WorkSafeBC inspecting wineries ahead of summer

‘We need to ensure these employers have updated and effective COVID-19 Safety Plans in place’

WorkSafeBC inspecting wineries ahead of summer
Inspections to take place ahead of summer re-opening.

WorkSafeBC will be visiting wineries, cideries, and craft breweries in British Columbia’s interior ahead of the summer.

The organization will conduct approximately 40 field inspections and 35 consultations in the sector over the next three weeks. The initiative will focus on establishments with tasting rooms that may see an increase in customers in the workplaces.

“With warmer weather here and summer fast approaching, these businesses will likely see increased activity in all three areas of their operations: agriculture, manufacturing, and customer visits,” said Al Johnson, head of prevention services at WorkSafeBC. “As the number of workers increases, manufacturing ramps up, and tasting rooms attract more visitors over the summer, we need to ensure these employers have updated and effective COVID-19 Safety Plans in place to protect their diverse workforces.”

Inspectors will check if COVID-19 Safety Plans are in place and implemented effectively, and controls are in place to protect workers from COVID-19 transmission.

“We want to ensure we are working with B.C. wineries, cideries and brew pubs in order to help these businesses prepare for a safe and successful summer,” said Johnson.

Previously, WorkSafeBC inspectors visited workplaces across the province ahead of the spring break and St. Patrick’s Day.

Since the beginning of 2021, WorkSafeBC has been conducting inspectional initiatives targeting specific industries. These initiatives are informed by WorkSafeBC risk assessments and employer effectiveness surveys, as well as COVID-19 claim numbers, information from B.C.’s health authorities, and seasonal and temporal factors.

As of May 8, 2021, WorkSafeBC has conducted 27,248 COVID-19-related inspections and 4,887 consultations. It has issued 3,099 COVID-19-related orders for health and safety violations.

WorkSafeBC has also received 34,755 COVID-19-related enquiries to its Prevention Information Line since the start of the pandemic.

To assist employers, WorkSafeBC has developed a resource available here.

In March, Ontario said that more small businesses are complying with COVID-19 safety requirements in the workplace.