An Employer’s Guide to Workplace Inspections 

British Columbia has a rigorous inspection regimen when it comes to enforcing health and safety in the workplace. The Ministry of Labour carries out inspections via health and safety inspectors looking to ensure your workplace is compliant with the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Regulations. Their job is to confirm you’re taking workplace health and safety seriously and following OHS regulations. 

How do inspectors enforce the OHS regulations? 

Inspections can be conducted proactively without notice or a warrant, or they may happen as a result of a workplace complaint or elevation. Depending on the size of the workplace, the employer, and/or a health and safety representative, or member of the joint health and safety committee must be made available to go on the inspection with the inspector. 

In the event of a serious hazard or violation, health and safety inspectors can order an employer to stop work on a certain task, machine, or the operation of the workplace entirely. They can also require employees to leave an area until a hazard has been cleared. These are just some of the many powers given to inspectors. 

In severe cases, employers can be charged with failure to comply with the OHS regulations and/or its regulations. 

Need help understanding, preventing, accommodating, or appealing a workplace inspection? 

If you believe a notice has been wrongfully issued, you have the right as an employer to appeal. For advice on how to handle this or other workplace inspection-related issues, please contact our helpline at 1-833-200-5239.