LAWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
July 1: New OHS first aid attendant training requirements took effect. While current certifications will remain valid through expiration date, applicants seeking new or renewed certification must complete the new training requirements to get a first aid attendant certificate.
BC OHS Regulatory Changes Made or on Tap for 2018-2019
|Part of OHS Regulation||Expected Change(s)||Status/Expected Action Date|
|Part 4 General Conditions||Hazard identification & risk assessment to be required in all workplaces, not just designated high-risk workplaces||Public hearings on proposed changes in 2019|
|Part 4, Secs. 4.81 and 4.82||Extend duty to control exposure to environmental tobacco smoke to e-cigarettes||Public hearings on proposed changes in 2018|
|Part 5 Chemical Agents and Biological Agents||Full review of combustible dust requirements||TBD|
|Part 5 Chemical Agents and Biological Agents||Housekeeping: change “principal contractor” to “prime contractor” to ensure consistent terminology between Act and regulations||Public hearings on proposed changes in 2018|
|Part 6 Substance Specific Requirements, Secs. 6.42-6.58||Update cytotoxic drugs requirements, which were created 20 years ago||Public hearings on proposed changes in 2019|
|Part 6, Secs. 6.89 and 6.90||Update Restricted entry intervals (REIs), i.e., minimum time required between time a pesticide is applied and time people can enter the area without protective clothing and equipment based on recent changes to regulatory and pesticide industry standards||Public hearings on proposed changes in 2019|
|Part 8 PPE, Sec. 8.11||Update safety headgear requirements and references to voluntary standards cited in Regulation||Changes took effect June 2018|
|Part 8, Secs. 8.14-8.18||Update eye and face protection requirements and references to CSA and ANSI standards cited in Regulation||Changes took effect June 2018|
|8. Part 8 and Part 18 Traffic Control, Secs. 8.24 and 18.9(b)||Update high-visibility apparel requirements and references to standards cited in Regulation and require selection to be based on a comprehensive WCB Standard Personal Protective Equipment Standard 2-1997, High Visibility Garment (“WCB PPE 2- 1997”)||Public hearings on proposed changes in 2019|
|Part 12 Tools, Machinery and Equipment, multiple sections||Incorporate CSA standards and adopt other changes to be determined by comprehensive review, first since Reg. was adopted in 1998||Public hearings on proposed changes in 2019|
|Part 16 Mobile Equipment||Changes to be determined by comprehensive review all of Part 16||Public hearings on proposed changes end Oct. 10, 2018|
|Part 17 Confined Spaces||Full review of Part 17||TBD|
|Part 18 Traffic Control, multiple sections||Harmonize rules with Ministry of Transportation 2015 Interim Traffic Management Manual for Work on Roadways||Public hearings on proposed changes in 2019|
|Part 20 Construction, Excavation and Demolition, Secs. 20.17-20.26||Clarify responsibilities of employers and professional engineers regarding concrete formwork, falsework and reshoring||Changes took effect June 2018|
|Part 20 Construction, Excavation and Demolition||Require training for concrete pump operators to a specific standard including an assessment of competency, as requested by BC Ready-Mixed Concrete Association||TBD|
|Part 21 Blasting Operations, multiple sections||Update blasting equipment and practice requirements to keep in step with industries which use explosives and eliminate
conflicts between Reg. and federal Explosives Act and Explosives Regulations
|Changes took effect June 2018|
|Part 24 Diving, Fishing and Other Marine Operations||New requirement that crewmembers of commercial fishing vessels wear PFDs or lifejackets when working on deck even if guardrails, personal fall protection systems or safety nets are in place||Changes took effect June 2018—Prevention Manual policy revisions reviewed until Oct. 2018|
|Part 26 Forestry Operations and Similar Activities, multiple sections||New requirements for arborists based on ANSI Z133-2012 Standard for Safety Requirements in Arboricultural Operations||Public hearings on proposed changes in 2019|
Source: WorkSafeBC, 2017 – 2019 Regulatory Amendment Workplan
July 19: From now thru Oct. 10, WorkSafeBC will take comments on its proposed overhaul of OHS Reg. Part 16 Mobile Equipment. The changes are comprehensive affecting every part of the Reg. New requirements:
- Tilt deck on a trailer or prime mover must have device capable of blocking empty tilt deck in raised position
- Mobile equipment subject to high voltage contact must be removed from service until qualified person inspects and makes the necessary repairs
- Feller bunchers, timber harvesters and timber processors at risk of rollover must have powered cutting tool attached to inside cab for use as emergency means of escape + a 40B:C (or better) fire extinguisher attached to outside of cab.
July 26: From now thru Oct. 12, you can comment on proposed revisions to WorkSafeBC’s Prevention Manual, Part 24—Diving, Fishing and Other Marine Operations. Unlike the Mobile Equipment revisions above, this revision is mostly cosmetic and designed to simplify and streamline including via retirement of 18 of the policies contained in current Part 24.
Sept. 15: Consultations end on proposed changes to the Certificate of Recognition program which offers workers’ comp financial incentives to employers that voluntarily meet safety standards that are more rigorous than OHS requirements. Key changes on the table:
- Increase minimum financial incentives from $500 or 50% of premiums to $1,000 or 75% of premiums
- Specification that financial incentive will apply to the employer’s account if the employer has an outstanding account balance for over 30 days
- Requirement that all certification audits be conducted by an external auditor.
July 17: WorkSafeBC modified its claims policies to incorporate the new Bill 9 law making PTSD and other mental disorders experienced by police officers, firefighters, emergency medical assistants, sheriffs and corrections officers presumably work-related for purposes of workers’ comp coverage. Under previous policies, such mental disorders were covered only when they were an acute reaction to a traumatic workplace event.
July 16: WorkSafeBC announced that the preliminary average base rate for 2019 will be the same as it was for 2018, i.e., 1.55% per $100 of assessable payroll. According to agency projections, industry base rates will decrease for 51% of employers, increase for 47% and stay the same for 2%.
June 28: BC published a summary of its environmental enforcement actions for the final 6 months of 2017:
- 28 orders
- 176 administrative sanctions
- 1,593 tickets for violations
- 11 administrative penalties
- 46 court convictions
- $715,000 in penalties.
July 5: A new report outlines the accomplishments of the BC Crown Contaminated Sites over the past 2 years:
- 87 sites investigated
- Remediation completed at 19 sites
- Investigation and remediation ongoing at 15 sites.
July 4: Of 30 fish processing facilities inspected, 72% were found to be non-compliant with their permits. While most of the infractions were minor and administrative, e.g., failure to post signage, several of the violations uncovered were far more serious such as exceeding permitted volumes and quality of fish processing effluent discharged. MOE recommendations include imposing additional environmental requirements to existing permits and requiring fish processing facilities to review and update their effluent discharge procedures.