WHMIS

BC Legislation

British Columbia Due Diligence


This material has been extracted from the Acts and Regulations of the Province to help students understand the subject. It is not an official source of information and must not be used for any other purpose.
The following is © 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 Copyright Workers' Compensation Board of British Columbia
Richmond, B.C., Canada. All rights reserved.
Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Regulation
3.1 When program required
(1) An occupational health and safety program as outlined in section 3.3 must be initiated and maintained
(a) by each employer that has
(i) a workforce of 20 or more workers, and
(ii) at least one workplace that is determined under section 3.16 (2) (b) to create a moderate or high risk of injury, or
(b) by each employer that has a workforce of 50 or more workers.
(1.1) If subsection (1) (a) or (b) applies to the employer, the occupational health and safety program applies to the whole of the employer's operations.
(2) Despite subsection (1) an occupational health and safety program may be required in any workplace when, in the opinion of an officer, such a program is necessary.
       [Amended by B.C. Reg. 348/2003, effective March 30, 2004.]
       [Amended by B.C. Reg. 19/2006, effective May 17, 2006.]
       [Amended by B.C. Reg. 320/2007, effective February 1, 2008.]
3.2 Small operations
In any operation where the workforce is less than that referred to in section 3.1(1) the employer must
(a) initiate and maintain a less formal program based on regular monthly meetings with workers for discussion of health and safety matters,
(b) ensure that meetings are directed to matters concerning the correction of unsafe conditions and practices and the maintenance of cooperative interest in the health and safety of the workforce, and
(c) maintain a record of the meetings and the matters discussed.
3.3 Contents of program
The occupational health and safety program must be designed to prevent injuries and occupational diseases, and without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the program must include
(a) a statement of the employer's aims and the responsibilities of the employer, supervisors and workers,
(b) provision for the regular inspection of premises, equipment, work methods and work practices, at appropriate intervals, to ensure that prompt action is undertaken to correct any hazardous conditions found,
(c) appropriate written instructions, available for reference by all workers, to supplement this Occupational Health and Safety Regulation,
(d) provision for holding periodic management meetings for the purpose of reviewing health and safety activities and incident trends, and for the determination of necessary courses of action,
(e) provision for the prompt investigation of incidents to determine the action necessary to prevent their recurrence,
(f) the maintenance of records and statistics, including reports of inspections and incident investigations, with provision for making this information available to the joint committee or worker health and safety representative, as applicable and, upon request, to an officer, the union representing the workers at the workplace or, if there is no union, the workers at the workplace, and
(g) provision by the employer for the instruction and supervision of workers in the safe performance of their work.
3.4 Incident investigation reports
An employer must ensure that an incident investigation report required by Division 10 of Part 3 of the Workers Compensation Act contains
(a) the place, date and time of the incident,
(b) the names and job titles of persons injured in the incident,
(c) the names of witnesses,
(d) a brief description of the incident,
(e) a statement of the sequence of events which preceded the incident,
(f) identification of any unsafe conditions, acts or procedures which contributed in any manner to the incident,
(g) recommended corrective actions to prevent similar incidents, and
(h) the names of the persons who investigated the incident.
Workplace Inspections
3.5 General requirement
Every employer must ensure that regular inspections are made of all workplaces, including buildings, structures, grounds, excavations, tools, equipment, machinery and work methods and practices, at intervals that will prevent the development of unsafe working conditions.
3.6 Inspection of tools and equipment
Repealed. [B.C. Reg. 312/2003, effective October 29, 2003.]
3.7 Special inspections
A special inspection must be made when required by malfunction or accident.
 
 
3.8 Participation of the committee or representative
An inspection required by section 3.5 and a major inspection required by section 3.7 must, where feasible, include the participation of members of the joint committee or the worker health and safety representative, as applicable, but
(a) if there is no committee or worker health and safety representative the employer must designate an employer representative and the union must designate a worker representative, or
(b) if there is no union the employer must invite the workers to designate one of their number.
Correction of Unsafe Conditions
3.9 Remedy without delay
Unsafe or harmful conditions found in the course of an inspection must be remedied without delay.
3.10 Reporting unsafe conditions
Whenever a person observes what appears to be an unsafe or harmful condition or act the person must report it as soon as possible to a supervisor or to the employer, and the person receiving the report must investigate the reported unsafe condition or act and must ensure that any necessary corrective action is taken without delay.
3.11 Emergency circumstances
If emergency action is required to correct a condition which constitutes an immediate threat to workers only those qualified and properly instructed workers necessary to correct the unsafe condition may be exposed to the hazard, and every possible effort must be made to control the hazard while this is being done.
 
Young and New Workers
3.22 Definitions
In sections 3.23 to 3.25:
"new worker" means any worker who is
(a) new to the workplace,
(b) returning to a workplace where the hazards in that workplace have changed during the worker's absence,
(c) affected by a change in the hazards of a workplace, or
(d) relocated to a new workplace if the hazards in that workplace are different from the hazards in the worker's previous workplace;
"young worker" means any worker who is under 25 years of age.
       [Enacted by B.C. Reg. 105/2007, effective July 26, 2007.]
3.23 Young or new worker orientation and training
(1) An employer must ensure that before a young or new worker begins work in a workplace, the young or new worker is given health and safety orientation and training specific to that young or new worker's workplace.
(2) The following topics must be included in the young or new worker's orientation and training:
(a) the name and contact information for the young or new worker's supervisor;
(b) the employer's and young or new worker's rights and responsibilities under the Workers Compensation Act and this Regulation including the reporting of unsafe conditions and the right to refuse to perform unsafe work;
(c) workplace health and safety rules;
(d) hazards to which the young or new worker may be exposed, including risks from robbery, assault or confrontation;
(e) working alone or in isolation;
(f) violence in the workplace;
(g) personal protective equipment;
(h) location of first aid facilities and means of summoning first aid and reporting illnesses and injuries;
(i) emergency procedures;
(j) instruction and demonstration of the young or new worker's work task or work process;
(k) the employer's health and safety program, if required under section 3.1 of this Regulation;
(l) WHMIS information requirements set out in Part 5, as applicable to the young or new worker's workplace;
(m) contact information for the occupational health and safety committee or the worker health and safety representative, as applicable to the workplace.
       [Enacted by B.C. Reg. 105/2007, effective July 26, 2007.]
3.24 Additional orientation and training
An employer must provide a young or new worker with additional orientation and training if
(a) workplace observation reveals that the young or new worker is not able to perform work tasks or work processes safely, or
(b) requested by the young or new worker.
       [Enacted by B.C. Reg. 105/2007, effective July 26, 2007.]
3.25 Documentation
An employer must keep records of all orientation and training provided under sections 3.23 and 3.24.
4.20.1 Definition
In sections 4.20.2 to 4.23, "to work alone or in isolation" means to work in circumstances where assistance would not be readily available to the worker
(a) in case of an emergency, or
(b) in case the worker is injured or in ill health.
       [Enacted by B.C. Reg. 318/2007, effective February 1, 2008.]
4.20.2 Hazard identification, elimination and control
(1) Before a worker is assigned to work alone or in isolation, the employer must identify any hazards to that worker.
(2) Before a worker starts a work assignment with a hazard identified under subsection (1), the employer must take measures
(a) to eliminate the hazard, and
(b) if it is not practicable to eliminate the hazard, to minimize the risk from the hazard.
(3) For purposes of subsection (2) (b), the employer must minimize the risk from the hazard to the lowest level practicable using engineering controls, administrative controls or a combination of engineering and administrative controls.
       [Enacted by B.C. Reg. 318/2007, effective February 1, 2008.]
4.21 Procedures for checking well-being of worker
(1) The employer must develop and implement a written procedure for checking the well-being of a worker assigned to work alone or in isolation.
(2) The procedure for checking a worker's well-being must include the time interval between checks and the procedure to follow in case the worker cannot be contacted, including provisions for emergency rescue.
(3) A person must be designated to establish contact with the worker at predetermined intervals and the results must be recorded by the person.
(4) In addition to checks at regular intervals, a check at the end of the work shift must be done.
(5) The procedure for checking a worker's well-being, including time intervals between the checks, must be developed in consultation with the joint committee or the worker health and safety representative, as applicable.
(6) Time intervals for checking a worker's well-being must be developed in consultation with the worker assigned to work alone or in isolation.
       [Amended by B.C. Reg. 318/2007, effective February 1, 2008.]
Note: High risk activities require shorter time intervals between checks. The preferred method for checking is visual or two-way voice contact, but where such a system is not practicable, a one-way system which allows the worker to call or signal for help and which will send a call for help if the worker does not reset the device after a predetermined interval is acceptable.
4.22 Training
A worker described in section 4.21(1) and any person assigned to check on the worker must be trained in the written procedure for checking the worker's well-being.
       [Amended by B.C. Reg. 318/2007, effective February 1, 2008.]
4.22.1 Late night retail safety procedures and requirements
(1) In this section:
"late night hours" means any time between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.;
"late night retail premises" means
(a) a gas station or other retail fueling outlet, or
(b) a convenience store or any other retail store where goods are sold directly to consumers
that is open to the public for late night hours.
(2) If a worker is assigned to work alone or in isolation in late night retail premises and there is any risk of harm from a violent act to the worker, then, in addition to any other obligations the employer has under sections 4.20.2 to 4.23,
(a) the employer must develop and implement a written procedure to ensure the worker's safety in handling money, and
(b) when that worker is assigned to work late night hours, the employer must also do either or both of the following:
(i) ensure that the worker is physically separated from the public by a locked door or barrier that prevents physical contact with or access to the worker;
(ii) assign one or more workers to work with the worker during that worker's assignment.
(3) A worker described in subsection (2) must be trained in the written procedure referred to in that subsection.
       [Enacted by B.C. Reg. 318/2007, effective February 1, 2008.]
4.22.2 Mandatory prepayment for fuel
An employer must require that customers prepay for fuel sold in gas stations and other retail fueling outlets.
       [Enacted by B.C. Reg. 318/2007, effective February 1, 2008.]
4.23 Annual reviews of procedures
The procedures referred to in sections 4.21 and 4.22.1 must be reviewed at least annually, or more frequently if there is
(a) a change in work arrangements which could adversely affect a worker's well-being or safety, or
(b) a report that the procedures are not working effectively.
       [Enacted by B.C. Reg. 318/2007, effective February 1, 2008.]
Workplace Conduct
4.24 Definition
In sections 4.25 and 4.26
"improper activity or behaviour" includes
(a) the attempted or actual exercise by a worker towards another worker of any physical force so as to cause injury, and includes any threatening statement or behaviour which gives the worker reasonable cause to believe he or she is at risk of injury, and
(b) horseplay, practical jokes, unnecessary running or jumping or similar conduct.
Note: Worker means a worker as defined under the Workers Compensation Act, and includes a supervisor or other representative of the employer (see Part 3, Division 1, section 106).
4.25 Prohibition
A person must not engage in any improper activity or behaviour at a workplace that might create or constitute a hazard to themselves or to any other person.
4.26 Investigation
Improper activity or behaviour must be reported and investigated as required by Part 3 (Rights and Responsibilities).
Violence in the Workplace
4.27 Definition
In sections 4.28 to 4.31
"violence" means the attempted or actual exercise by a person, other than a worker, of any physical force so as to cause injury to a worker, and includes any threatening statement or behaviour which gives a worker reasonable cause to believe that he or she is at risk of injury.
4.28 Risk assessment
(1) A risk assessment must be performed in any workplace in which a risk of injury to workers from violence arising out of their employment may be present.
(2) The risk assessment must include the consideration of
(a) previous experience in that workplace,
(b) occupational experience in similar workplaces, and
(c) the location and circumstances in which work will take place.
4.29 Procedures and policies
If a risk of injury to workers from violence is identified by an assessment performed under section 4.28 the employer must
(a) establish procedures, policies and work environment arrangements to eliminate the risk to workers from violence, and
(b) if elimination of the risk to workers is not possible, establish procedures, policies and work environment arrangements to minimize the risk to workers.
(c) Repealed. [B.C. Reg. 312/2003, effective October 29, 2003.]
       [Amended by B.C. Reg. 312/2003, effective October 29, 2003.]
4.30 Instruction of workers
(1) An employer must inform workers who may be exposed to the risk of violence of the nature and extent of the risk.
(2) The duty to inform workers in subsection (1) includes a duty to provide information related to the risk of violence from persons who have a history of violent behaviour and whom workers are likely to encounter in the course of their work.
(3) The employer must instruct workers who may be exposed to the risk of violence in
(a) the means for recognition of the potential for violence,
(b) the procedures, policies and work environment arrangements which have been developed to minimize or effectively control the risk to workers from violence,
(c) the appropriate response to incidents of violence, including how to obtain assistance, and
(d) procedures for reporting, investigating and documenting incidents of violence.
4.31 Advice to consult physician
(1) Repealed. [B.C. Reg. 312/2003, effective October 29, 2003.]
(2) Repealed. [B.C. Reg. 312/2003, effective October 29, 2003.]
(3) The employer must ensure that a worker reporting an injury or adverse symptom as a result of an incident of violence is advised to consult a physician of the worker's choice for treatment or referral.
       [Amended by B.C. Reg. 312/2003, effective October 29, 2003.]
Note: The requirements for risk assessment, procedures and policies, the duty to respond to incidents and to instruct workers are based on the recognition of violence in the workplace as an occupational hazard. This hazard is to be addressed by the occupational health and safety program following the same procedures required by this Occupational Health & Safety Regulation to address other workplace hazards.

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