On-Farm Inspection Initiative

We have partnered with the OHS Division of the Department of Labour and Advanced Education on an educational inspection initiative for the farm community.  In 2016, OHS identified farming as a priority industry and FSNS worked closely with OHS Division to develop a phased approach to compliance inspections.


We host an educational inspection on-farm and invite the farmers in the area to attend. It is a great forum for an initial introduction to OHS inspections. This session allows the group to share their questions, recommendations and concerns. These sessions are very generic in nature as they are intended as an introduction to the inspection process and OHS compliance.

The group does a walkabout of the farm, led by the farm owner and OHS Inspector, with periodic stops throughout to discuss areas of the farm. Attendees are encouraged to ask questions and share their troubleshooting ideas with others.

These workshops can be open to the farm community and advertised via FSNS or can be invite only at the discretion of the host farm.

Phase 1 Process

  1. A host farm is identified
  2. Inspection date is scheduled and advertised via FSNS
  3. FSNS does a pre-visit with the farm to determine the walkabout route of the workshop
  4. On-Farm Inspection Workshop hosted (with coffee and snacks!)
  5. Inspection report generated for host farm

FSNS will support the farm in reviewing and implementing report recommendations on request.

I want to host a workshop on my farm

Individual on-farm inspections are a bit more involved and remain educational in capacity. This inspection is specific for the individual farm and would involve a walk-about with the farm owner(s), any workers they wish to involve, the OHS Inspector and a representative of FSNS.

Phase 2 Process

  1. Farm identifies as being interested in a Phase 2 Inspection
  2. Inspection date is scheduled through FSNS
  3. Inspection takes place
  4. Inspection report generated for host farm

FSNS will support the farm in reviewing and implementing report recommendations on request.

I want a Phase 2 Inspection on my farm

Phase 3 will be traditional compliance inspections, which could result in orders and administrative penalties if warranted. Inspection priorities for this phase will be identified by OHS. FSNS will advise in the best interest of our members and will strive to ensure adequate resources are in place to support farms.

This is a similar approach to those that have worked well in other industries. Clients will be selected for inspection based upon risk of injury or risk of noncompliance. Examples could include farms which utilize temporary foreign workers, have confined spaces or high incident rates.

On-Farm Inspection Policy Information

There will be no orders or administrative penalties issued during educational inspections.  While we are conducting Phase 1 and 2 inspections there will be no traditional compliance inspections being conducted on farms. If you receive a compliance inspection please let us know so that we can support you and discuss with OHS.  There are some exceptions where compliance inspections may occur during the educational phases and include:

  • Farms with recent inspection history will be treated as per OHS Division policy.
  • Any incident will be investigated and treated as per OHS Division policy.
  • Any complaint will be investigated and treated as per OHS Division policy.
  • Farms identified as new businesses through the Nova Scotia Business Registry may receive an introductory visit.

Farming was selected based on OHS data on previous fatalities and because of its limited inspection history and risk of non-compliance.

The goal of the Division is to:

  • Educate the industry on OHS legislation
  • Improve compliance outcome – reduce non-compliance
  • Reduce injuries and fatalities
  • Build relationships
  • Encourage industry ownership to improve health and safety practices


  1. In The Know: Mental Health Literacy Training

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Contact Us

7 Atlantic Central Drive
East Mountain, N.S.
B6L 2Z2

o: 902-893-2293
f: 902-893-7036
e: info@farmsafetyns.ca


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