In his fall report, Jacques Lapointe said Labour Department inspectors need to do a better job of following up after identifying safety issues.
Lapointe said only a small fraction of employers in Nova Scotia were given tickets for safety violations over a one-year period, despite missing deadlines.
At the time, Labour Minister Kelly Regan agreed her department had to be more consistent in enforcing its rules.
Regan says the 12 positions are in addition to five new safety inspectors announced last year and will focus on education, enforcement and compliance in the workplace.
The number of workplace fatalities from traumatic injuries in Nova Scotia jumped to 10 in 2012-13, up from six during the same period a year earlier.