WorkSafeBC (WSBC)’s Board of Director’s has approved the 2020 amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety regulation, including amendments to the parts concerning restricted intervals for pesticide application (Part 6), high visibility apparel and safety headgear (Part 8), and mobile equipment (Part 16). These amendments will come into effect as of September 1, 2021.
Amendments to Part 6 will mean that in workplaces where multiple pesticides have been applied, the restricted entry interval (REI) will be that of the longest time period stated on the respective labels. The amendments also mandate that if authorization to enter before the REI expires is needed, employers must keep a record of this entry, in addition to multiple safety precautions. Employers must also inform workers in affected areas of the name and types of pesticides applied, date of last application, hazards associated with use of those pesticides, and the precautions required during operations.
In Part 8 (Section 8.24), workers exposed to mobile equipment travelling over 30 km/h are now required to wear approved high-visibility apparel of CSA Standard Z96-15 Class 2 or 3, while those exposed to vehicles or mobile equipment travelling at speeds equal to or less than 30 km/h must wear approved high-visibility apparel of CSA Standard Z96-15 Class 1, 2, or 3, with some exemptions for first responders.
Part 8 (Section 8.11) is amended to require employers take measures to eliminate or minimize to the lowest practicable level the risk of head injury, including engineering and administrative controls, in addition to requiring workers to wear approved safety headgear in work areas where there is a risk of head injury from falling, flying or thrown objects, or other harmful contacts.
Part 16 concerning mobile equipment has been entirely amended and it is recommended that members who use mobile equipment as part of their operations review the section in its entirety. Some changes have been made in the aim of increasing worker safety that are likely to have operational costs for employers, such as requiring a qualified person as defined in Part 1 of the Regulation to complete a rollover risk assessment on mobile equipment.
RCC continues to advocate that changes to OHS regulations are undertaken only with full consultation with the employer/employee community.