LAWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
5 Highest OHS Fines Reported in BC in First 6 Months of 2018
|$628,034||Interior Health Authority||Mental health centre worker and client attacked by would-be visitor denied entry||Failure to perform workplace violence hazard assessment and develop workplace-specific prevention procedures addressing identified risks|
|$70,147||Ebco Industries Ltd.||Worker removing metal shavings gets arm caught in auger of milling machine whose door stop spindle interlock had been disabled||Repeat offence of failure to ensure machinery was equipped with adequate safeguards and provide necessary safety information, training and supervision; failure to ensure safeguards not removed|
|$64,650||K.M.S. Tools and Equipment||Hoist cable breaks causing steel security gate to fall and seriously injure worker standing beneath||Failure to ensure load lines on hoist didn’t contact anything but load block and sheaves, do regular inspections and implement OHS program|
|$51,191||Porcupine Wood Products Ltd.||Sawmill worker injures hand after contacting unguarded chain-and-sprocket drive for saw outfeed roller conveyor||Repeat offence of failure to ensure that machinery was fitted with adequate safeguards to prevent worker contact with hazardous power transmission parts|
|$44,922||Dual Kloot Construction||Construction worker seriously injured after falling 5.5 m from barn roof||Failure to ensure proper use of personal fall protection system and provide necessary safety information, training and supervision (repeat offences); no anchorage connectors to lifeline|
BC OHS Enforcement: High-Risk Inspection Campaigns thru End of 2018
|Sector||Target Hazard/Activity||Inspection Details|
|Sawmills||Combustible dusts||All sawmills to be inspected at least once in 2018|
|Manufacturing||Employer self-evaluations||Targeted locations to be given option to self-evaluate their safety management system for serious injury focus area(s) + fire and explosion risks|
|Construction||Prime contractor responsibilities||Inspectors to focus on health and safety planning, supervision, oversight and worker education|
|Construction||Struck by injuries||Inspectors to focus on work around mobile equipment + leading edge work|
|Forestry||Manual falling||Inspectors to focus on falling cuts, danger tree windfall assessment and plans, unnecessary brushing practices, new faller training + safety, adherence to training requirements, dangerous roadside debris and phase congestion|
|Forestry||Mechanized harvesting on steep slopes with focus on tethered and traction assist machinery||Inspectors to focus on maintenance workplan and lockout, three-point-contact procedures, steep slope assessment plans and safe operation of traction assist and tethered equipment|
|Forestry||Cable yarding||Inspectors to focus on clearing the turn, yarding angles and landing the log|
|Forestry||Log transporting||Inspectors to focus on driving and road assessment, loading, offloading and securing of load, best practices for maintenance work (lockout, access and egress), cab guards and seat belt use and three-point-contact procedures|
|Forestry||Emergency response planning (ERP)||Inspectors to focus on first aid assessment, lack of ERP practice and testing, daily plan for helicopter-only access + ERP review, i.e., ERP properly communicated to workers and service providers, and routinely practised through realistic emergency drills|
|Forestry||Silviculture||Inspectors to focus on ERP (see above), planning and conduction operation, driver training and policies musculoskeletal injury risk (MSI) assessment, MSI program management and worker MSI education|
|Health care||Workplace violence||Inspection of violence prevention programs of 100 selected high-risk targets|
|Health care||Overexertion||Inspectors to focus on patient handling and overexertion injury prevention activities at long-term care facilities|
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 2019|
|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 end Oct. 17, 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||Public hearings on proposed changes end Oct. 17, 2018|
|Part 8, Secs. 8.14-8.18||Update eye and face protection requirements and references to CSA and ANSI standards cited in Regulation||Public hearings on proposed changes end Oct. 17, 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 with regard to concrete formwork, falsework and reshoring||Public hearings on proposed changes end Oct. 17, 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
|Public hearings on proposed changes end Oct. 17, 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||Public hearings on proposed changes end Oct. 17, 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
Dec. 28: New Guidelines (G9.22) explain how to get WorkSafeBC approval to use alternative measures to control or isolate adjacent piping for confined space entry. Required information to list in approval application:
- Means of hazard control or elimination
- Means of measuring and monitoring flow and/or levels of materials inside space
- How flow monitors will communicate with workers inside space
- Means of installing and monitoring bladder pressure devices
- Emergency and rescue procedures
- Manufacturer’s instructions and specifications
- Process for verifying control measures
- Roles and responsibilities of affected personnel.
Nov. 6: WorkSafeBC launched a new process safety inspection campaign designed to help employers prevent the release of toxic gases, combustible dust, flammable and explosive chemicals and other highly hazardous substances that can cause explosions, structural collapses and other catastrophic incidents.
Oct. 31: WorkSafeBC revised its environmental tobacco smoke and e-cigarette vapours control Guidelines (G4.82/4.82) to account for the effects of cannabis smoke, including:
- Ban on smoking or vaping in indoor public places or within 6 metres of doorway, air intakes or window of public buildings
- Ban on cannabis use in boats or vehicles
- Ticketing for cannabis offences akin to current ticketing of tobacco offences.
Notice of Project
Dec.: WorkSafeBC plans to roll out new, simplified forms for submitting Notices of Project, i.e., notification of construction and other high-risk projects before work begins, by year’s end. Biggest changes: Customizable forms that can be used for any of the 5 project types (instead of the current and inflexible one-size-fits-all) and capacity to upload supplementary documentation with NOP submission.
Nov. 2: WorkSafeBC held public review on a tricky issue: How to resolve mental disorder claims, which often take years to develop, with the requirement that workers’ comp claims be filed within one year of a death, injury, disablement or occupational disease. The agency will use the feedback to develop a policy establishing an official deadline for filing mental disorder claims.
Nov. 16: Public comments ended on a proposed new WorkSafeBC policy on use of video surveillance to, for want of a better term, spy on employees who file workers’ comp claims. Highlights:
- Surveillance not to be used routinely but only when there are grounds for suspecting fraud
- Qualified expert to review video evidence and determine if it’s appropriate
- Give employees right to review and respond to evidence.
Workers’ Compensation—2019 Rates
Jan. 1: The average base rate for 2019 is 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%.
Jan. 25: That’s the deadline to comment on proposed policy changes to simplify and reduce employer reporting and remitting obligations. Currently, employers with annual assessments of $1,500 or more must report payroll and remit assessment premiums to WorkSafeBC every quarter.
Jan. 1: The following changes to the Permanent Disability Evaluation Schedule take effect affecting methods for assessing:
- Loss of strength
- Range of motion
- Vision disability
Nov. 27: Newly passed Bill 51 reorganizes the province’s environmental assessment process and makes it even tougher to get environmental approval for major resource projects. Highlights:
- New early engagement phase to be completed before official assessment begins
- Additional comment periods along each stage of assessment
- Broader scope of environmental issues to be reviewed, including GHG emissions
- Audits of compliance with EA certificates.
Nov. 28: BC has decided to intervene case in a court case brought by Saskatchewan and Ontario challenging the federal government’s authority to establish a nationwide greenhouse gas pollution pricing system. BC not only supports the federal system but has also adopted even more stringent provincial requirements.
Oil & Gas
Nov. 21: Proposed new legislation would establish a new methane emissions oversight system based on the federal model in which the BC Oil and Gas Commission would be in charge of investigating emissions violations.
Nov. 26: Comments ended on a proposal to make temporary changes allowing for water use in mineral exploration and small-scale placer mining operations a permanent part of the Water Sustainability Act regulations. Bottom line: Permits would be enough and companies would no longer need additional government authorization to engage to use water for such operations.
Nov. 8: Public review ended on proposed changes to the Organic Matter Recycling Regulation provisions affecting, among other things:
- Requirements for composting facilities
- Organic material suitable for composting
- Land application of organic material
- Sampling, monitoring and recordkeeping