What is the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation
British Columbia’s Occupational Health and Safety Regulation (OHSR) sets the minimum standards for health and safety at work. Health and safety laws are enforced through education, inspections, investigations, and prosecutions. This applies to both employers and employees who are provincially regulated.
Employer Responsibilities Under the OHSR
As an employer, you have the legal duty to establish a safe and healthy workplace. This means protecting your employees from work-related injuries, illnesses, and fatalities. Under the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, you must do everything reasonably possible to:
- Maintain a safe workplace and protect the health, safety and welfare of your employees and any other persons at or in the vicinity of your work site;
- Ensure that first aid equipment and supplies are readily available and accessible to trained attendants delegated to handle injuries in the workplace;
- Reinforce safe work practices by ensuring staff are aware of their rights and responsibilities and how to report any unsafe incidents that occur at work;
- Manage and prevent harassment or violence in the workplace;
- Provide proper training to employees, including specific instruction for supervisors on shift;
- Resolve any health and safety issues in a timely manner; and
- Implement effective measures to address any health and safety concerns that arise.
Start by reviewing your current workplace practices. Do you meet the minimum employment standards for health and safety?
Establishing a Health and Safety Representative or Joint Work Site Health and Safety Committee
In accordance to the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, all employers in BC must establish a committee or representative to address any health and safety concerns at work. Based on business size, the following rules apply:
- Health and safety representative: small businesses (9-19 employees)
- Joint work site health and safety committee: larger businesses (20+ employees)
- Alternative approach: those who employ less than five employees
The roles and responsibilities of each is to support the managerial functions for health and safety in the workplace through advising and assisting. As an employer, you must cooperate with your representative or committee by providing adequate resources, time and training to operate effectively.
Ask us about British Columbia’s Occupational Health and Safety Regulation
Are you wondering about what your small business needs when it comes to health and safety? Do you have a program and an up-to-date employee policy in place? Call Health and Safety Help. Our free advice line is dedicated to employers. Speak with an expert today: 1-833-200-5239.