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Occupational health and safety laws in British Columbia are about to become more onerous for employers.  Specifically, the following requirements on employers will become enforceable law on April 3, 2017:

  • Workplaces with between 10 to 19 workers will need to appoint a worker health and safety representative
  • Workplaces with over 20 workers will need have a joint occupational health and safety committee

What will need to be done?

Annual written evaluations

The committee will need to produce an annual written evaluation that addresses health and safety issues in the workplace and the efficacy of the committee itself.  WorkSafeBC will be providing an online tool to assist with this evaluation to help ensure compliance.

Training and participation requirements

Subject to some narrow exceptions, both committee members and worker health and safety representatives will need to undergo training in relation to their role (minimum 8 hours for committee members and 4 hours for worker health and safety representatives).  The specific requirements are provided for in British Columbia’s Occupational Health and Safety Regulation.  The Regulation also outlines the requirements for participation in any accident investigation.

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