The province is seeking input on new regulations that will modernize the rules of conduct for crane operators and make it easier for businesses to operate in Nova Scotia. The new crane operators regulations will allow more flexibility without compromising safety, and aim to improve the labour market in the crane operation industry. The Department of Labour and Workforce Development encourages comments and suggestions from industry representatives and other interested groups, during a consultation beginning today, Oct. 22, and ending Dec. 8. A consultation paper outlining key regulatory changes will be circulated to industry representatives and posted on the department’s website. “In order to recruit and retain a highly skilled, competitive and mobile workforce in Nova Scotia, we must maintain a high safety standard in workplaces throughout the province,” said Mark Parent, Minister of Labour and Workforce Development. “These regulations will work to achieve that goal, while at the same time attracting world-class business to the province. “We look forward to working with industry representatives and other interested parties to gather their suggestions and opinions during our consultations.” The revised regulations allow for new technology, provide flexibility to achieve crane operators licences, and work to accurately reflect the lifting capacity of cranes that are subject to regulation. The review of the regulations is part of phase one of changes to the province’s technical safety legislation. During this phase, the Technical Safety Act will consolidate the Steam Boilers and Pressure Vessels Act, and the Crane Operators and Power Engineers Act, and become the enabling legislation for the fuel safety regulations. The legislation will bring clearer responsibilities, wording, accountability, and consistent language. It will also allow for a more streamlined appeal process, and replace the advisory committees with one advisory board. The Technical Safety Act is intended to replace the Crane Operators and Power Engineers Act in early 2009, and revised regulations will be required. It is also in keeping with the province’s Better Regulation Initiative, which works to improve regulation and create a competitive business climate that supports business while ensuring the protection of public health and safety, a clean environment and safe workplaces. The new regulations will also provide increased flexibility by eliminating unnecessary and outdated requirements.