WorkSafeBC will be conducting random inspections as businesses reopen

May 22 2020, 9:24 am

As businesses across a variety of sectors continue to reopen under BC’s restart plan, Labour Minister Harry Bains said all businesses will be subject to random inspections from WorkSafeBC to ensure provincial guidelines and regulations are being followed.

“They will be conducting random inspections to ensure these guidelines are being followed as well as the guidelines from the provincial health officer,” Bains confirmed during a press conference this week.

These inspections, he said, “are for all businesses that are reopening, and every business that is reopening – or has already opened – is subject to those inspections.”

He stressed these inspections could happen anywhere, at any time, in any sector. For those that are found not adhering to the guidelines, “there are provisions for penalties in there as well.”

“Whether it’s a restaurant or hair salons, or manufacturer, or service providers, they will be required to follow [the guidelines],” he said. “As [Provincial Health Officer] Dr. [Bonnie] Henry has already said, we don’t want to be in a position of businesses starting and then having to shut them down again. That’s not good for businesses, that’s not good for the economy, and that’s not good for the workers.”

The province said every employer is required to have a coronavirus safety plan that assesses the risk of exposure at their workplace and implements measures to keep their workers safe. If a formal plan is not already in place prior to operation, the employer is expected to develop it while protecting the safety of their workers.

This plan must be posted at the worksite, and during a WorkSafeBC inspection, the employer will be asked about the steps they have taken to protect their workers and to see the plan if it has been developed.