OHS Insider Month in Review – October 2017: British Columbia



Workers’ Compensation
Sept. 29: Buoyed by low claims costs and strong investment returns, WorkSafeBC has proposed a 10¢ drop in 2018 average premiums to $1.55 per $100 assessable payroll. Rates are expected to go down for 63% of employers, up for 26% and stay the same for 11%.

Rate Cuts Rate Hikes Flat Rates

Local Government

Comm/Resid Construction

Oil Refining


General Retail

Auto Dealership


Dairy Farming



Const/General Labour Supply

Multimedia Services


Occupational Therapy


Pre-Hospital Emergency Care

Community Health Support

Veterinary Hospital

Auto Parts Supply


Alcohol/Drug Treat Centres

Consulting Engineering

Aviation School

Financial Services

Graphic Design

Law Offices

Chambers of Commerce

Prefab Log Home Kit Mfg.



Materials Handling
Oct.: WorkSafeBC still hasn’t issued guidelines for the new OHS regulations for storage racks that, effective Jan. 1, 2018, require employers to ensure that storage racks f 2.4 metres or higher are:

  • Capable of safely supporting items stored
  • Designed and constructed in accordance with good engineering practice
  • Used in accordance with the specifications and instructions of the manufacturer or a professional engineer
  • Installed by a qualified person.

Drugs & Alcohol
Oct. 12: Official confirmation that BC is experiencing a drug problem came in the way of statistics showing 1,013 overdose deaths so far this year, as compared to 547 through the first 8 months of 2016. Fentanyl, an ingredient associated with cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines, was detected in over 80% of deaths, a year-over-year increase of 151%.  A contaminated drug supply is contributing to the fatality problem, authorities say.

Spill Response
Oct. 2: Tough new liquid petroleum spill response regulations took effect. Highlights:

  • Spill contingency plans mandatory for pipelines and rail and trucking operations transporting over 10,000 litres
  • Owner and transporter liable for full cost of response and recovery
  • New requirements for tests and drills
  • Beefed up spill response recordkeeping requirements.

Shoulder Dislocations
Sept. 18: WorkSafeBC is revisiting its longstanding policy on coverage of shoulder dislocations in light of a new report questioning the scientific validity of the assumptions it’s based on. Deadline to comment: Jan. 12, 2018.