The Occupational Health and Safety Regulation (OHSR) explained

The OHSR is British Columbia’s legislation that sets the legal requirements for health and safety in the workplace. Most workplaces in B.C. are subject to the OHSR, with the only exceptions being mines and federally regulated workplaces like banks, transportation, telephone systems, radio, television, and cable services.

Employer responsibilities

As an employer in B.C. you have certain responsibilities that you must fulfill.

According to WorkSafe BC, you must:

  • Establish a health and safety program.
  • Provide employees with proper training and supervision.
  • Provide supervisors with training and support.
  • Ensure adequate first aid equipment and supplies are available on-site.
  • Regularly inspect your workplace to make sure everything is working properly.
  • Fix problems reported by workers.
  • Transport injured workers to the nearest medical center for treatment.
  • If an injury requires medical attention, report it to WorkSafe BC.
  • Investigate when workers are injured or equipment is damaged.
  • Submit the necessary forms to WorkSafeBC.

Your health and safety program

Workplaces in B.C. require that you have a well-developed health and safety program. A major component of your health and safety program is the requirement that you establish a Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee (JOHSC) or at least one health and safety representative. Whether you are required to establish a JOHSC or appoint a health and safety rep will depend on the headcount.

  • If your workplace has 20 or more workers who have been employed for more than a month, you are required to establish a JOHSC.
  • If your workplace has between 10 and 19 employees who have been employed for at least a month, you must appoint at least one health and safety representative. The health and safety rep(s) must perform the same duties as a JOHSC.

WorkSafe BC has the authority to dictate that any workplace must establish a JOHSC or appoint a health and safety rep.

Employers must provide training and education to members of the JOHSC and health and safety representatives. This is in addition to the training and education that employers are required to provide to all employees.

Training requirements for JOHSCs and health and reps vary.

  • Joint committee members selected on or after April 3, 2017, must receive eight hours of training and instruction.
  • Worker health and safety representatives selected on or after April 3, 2017, must receive four hours of training.

JOHSC members and health & safety reps are entitled to eight hours of leave per year to attend annual education training.

Still have questions?

Still have questions about the OHSR, JOHSCs or health & safety reps? We’ve got you covered.  A Health and Safety Help expert will be happy to answer your questions. Call our free adviceline today at 1-888-785-7146.