New Legislation to Come into Force: Will Ensure Highest Standards of Safety for Offshore Workers
OTTAWA, Dec. 18, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Greg Rickford, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, together with the Honourable Tony Cornect, Minister of Service NL, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Honourable Kelly Regan, Minister of Labour and Advanced Education, Government of Nova Scotia, today announced that new occupational health and safety provisions for Canada's Atlantic offshore will come into force on December 31, 2014. The federal Offshore Health and Safety Act received Royal Assent on June 19, 2014, with the Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador provincial Acts having received Royal Assent in 2013.
The federal and provincial legislation, referred to as the Accord Acts in each offshore area, strengthens Canada's already robust offshore regulatory system by ensuring the highest standards for worker safety, environmental protection and management of petroleum resources.
The amendments to the Canada-Nova Scotia and the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Accord Acts clarify the roles and responsibilities of operators, governments, employers, employees and regulators. They also provide clear and specific enforcement powers for occupational health and safety and new inspection and investigation provisions. Additionally, the amendments will ensure that the occupational health and safety regime applies to workers in transit to, from or between offshore platforms.
The legislation places clear authority for occupational health and safety within each Accord Act. While occupational health and safety regulations are being developed to support the legislation, transitional regulations will apply.
The legislative amendments are the result of extensive collaboration between the Governments of Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia. The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board and the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board will continue to administer the legislation and regulations on behalf of the federal and provincial governments.
- Canada's offshore petroleum production accounts for 25 percent of light crude output (or six percent of Canada's annual total crude output) and one percent of annual average natural gas output.
- Activities in the Canada–Newfoundland and Labrador offshore area accounted for about 28 percent of the nominal provincial GDP in 2012. Newfoundland and Labrador has received $8.4 billion in royalties from the Canada–Newfoundland and Labrador offshore area and Nova Scotia has received $2 billion in royalties from the Canada–Nova Scotia offshore area.
"The Offshore Health and Safety Act enshrines in law the highest standards of safety for Canadians working in the offshore oil and gas industries. Our Government is working in partnership with provincial governments to create jobs and economic growth in Atlantic Canada by ensuring that our offshore oil and gas resources are developed in a way that is safe for Canadians and safe for the environment."
Canada's Minister of Natural Resources
"As Minister responsible for occupational health and safety in Newfoundland and Labrador, I'm pleased these enhancements to the Atlantic Accord will strengthen the occupational health and safety regime for the offshore oil and gas industry in the province. The amendments are tailored to the offshore working environment and incorporate fundamental OHS principles including a worker's right to refusal, a worker's right to know and a worker's right to reprisal protection for raising health and safety concerns. I'm also pleased that the legislation clearly allocates responsibility among operators, employers, workers and suppliers on matters related to health and safety."
Tony Cornect, Minister of Service NL, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
"Nova Scotia is committed to improving occupational health and safety standards and regulations in the offshore. This legislation is a significant step forward for the safety of offshore workers."
Kelly Regan, Minister of Labour and Advanced Education, Government of Nova Scotia
SOURCE: Natural Resources Canada
For further information: Natural Resource Canada: Alexandra Lemieux, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister, Natural Resources Canada, 613-996-2007; Media Relations, Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, 613-992-4447; The general public may contact: Mon.-Fri., 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. EST, Telephone: 613-995-0947, TTY: 613-996-4397, (teletype for the hearing-impaired), E-mail: [email protected]; Follow us on Twitter: @NRCan (http://twitter.com/nrcan); Newfoundland and Labrador: Vanessa Colman-Sadd, Director of Communications, Service NL, 709-729-4860, 682-6593, [email protected]; Diana Quinton, Director of Communications, Department of Natural Resources, 709-729-5282, 631-8155, [email protected]; Nova Scotia: Kyla Friel, Media Relations Advisor, Department of Energy, 902-424-1757, [email protected]