Indoor Air Quality Regulations
UPdate Fall 1999
I have been frustrated by serving on a joint labour-management working group which has been trying for three years to develop and finalize a first-ever Indoor Air Quality regulation under the Nova Scotia Occupational Health and Safety Act. The whole process of reviewing draft regulations has been stalled with a crisis over appointments of labour representatives to the Nova Scotia Occupational Health and Safety Advisory Council.
As far as I can tell, our draft regulation has been on hold with the Advisory Council since last September, and may be for some time to come. Should we dispair? It is tempting, but I did recently receive some good news about the draft regulation. I was advised informally by a staff person with the Department of Labour that it is being used as a guideline with employers even though the regulation (or a revised version of it) is not yet in force.
While by no means a final solution, this gives me some hope that maybe our efforts were not totally in vain. To me, this suggests that anyone could try to use the draft regulation as a kind of checklist of what should be considered by any employer, or any owner or operator of a public facility, or what we called in the draft, a "non-industrial workplace" in terms of indoor air quality.
this mean? To me, a list of possible issues or questions could be
used or presented at any time, drawing from the draft regulation,
such as the following:
Will these various questions guarantee acceptable indoor air quality? Not necessarily, but if they (and probably, others) became part of our way of thinking about indoor air quality, we might begin to make some real progress.
Public pressure will probably still be needed to ensure the new regulation is finally approved as well as fully implemented and enforced. With the new provincial government this might be a good time for people to push for change. But maybe we can all do what we can in the meantime to get the spirit, if not the content, of the draft regulation to be put in place.
Ian Johnson is a labour
representative with the Nova Scotia Working Group on