Blog Post #749 – Study Probes Fracking

Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine

Nova Scotia is commissioning a review on the health, social, economic and environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing.

Commonly known as “fracking”, the process involves pumping fluid or gas down a well to fracture rock below ground to access natural gas. “We have heard from Nova Scotians that they want to have their say and that review should be independent of government; we’ve listened on both counts,” Department of Energy Minister Charlie Parker said on August 28, 2013.

The review will be headed by Cape Breton University president Dr. David Wheeler. He will select members for the hydraulic fracturing advisory panel, which will include experts from oil and gas engineering, environmental planning and water quality and health. The panel is expected to begin its work by the early fall of 2013.

Dr. Wheeler says he is pleased to establish what role, if any, fracking may play in Nova Scotia’s future energy security and what regulatory or social policies would facilitate or negate such developments. “Our panel will be rigorously independent and evidence-led, and I look forward to engaging with Nova Scotians again on setting the highest possible standards and ambitions for our province’s sustainable energy future,” he notes in the statement.

The review came more than two years after provincial staff began an internal fracking review in the spring of 2011 to gather industry best practices and identify potential environmental issues.

My opinion

The mining industry has so much to think about; Labour issues, environmental issues, social issues, and especially health and safety issues for both the workforce as well as any surrounding general public. It is a balancing act I would not want to contend with.

The government of Nova Scotia seems to have listened to the people when they developed the independent panel. Dr. Wheeler seemed a perfect choice in this matter. Mind you, the government of Nova Scotia, I believe, learned its lesson with the Westray mining accident fiasco. Much could have been done back then too but the government at the time chose to ignore safety for profits and 26 coal miners lost their lives.

Let us hope that something good came out of all this and the fracturing industry identifies, assesses and controls all associated hazards dealing with “Fracking” and policies with governmental oversight. Nova Scotia cannot survive another Westray accident, no one can.

Remember – In Canada, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Due Diligence’, Mining Safety Awareness’ and ‘Standard Operating Procedures’. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.

We can also be reached at 

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

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