OHS Insider Month in Review – August 2017: British Columbia

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LAWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS

Young Workers

July 19: WorkSafeBC launched an outreach campaign to prevent injuries to young workers. 18 young workers died of workplace injuries in British Columbia between 2012 and 2016.

OHS Enforcement

July 4: Changes to the policy WorkSafeBC uses to calculate the amount of repeat penalties for OHS offences took effect.

OELs

Sept. 1: That’s the deadline to comment on WorkSafeBC’s proposal to extend the period for reviewing the Threshold Limit Value used to establish Occupational Exposure Levels for hazardous substances from one to 3 years. Tripling the length of the review window will enhance stability and give industry more time to prepare for OEL changes, the agency contends.

Materials Handling

Aug. 1: WorkSafeBC is expected to issue guidelines for the new OHS regulations for storage racks of 2.4 m or higher (or lower heights that are loaded/unloaded by other than manual methods). Key requirements: Effective Jan. 1, 2018, employers must ensure that storage racks 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

Instructions of the manufacturer or a professional engineer for safe loading, unloading and maintenance must also be readily available in the workplace to workers.

Oil & Gas

Aug. 1: New OHS safety regulations (Part 23) for flow piping systems at oil and gas facilities took effect.

Workers’ Compensation

Sept. 15: That’s the deadline to comment on a new WorkSafeBC proposal to stop using the projected total cost of permanent disability awards to calculate employers’ experience rating (ER). Instead, of capitalized value, award amounts would be included as they’re paid out to workers over time.

Clothing Allowance

June 26: WorkSafeBC clarified the rules for clothing allowances to workers wearing an upper limb brace, i.e., brace worn at or above the wrist, which will be paid at the upper and lower limb rate, effective Jan. 1, 2018.