Understanding WorkSafeBC’s Amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation

WorkSafeBC’s Board of Directors has recently approved amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation. These amendments will become effective on November 1, 2024. and are designed to improve workplace safety and protect the well-being of workers in British Columbia. Let’s take a closer look at the key approved amendments:

  1. Occupational Health and Safety Program:
    • Employers with 20 or more workers and at least one workplace with a moderate or high risk of injury are required to initiate and maintain an occupational health and safety program outlined in section 3.3. This program also applies to employers with 50 or more workers.
    • The program applies to the entire operations of employers falling under these categories.
  2. First Aid Attendants and Qualifications:
    • Employers must ensure that designated first aid attendants meet specific qualifications, including being at least 16 years old, successfully completing a first aid training course or examination approved by the Board, holding a valid first aid certificate at the required level, and meeting any additional requirements set by the Board.
  3. Basic Requirements for First Aid:
    • Employers must provide adequate equipment, supplies, facilities, first aid attendants, and services in the workplace to promptly render first aid to injured workers and transport them to medical treatment.
    • The employer must provide at least the equipment, supplies, facilities, first aid attendants, and services required by Schedule 3-A, as well as any additional necessary resources.
    • The type, quantity, quality, maintenance, and use of equipment, facilities, and transportation methods must meet acceptable standards defined by the Board.
    • Employers are required to conduct a written assessment of the workplace, including factors such as the number and locations of workers, risks and hazards, types of likely injuries, barriers to first aid provision, and transportation time and methods. This assessment must be reviewed and updated regularly in consultation with the joint committee or the worker health and safety representative.
  4. First Aid Procedures and Records:
    • Employers must maintain up-to-date written procedures for providing first aid at the workplace, including equipment, location, calling procedures, authority of the first aid attendant, transportation arrangements, and prearranged routes to medical treatment.
    • These procedures must be effectively communicated to workers through posting or alternative means.
    • First aid attendants, as well as individuals authorized to call for transportation, must be trained in these procedures.
    • Employers must ensure that drills are conducted at least once a year and whenever procedures change to evaluate their effectiveness and ensure workers and first aid attendants are capable of fulfilling their roles.
    • Employers must maintain records of all reported or treated injuries and exposures to contaminants covered by the regulation in a confidential manner for at least three years. These records must be made available for inspection by WorkSafeBC officers.

A succinct summarization of employers’ minimum first aid requirements can be found in the new Schedule 3-A highlighted within the amendments to Part 3 of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation.

These amendments aim to enhance workplace safety, promote effective first-aid response, and ensure employers fulfill their responsibilities in providing adequate resources and training. Employers should familiarize themselves with these changes and update their practices accordingly.

For a detailed breakdown of the amendments, including explanatory notes and strikethrough versions, please refer to the official document provided by WorkSafeBC: https://www.worksafebc.com/en/resources/law-policy/discussion-papers/part-3-minimum-levels-of-first-aid-strikethrough#msdynttrid=kYkJk7xtkvIT6jmydFKjl9hQ1xkwAXtpJ-vj_l03PHs

At TeksMed, we prioritize workplace health and disability management. Our team can assist your organization in navigating these regulatory changes and providing comprehensive support. Contact us to learn more about how we can help.

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