‘We want to ensure employers and workers are again ready for a potential increase in people coming to their workplaces’
WorkSafeBC will have an increased presence at workplaces across British Columbia ahead of the coming spring break and St. Patrick’s Day.
The agency will focus primarily on overnight and short-term accommodation, food and leisure services, amusement facilities, sports and entertainment facilities, ski hills, and golf courses.
It will also be inspecting bars, pubs and restaurants ahead of St. Patrick’s Day on March 17.
“With spring break and St. Patrick’s Day both taking place this month, we want to ensure employers and workers are again ready for a potential increase in people coming to their workplaces,” said Al Johnson, head of prevention services for WorkSafeBC. “We’re reminding businesses to make sure they have an up-to-date COVID-19 safety plan in place, that it’s understood by all staff, and that it’s being implemented effectively.”
In spring of last year, WorkSafeBC worked with employer groups to develop protocols for more than 30 industries to operate safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As of March 5, WorkSafeBC had conducted 24,221 workplace inspections and 4,494 consultations related to COVID-19. It has issued 2,232 orders for health and safety violations.
Workers or employers who would like to request a consultation can call WorkSafeBC’s Prevention Information Line, toll-free, at 1.888.621.7233.
Ontario has also been carrying out workplace inspections to ensure workers and customers are properly protected from COVID-19.
WorkSafeBC also reminded all employers to have a COVID-19 Safety Plan that assesses risks to workers and implement measures to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in the workplace. The plan must be reviewed and updated as conditions change, it said. WorkSafeBC developed the resource Reviewing and updating your COVID-19 safety plan: A guide for employers, available at worksafebc.com, to help out employers.
“The vast majority of businesses in B.C. are taking COVID-19 safety very seriously and want to be in compliance,” said Johnson. “But we’ve also seen some employers let their safety plan become dated — where it no longer reflects the latest PHO orders or changing conditions — and this is an important focus area for our prevention officers.”
In November 2020, B.C. required that medical or non-medical masks that cover the nose and mouth be worn in indoor public places.
In January this year, WorkSafeBC released a new guidebook to help employers prevent slips, trips and falls in the workplace.