Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Office of the Worker Counsellor?

The Office of the Worker Counsellor was established by the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour in 2009 to provide assistance, education and advocacy for workers dealing with the workers compensation or occupational health and safety systems in this province. The NS Fed receives funding from the WCB to operate the program. We have three people on staff.  Kim Tanner is our Administrative Assistant, and she is usually the first person you’ll speak with when you call.   Dean Tupper and Rachel Barbour are the “Worker Counsellors” who provide advice and assistance. Contact us if you have any questions.

What does the Office of the Worker Counsellor do?

The Office of the Worker Counsellor provides Assistance, Education and Advocacy relating to WCB and OH&S in Nova Scotia. Assistance:
  • We assist anyone in Nova Scotia deal with the Workers Compensation Board (WCB) or the Occupational Health and Safety Division (OH&S).
  • Sometimes it’s as simple as answering your questions.  Other times we may attend meetings, make calls, or write letters on your behalf.   Contact us and we’ll see what we can to do help.
  • We have a terrific catalogue of workshops that we offer to union or community groups that want to learn more about WCB or OH&S.
  • Contact us to discuss your needs or interests!
  • We want to see improvements to the WCB and OH&S systems in Nova Scotia.  We work with the WCB and the Department of Labour to advocate for changes that will improve the lives of workers in this province.
  • Contact us if you have thoughts or ideas about how WCB and OH&S could be improved.

Do I have to pay for your assistance?

NO!  Our services are always entirely free of charge.

Are you part of WCB?

Our organization is operated and managed by the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour.  We are not part of the Workers’ Compensation Board. You should know that the NS Fed does receive funding from the Workers Compensation Board to operate our organization.   But we are entirely independent from the WCB, and we are here to assist workers.

Are you lawyers?

No. The Office of the Worker Counsellor doesn’t have any lawyers on staff.  That means we don’t provide legal advice or opinions, or represent people in appeals or at court. Our staff is very experienced and knowledgeable about workers compensation and occupational health and safety.   We’re here to provide lay advice to help guide you through the system. But if you want a legal opinion, representation or advice, you should contact a lawyer yourself.

Do you keep my information confidential?

We take your privacy very seriously.  With very few exceptions we won’t share anything with anyone else unless we have your permission to do so. With your permission we can contact WCB on your behalf.  We will share information with them in order to support your claim. If you have concerns, you are welcome to contact us anonymously.  This can make it more difficult for us to assist, but we’ll always do our very best. It’s important that you know there are some circumstances that we can’t keep private, no matter what.  If we believe there is a risk you may harm yourself we will report those threats to keep you safe.  As well, if you make threats towards someone else – for example WCB or an employee there - we must report them to WCB and/or the appropriate authorities.

Still Have Questions?

Please feel free to call, visit, write or email us, that’s why we’re here.