OHS Insider Month in Review – November 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.



Oct.: WorkSafeBC issued a series of information sheets to help child care centres protect workers against risks of musculoskeletal injuries covering 3 risk areas:

Materials Handling
Jan. 1: Reminder that new OHS regulations take effect requiring 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.

Key OHS Regulatory Changes to Expect in BC in 2018-2019

Part of OHS Regulation Expected Change(s) Expected Action Date
Part 4 General Conditions Hazard identification and risk assessment to be required in all workplaces 2018
Part 4, Secs. 4.81 and 4.82 Extend duty to control exposure to environmental tobacco smoke to e-cigarettes (2019) 2019
Part 5 Chemical Agents and Biological Agents Review requirements for combustible dust or particulate solids and for dust collectors TBD
Part 6 Substance Specific Requirements, Secs. 6.42-6.58 Update current cytotoxic drugs requirements, which were created 20 years ago 2019
Part 6, Secs. 6.89 and 6.90 Update Restricted entry intervals (REIs), i.e., minimum time required between the time a pesticide is applied and the time people can enter the area without protective clothing and equipment 2019
Part 8 PPE, Sec. 8.11 Update safety headgear requirements and references to voluntary standards cited in Reg. 2018
Part 8, Secs. 8.14-8.18 Update eye and face protection requirements and references to CSA and ANSI standards cited in Reg. 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 Reg. 2019
Part 9 Confined Spaces Review all of Part to ensure it’s up to date TBD
Part 12 Tools, Machinery and Equipment, multiple sections Require selection of safeguarding to be based on a comprehensive WCB Standard Personal Protective Equipment Standard 2-1997, High Visibility Garment (“WCB PPE 2- 1997”) 2019
Part 16 Mobile Equipment Review all of Part 16 to ensure it’s up to date 2018
Part 18 Traffic Control, multiple sections Harmonize rules with Ministry of Transportation 2015 Interim Traffic Management Manual for Work on Roadways 2019
Part 20 Construction, Excavation and Demolition, Secs. 20.17-20.26 Clarify the responsibilities of employers and professional engineers 2019
Part 21 Blasting Operations, multiple sections Update requirements for blasting equipment and practices 2019
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 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 2019

Source: WorkSafeBC, 2017 – 2019 Regulatory Amendment Workplan

Shoulder Dislocations
Oct. 17: 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.

Grizzly Bears
Oct. 24: After years of neglect, the government announced that it’s putting together grizzly bear population management plan for the province.