WORKSAFEBC said on Tuesday it is conducting enhanced COVID-19 inspections and consultations at workplaces in the Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health regions as cases of COVID-19 continue to rise.
“The focus of our inspections is to ensure employers are effectively implementing measures to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in the workplace, including health screenings,” said Al Johnson, Head of Prevention Services for WorkSafeBC. “We are urging employers to stay vigilant, including revisiting their existing COVID-19 Safety Plan and updating it as conditions change.”
Workplaces identified as having the highest risk for COVID-19 transmission are being prioritized for inspections. This includes workplaces where it is difficult to maintain physical distance, where workers interact with large numbers of people, and where workers come into frequent contact with shared surfaces, tools and equipment.
To supplement the inspections, WorkSafeBC is also increasing its ongoing consultations with employers about COVID-19 so they can effectively identify and manage COVID-19 exposure risks in the workplace. And new information and resources are being added to the WorkSafeBC website at worksafebc.com.
“Workplace health and safety are essential in protecting workers and keeping businesses open,” says Johnson. “Employers need to ensure their COVID-19 plan is effective, that it’s followed to the letter, and that it’s applied to all aspects of the workplace.”
These enhanced workplace inspections and consultations are consistent with new orders and guidance from the Provincial Health Officer aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health regions. WorkSafeBC is working collaboratively with both the Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health authorities to ensure alignment, including joint inspections with regional health officers.
WorkSafeBC will also soon be launching a multi-channel, multi-language public awareness campaign across social media, television and digital media which reminds workers and employers to remain vigilant, to follow their COVID-19 Safety Plan and to update those plans as needed.
* WorkSafeBC has conducted more than 18,000 workplace inspections and over 3,000 consultations related to COVID-19 throughout the province, as of October 30, 2020.
* As part of these inspections, a total of 667 orders have been issued to employers for health and safety violations.
* WorkSafeBC has responded to approx. 20,000 enquiries to its Prevention Information Line about COVID-19.