criminal charges against employers in such incidents. “In the past 13 years, only four employers have been prosecuted under the Westray Law,” NSFL president Danny Cavanagh said in a media statement. “We believe that this lack of enforcement is costing lives, and too many workplace fatalities are never properly investigated, and only a handful have resulted in criminal charges.” Cavanagh urged employer organizations in Nova Scotia to work with the NSFL to ensure that police investigation workplace fatalities and lay criminal charges when warranted. “When criminal negligence results in a worker’s death, it is a crime and should be treated that way.”

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