Pub patio in Victoria reopens with widely spaced tables, June 2020. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

Pub patio in Victoria reopens with widely spaced tables, June 2020. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

‘We don’t want to shut people down’ for COVID-19, John Horgan says

WorkSafeBC targets inspections to higher-risk Metro businesses

WorkSafeBC is increasing inspections in Metro Vancouver and getting more public employees to help, as it focuses its efforts on workplaces with the highest risk of COVID-19 spreading.

Workplaces where it is difficult to maintain physical distance, workers interact with large numbers of people or come into frequent contact with shared surfaces, tools and equipment are the top priority for extra inspections, says Al Johnson, head of prevention services for the B.C. government’s workplace regulator. That includes employer screening of workers for symptoms, and following plans “to the letter.”

“The focus of our inspections is to ensure employers are effectively implementing measures to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in the workplace, including health screenings,” Johnson said Nov. 10. “We are urging employers to stay vigilant, including revisiting their existing COVID-19 safety plan and updating it as conditions change.”

Premier John Horgan announced this week that more public service staff are being transferred to help beef up inspections, particularly in Metro Vancouver where most of B.C.’s spike in COVID-19 infections is concentrated. He emphasized that B.C.’s approach is to help employers, not impose penalties on them, after WorkSafeBC completed 18,000 inspections, more than 3,000 COVID-19 consultations and issued 667 orders for health and safety violations up to Oct. 30.

“We don’t want to shut people down,” Horgan said Nov. 9. “We don’t want to issue tickets. We want people to act responsibly.”

RELATED: Legion, veterans’ groups get federal assistance

RELATED: TransLink tests antimicrobial coating for buses

The additional inspectors come from liquor enforcement and other provincial agencies, along with municipal bylaw officers.

“We need to make sure we are transferring more inspectors to public health and we will do that,” Horgan said. “We need to make sure that WorkSafe is focussed not just on employee safety, but patron safety as well. And we need to create ways to ensure we are reducing risky behaviour, reducing work places that have risky behaviour and we do that through, I believe, helping for compliance rather than rigorous enforcement.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nanaimo graphic designer Amy Pye has written and illustrated her first children’s book, <em>G is for Grizzly Bear: A Canadian Alphabet</em>. (Photo courtesy Amy Pye)
Nanaimo graphic designer releases first children’s book

Amy Pye teaches the Canadian alphabet in ‘G is for Grizzly Bear’

Nanaimo MLA Sheila Malcolmson takes her oaths of office virtually on Thursday. (B.C. Government YouTube screen shot)
Nanaimo MLA Sheila Malcolmson named B.C.’s mental health and addictions minister

Malcolmson succeeds Judy Darcy, who did not seek re-election

Police in Nanaimo are looking for a suspect who wore a black-and-white striped hoodie and rode a yellow mountain bike when he allegedly stole three children’s backpacks from a daycare facility. (Photo submitted)
VIDEO: Thief steals children’s backpacks from Nanaimo daycare

Suspect rode a yellow mountain bike and made off with backpacks hanging on fence

The 190-step Seabold stairs, damaged by a storm in 2018, have been rebuilt from Vancouver Island yellow cedar and are once again open to the public. (City of Nanaimo photo)
Seabold Park stairs in north Nanaimo open again

Stairs, damaged by storm in 2018, have been rebuilt and reopened to public

Emergency crews are on scene at a motor vehicle incident involving multiple vehicles at Bowen Road and Dufferin Crescent. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Two people hurt in multi-vehicle crash at Bowen and Dufferin in Nanaimo

Motor vehicle incident blocking a section of Bowen Road

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 887 new cases

Another 13 deaths, ties the highest three days ago

Police in Nanaimo never know what they’ll encounter when called upon to check on the well-being of people. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo RCMP find ‘heart-breaking’ circumstances during wellness checks

Police offer sampling of outcomes from well-being checks over recent weeks

Ladysmith’s 1st Avenue will be lit up until January 15. (Cole Schisler photo)
Light Up parade a no-go, but Ladysmith’s streets are still all aglow

Although the tradition Light Up this year was cancelled, folks can still enjoy the holiday lights

Crews fight a fire in a home on Wakesiah Avenue on Thursday afternoon. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Crews putting out fire in a house on Wakesiah Avenue in Nanaimo

Nanaimo Fire Rescue was called out at noon Thursday

Beef to Halloween, a celebration of death, weapons, blood and murder. Halloween is a mockery of death and our beloved deceased. Why do we celebrate it?
Beefs & Bouquets, Nov. 25

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

B.C. Premier John Horgan, a Star Trek fan, can’t resist a Vulcan salute as he takes the oath of office for a second term in Victoria, Nov. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
Horgan names 20-member cabinet with same pandemic team

New faces in education, finance, economic recovery

The Klahoose First Nation village on Cortes Island is under lockdown until further notice due to a positive COVID-19 test. Photo courtesy Kevin Peacey.
Cortes Island First Nation community locked down due to positive COVID-19 test

Klahoose First Nation has had one positive test, one other potential case

Gracie couldn’t stop nursing from her previous owner’s goats which was problematic given the goats were trying to be dried out to breed. Gracie now lives at A Home for Hooves. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Cowichan animal sanctuary gets international accreditation

A Home for Hooves farm sanctuary accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries

Arthur Topham has been sentenced to one month of house arrest and three years of probation after breaching the terms of his probation. Topham was convicted of promoting hate against Jewish people in 2015. (Photo submitted)
Quesnel man convicted for anti-Semitic website sentenced to house arrest for probation breach

Arthur Topham was convicted of breaching probation following his 2017 sentence for promoting hatred

Most Read