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Ministry of Health

Occupational Health and Safety

A healthy workplace also is a safe workplace. The two go hand in hand. Employers have a legal obligation to provide a safe work environment. Employees have a right to a safe work environment.

WorkSafe BC - Working To Make A DifferenceYour best source for information is WorkSafeBC (the Workers’ Compensation Board of BC), which promotes workplace health and safety for the workers and employers in this province. WorkSafeBC consults with and educates employers and employees and monitors compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation.  In the event of work-related injuries or diseases, WorkSafeBC works with the affected parties to provide return-to-work rehabilitation, compensation, health care benefits, and a range of other services.

Creating work environments that are safe and hazard-free requires everyone in a workplace to put safety first.

What Employers and Supervisors Can Do
  • Keep written records of training (who, what, when).
  • Establish and maintain a comprehensive occupational health and safety program, including a written health and safety policy and an incident investigation procedure.
  • Support supervisors, safety coordinators, and workers in their health and safety activities.
  • Take action immediately when a worker or supervisor tells you about a potentially hazardous situation.
  • Initiate an immediate investigation into incidents.
  • Report serious incidents to WorkSafeBC.
  • Provide adequate first aid facilities and services.
  • Ensure monthly health and safety meetings are held and record of meetings are kept.
  • Ensure a health and safety committee/representative, when required, is elected and supported in the workplace.
  • Instruct workers in safe work procedures.
  • Train workers for all tasks assigned to them, and check that their work is being done safely.
  • Ensure that only authorized, adequately trained workers operate tools and equipment or use hazardous chemicals.
  • Enforce health and safety requirements.
  • Correct unsafe acts and conditions.
  • Identify workers with problems that could affect safety at the worksite.
  • Follow up with interviews and referrals where necessary.
  • Formulate health and safety rules and inspect the workplace for hazards.
  • Be knowledgeable about the Workers Compensation Act and those regulations applicable to the work being supervised.
  • If there is a health and safety committee/representative, consult with them.
What Employees Can Do
  • Know and follow health and safety requirements affecting your job.
  • If you donít know how to do something safely, ask for training before you begin work.
  • Work safely, and encourage your co-workers to do the same.
  • Correct any unsafe conditions or immediately report them to your supervisor.
  • Immediately report any injury to a first aid attendant or supervisor.
  • Take the initiative. Make suggestions to improve health and safety.
  • Visit Safety at Work, your on-line resource for workplace injury prevention information from and elsewhere.
  • The WorkSafeBC pamphlet Safety on the Job is Everyone’s Business outlines the responsibilities of employers, supervisors, and workers, including recommended training procedures.
  • How to Implement a Formal Occupational Health and Safety Program WorkSafeBC’s booklet How to Implement a Formal Occupational Health and Safety Program is for workplaces with 20 or more employees.  This booklet helps employers, workers, and joint health and safety committees develop and maintain an effective occupational health and safety program.
  • WorkSafeBC also has resources for workplaces with fewer than 20 employees. Informal safety programs for small business (specific to different industries, e.g. retail, hospitality, and agriculture) are available on-line or by calling or 1-866-319-9704.  Each company in B.C. may receive one free copy of all small business safety products.