What to expect during a WorkSafeBC inspection.
Latest Update - April 8th, 2021: From April 12th, a workplace that has workers testing positive for COVID-19, and public health confirming transmission has occurred in the work environment, may be ordered to close for a minimum of 10 days. For larger workplaces, the closure may be restricted to the locations where transmission has occurred.
WorkSafeBC regularly inspects workplaces to ensure they follow health and safety guidelines. WorkSafeBC officers may call or visit your business unannounced to evaluate the steps you are taking to protect workers and operate safely during COVID-19.
Officers will ask to see your COVID-19 Safety Plan to help them assess your health and safety measures, including:
- Protocols you have implemented to reduce the risk
- Policies you have developed to address illness in the workplace
- How you are communicating with and training your staff
- What you are doing to monitor and update your health and safety plans
What could happen if your business has no Safety Plan?
Employers have a responsibility to ensure a healthy and safe workplace. Workers in B.C. have the right to refuse work if they believe their role places them at increased risk of exposure to COVID-19 and adequate controls are not in place to protect them from that exposure.
The first step for workers is to inform their employer, as recommended by the WorkSafe BC guidelines to refusing unsafe work.
If the matter is not resolved, the worker and employer must contact the WorkSafeBC Prevention Information Line at 1-888-621-7233. If required, a prevention officer will be assigned to assess the health and safety risk.
Violation tickets for unsafe COVID-19 behaviour
Businesses can be reported by a customer or someone else for violations. People are encouraged to contact their local government’s bylaw office. Local bylaw officers can help follow up on concerns, and engage police departments and WorkSafe BC as necessary.
On August 21st, 2020, B.C. introduced new measures to enforce COVID-19 public safety. Under the Emergency Program Act (EPA), people who organize large, unsafe gatherings or ignore provincial health orders relating to mass gatherings and events can be issued a fine or violation ticket of either $200 or $2,000.
On November 19th, 2020, the B.C. government updated Violation tickets for unsafe COVID-19 behaviour.