WorkSafeBC Releases Industry-Specific Guidance For Phase 2 Of Economic Restart

Richmond/Fraser Valley — WorkSafeBC has released industry-specific guidance and resources for employers resuming operations as part of phase 2 of the provincial government’s restart plan.

“Every employer is required to have a COVID-19 Safety Plan that assesses the risk of exposure at their worksite and implements measures to keep their workers safe,” says Al Johnson, Head of Prevention Services at WorkSafeBC. “We’ve developed both general and industry-specific materials in consultation with industry and labour stakeholders to ensure they are practical and understandable for workplaces in each sector.”

Industry-specific guidelines and resources are now available for the following sectors:

·       Restaurants, cafes, pubs

·       Salons and personal services

·       Real estate

·       Arts and cultural facilities (Museums, art galleries, and libraries)

·       Retail

·       Education K-12

·       Parks and outdoor spaces

·       Health services

·       In-person counselling

·       Office space

Sector-specific guidelines for child care and recreation and sports will be available in the coming days.

To complement the protocols for specific industries, WorkSafeBC has also developed general resources intended for all workplaces. These include: a COVID-19 safety plan template, workplace posters, information on cleaning and hygiene practices, and guidance on the selection and use of masks.

WorkSafeBC reminds employers that they do not need to submit their safety plan for review or approval. WorkSafeBC Prevention Officers will, however, begin a province-wide verification and inspection initiative to ensure that employers have their plans in place and are keeping their workers safe.

“The planning process should involve workers for their input to ensure their concerns are heard and addressed,” said Johnson.

The release of industry-specific information and resources from WorkSafeBC aligns with the provincial government’s multi-phased plan to restart the economy. WorkSafeBC will continue developing industry-specific information and resources for the next phases of the restart, to help employers develop their COVID-19 Safety Plan in advance of re-opening.

Should workers and employers have questions or require additional assistance in reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission at their workplace, they can call WorkSafeBC’s Prevention Information Line at 1-888-621-7233 to speak directly with a prevention officer to receive advice and direction.

WorkSafeBC is also launching an awareness campaign in support of workplace health and safety as restrictions are lifted and more businesses resume operations. The province-wide, multi-language campaign will focus on how healthy and safe workplaces contribute to a safe and healthy province. Employers and workers will be encouraged to access resources and information on workplace health and safety and COVID-19 prevention at worksafebc.com. The awareness campaign includes radio, TV, out-of-home signage, digital, and social.

Industry-specific guidance and resources are available online at: https://www.worksafebc.com/en/about-us/covid-19-updates/covid-19-returning-safe-operation.

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