Action plan to improve workers safety makes progress

WorkSafeBC has implemented 29 of the 43 recommendations.

Significant progress has been made on WorkSafeBC’s review and action plan to improve workers safety in the province.

WorkSafeBC has implemented 29 of the 43 recommendations in the action plan, according to the ministry of jobs, tourism and skills training and responsible for labour,

WorkSafeBC’s board of directors appointed Gordon Macatee to develop the plan following the 2012 sawmill tragedies in Burns Lake and Prince George.

All 43 recommendations were accepted by government and WorkSafeBC last year. In addition to the 29 recommendations already implemented, two more are in progress and on track.

On Feb. 11, 2015, Bill 9 – the workers compensation amendment act, 2015 – was introduced to strengthen WorkSafeBC’s ability to enforce occupational health and safety compliance in B.C. workplaces.

The final sections of Bill 9 will come into force through an order-in-council (OIC) passed on Aug. 4, 2015.

According to the ministry of jobs, the OIC finalizes government’s commitment to implement the recommendations, building on a number of improvements made since the report’s release. These actions further strengthen WorkSafeBC’s ability to enforce occupational health and safety regulations and ensure a world-class inspection and enforcement regime.

The sections of Bill 9 being brought into force by OIC include establishing two new enforcement tools for WorkSafeBC – a compliance agreement to help employers comply with workplace safety rules more quickly, and a new administrative penalty that can be issued on the spot like a ticket for employer contraventions of more minor safety regulations.

It is up to WorkSafeBC now to develop the necessary regulations for this penalty that will come into effect at a later date.

In addition, two new positions are being created with occupational health and safety and law enforcement expertise on the WorkSafeBC board of directors.

A new regulation will also reduce the time limit to request a review of a WorkSafeBC decision or order related to occupational health and safety matters from 90 to 45 days. Macatee’s action plan recommended a shorter time frame to enhance timeliness and effectiveness of penalties and occupational health and safety orders.

According to the ministry of jobs, government’s recent amendments to the workers compensation act, culminating with this OIC, pave the way for the remaining 12 recommendations to be completed.

Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, said workplace safety is a priority for the government.

“We want workers coming home to their families each and every day,” she said. “The Bill 9 amendments to the workers compensation act mean that changes are being implemented that will improve workplace safety and ensure that WorkSafeBC has a world-class inspection and investigations regime.”

“These legislative changes establish a balanced enforcement system that is fair to employers, but also treats seriously those offenders who utilize unsafe work practices,” she added.

Macatee’s action plan is expected to be fully implemented by early 2016.

 

Just Posted

Man sustains minor injuries after motorcycle crash

A motorcycle driver was taken to hospital with minor injuries after he… Continue reading

Burns Lake celebrates Aboriginal Day

Burns Lake kicked off Aboriginal Day on June 21 with a parade… Continue reading

B.C. oil tanker ban squeaks through final vote in Senate

Bill C-48 bars oil tankers from loading at ports on B.C’s north coast

Snow covers southern B.C. highway

Burns Lake residents might not be happy about the cooler temperatures this… Continue reading

Community targets VQO rules amid fire safety concerns

Wildfire season is upon us in northern British Columbia, and some Burns… Continue reading

Protesters rally in Victoria over newly approved Trans Mountain pipeline

The Still No Consent! No Trans Mountain! 20 kilometre march will end at Island View Beach

Wildfire burning in coastal forest

A fire beside the Sea to Sky Highway is burning up a steep slope

PHOTOS: Event marks one year since soccer team rescued from Thai cave

Nine players and coach took part in marathon and bike event to help improve conditions at cave

Rock climber dies after fall at Stawamus Chief in Squamish

The man had fallen about 30 metres while climbing in the Grand Wall area

Five B.C. students taken to hospital after playing with vaping device

School district said students were taken to hospital ‘out of an abundance of caution’

Being a pot dealer is not what it used to be

Sunday Big Read: the business of selling marijuana in B.C. is a slow bureaucratic slog

VIDEO: Two more pride flags have been stolen from Langley woman

Lisa Ebenal was “angry” and “fed up” after the latest theft. Then people started showing suppport

B.C. couple who has raised 58 children turns to community amid cancer diagnosis

Family who raised, fostered and adopted many kids hoping to gain some precious together time to fight cancer

Canucks acquire forward J.T. Miller from Lightning

J.T. Miller, 26, had 13 goals and 34 assists for the Lightning last season

Most Read