WorkSafeBC has proposed an amendment to the Occupational Health and Safety regulation in regard to “storage racks” which has the potential to impact many fixtures in retail stores.

The proposal is vague: it does not limit the impact to storage areas and thus could impact all steel fixtures in retail stores. It is also vague in terms of what fixtures will be covered: it refers to steel racks, steel shelving and steel-framed shelving.

Retailers have expressed concern on four fronts: (1) the number of store fixtures potentially impacted, (2) the cost and burden of inspecting a large volume of existing steel shelving, (3) that fixtures are supplied by external suppliers without information required under the amended regulation, and, (4) the lack of a definition surrounding who will be qualified to install, inspect and maintain fixtures.

WorkSafeBC described the amendment as impacting steel racking in distribution warehouses and the storage areas within retail stores. The intent is to ensure worker safety through the inclusion of requirements regarding the design, construction, installation and regular inspection of steel shelving.

WorkSafeBC’s documentation can be found here.

Next Steps:

RCC provided detailed written comment to WorkSafeBC and the Ministers of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training, and Small Business and Red-Tape Reduction in regard to the proposals. We will work to ensure that the Government understands the potential impact of these proposals.

RCC will monitor WorkSafeBC’s consultation process to ensure that the retail industry is well-represented at hearings expected in fall 2016.

Members do not need to take action at this time. RCC will update members in regard to the proposal and implementation following our interventions with WorkSafeBC.

Background:

The Occupational Health and Safety Regulation does not currently contain specific safety requirements for storage racks or shelving. Previously, WorkSafeBC has issued orders under other sections to require employers to rectify conditions they consider unsafe.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact: Greg Wilson, Director, Government Relations (B.C.) at: [email protected] or 604-736-0368.