In BC, employers are required to have certain OH&S policies, procedures, and documents in place. Believe me when I tell you that you don’t want to get caught without these policies in place should a WorkSafeBC officer come knocking. Not only is it the law, but if you don’t, it could cost your business serious money in the form of fines, penalties, and sanctions.
ANTI BULLYING & HARASSMENT
All employers, supervisors, and workers have a duty to prevent and address bullying and harassment in the workplace in accordance with the WorkSafeBC policies.
What you will need to do
- Understand what workplace bullying and harassment is and take steps to prevent it from taking place.
- Create a bullying and harassment policy statement (to be reviewed annually)
- Create and implement a training program for all employees
- Prepare procedures for reporting an incident
- Prepare Investigation procedures
Sound like a lot of work? It is. But don’t worry, we’ve done the work for you. If you don’t currently have a policy in place or want to update your old policy, give Business Resources a call today and our counselors will set you up for success!
NEW AND YOUNG WORKERS
Described as the most substantial change to the Workers Compensation Act since its inception, regulations governing new and young workers came into effect in 2007 and all BC businesses need to ensure they are in compliance. WorkSafeBC defines a new worker as anyone that is new to your workplace and young workers as any worker under 25 years of age.
Here are some examples of the regulations all businesses in BC need to comply with:
- All new and young workers must be given a health and safety orientation prior to starting employment.
- Employers must document all orientation and training provided to new and young workers.
- Employers must have written safe work procedures to cover working alone or in isolation, workplace violence, and emergency procedures.
- Notice to Workers Poster: WCB requires that every business in BC have this poster posted by the employer in a conspicuous place. It provides information to employees on how to prevent injuries, what to do in the event of an injury, how to claim compensation, and where to get assistance with a claim.
- Worker orientation checklist: This sample worker orientation checklist will help ensure that proper training is provided to your new employees. Remember all training must be documented and kept as proof for WCB.
- Creating an informal safety program for small business: This WCB guide provides information for small businesses (employing fewer than 20 people) on what a safety program should look like and has a sample guide at the end of the document. All new and young workers must be given a health and safety orientation prior to starting employment.
- Workplace Violence Policy: Employees who experience violence in the course of their work are covered under the Workers Compensation Act, and employers must provide a workplace as safe from the threat of violence as possible. This WCB guide provides an explanation on how to implement a workplace violence policy and provides a template for a written policy.
- Working alone or in Isolation: Working alone or in isolation is defined by WCB as working in circumstances where assistance would not be readily available to the worker in case of an emergency, or in case the worker is injured or in ill health. New WCB regulations in effect require employers to have a policy in place to protect employees that work under these conditions.
- Basic Emergency Management Planning: All businesses are required to have emergency procedures in place in case of a disaster. This handout provides helpful tips and a worksheet that small businesses can follow to ensure their business is ready.
HEALTH & SAFETY POLICY
When you have employees, it is important to be aware of Occupational Health & Safety regulations in the workplace. For instance, if your employees work at heights you will need a “Fall Protection Plan” in place, if working in tight quarters, you will need a “Confined Spaces Plan”. You also need, by law, a Health & Safety Policy detailing workplace procedures preventing and dealing with accidents. A call to your CFIB Business Counsellor can send OH&S policy templates to your email address to help your business comply with legislation.
JOINT COMMITTEE REQUIREMENTS
Forming a Joint Committee is a requirement of any workplace with more than 19 employees. This gives unions and workers more opportunity to be part of the accident investigation process. The basics of these regulations are, however, that union reps do have the right to be part of the accident investigation and health and safety process.
- Amendments to the mandatory minimum training requirements for health and safety committee members and worker health and safety representatives
- Mandatory annual evaluation of joint committee effectiveness
- Clarification of what participation by employer and worker representatives in employer incident investigations involves
- The joint health and safety committees page on worksafebc.com contains all the information you need in order to learn about and comply with these changes. New resources to assist with this are available on www.worksafebc.com, including:
- A joint health and safety committee evaluation tool and accompanying guide
- An online course for worker health and safety representatives (4 hours)
- A joint committee training course with an online component (2 hours), and a classroom component that could be conducted in-person, or remotely by webinar (6 hours)
FIRST AID KIT REQUIREMENTS
If you have more than one employee but less than 20 on any given shift, you must have a first aid kit in your workplace and there are rules surrounding what your kit must contain. Our counselors have created a checklist for you to take out the guesswork.
Recently, Canada has upgraded its requirement of WHMIS training to the new Global Harmonized System (GHS). In light of this, many training companies have popped up, claiming that every company needs this training and that they can provide it for a fee. The fact is, WHMIS training is only required of those employees who may come in to contact with potentially hazardous materials. However, if you would like it, and if you would like it for your employees, CFIB members have exclusive access to a free online training program that will get your employees WHMIS GHS certified. It takes about 30 minutes, and upon completion, the employee prints out the certificate and gives it to you to keep in their file.