B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains (Black Press Media)

VIDEO: WorkSafe BC increases inspections by 50% as businesses reopen

Random inspections are to ensure businesses follow COVID-19 guidelines, requirements from health officials

WorkSafe BC will focus on random inspections to ensure businesses follow health guidelines and requirements as the province enters Phase Two in its COVID-19 reopening plan.

According to Labour Minister Harry Bains, the work safety organization completed 8,719 inspections from March 22 to April 16 to ensure businesses that were open prior to May long weekend were following protocols ordered by health officials. That’s compared to roughly 4,000 during the same time a year prior.

Since the province initiated its multi-phase reopening plan, businesses from restaurants to gyms to salons have been scurrying to welcoming back customers and clients. WorkSafe BC released a handful of sector-specific guidelines on Friday (May 15).

“This is to make sure businesses have the best safety measures in place and consumers can place their trust when stepping inside of them,” Bains said during a news conference on Thursday (May 21).

Inspectors will be visiting businesses at random to ensure the guidelines, as well as requirements from the provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, are being met, Bains added, calling it a “review and inspection regime.”

Employers and business owners with questions can call WorkSafe BC at 1-888-621-7233, he continued.

British Columbians have been eagerly awaiting for social contact restrictions to be eased in order to return to a sliver of normalcy from before the novel coronavirus touched down in the province.

Businesses have been dealt the heavy task of finding a balance between keeping staff and customers safe while also recouping steep financial losses due to the pandemic

Bains said that the province’s website saw 524,000 page views since the guidelines were made public, a 440 per cent increase from previous weeks.

But while these sector-specific guidelines have answered some questions, the information has sparked others.

“The guidelines were never intended as a silver bullet, one size fits all solution,” Bains said. “We expect the same entrepreneurial spirit shown through the epidemic – like the distilleries that pivoted to making sanitizer – to still shine bright as we restart to recover.”

Bains spent much of the Thursday announcement answering inquiries from face mask rules to three-day work weeks.

More to come.

READ MORE: B.C. restaurants can host dine-in guests again, but what will that look like?

COVID-19: Here’s a phase-by-phase look at how B.C. hopes to reopen parts of society


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

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

Just Posted

Brucejack mine fatality identified

Patrick Critch was from Newfoundland

Friendship Centre optimistic MMIWG mural will be painted this year

Following trauma-informed healing workshops, project is now in the design phase

Smithers Skate Park expansion gains momentum

Project ready for Phase 2: Detailed design and construction documentation

Pretivm Resources reports fatality at Brucejack mine

The isolated incident occurred last Friday, and the employee passed away on Sunday in hospital

Smithers man leaves $1 million to children’s hospital

Jim Bolster wanted to help out children with health problems like his own

Airlines dispute Dr. Henry’s claim they ‘very rarely’ give accurate COVID contact tracing info

Air Canada, WestJet say they provide names and contact information

Airborne hot dog strikes Greater Victoria pedestrian

Police called to 4200-block of Quadra Street for hot dog incident

B.C. scientist, 63, protests in trees set to be removed for Trans Mountain pipeline

Tim Takaro is reaching new heights as he tries to stall the pipeline expansion project in New Westminster

Dwindling B.C. bamboo supply leaves Calgary Zoo biologists worried about pandas

Zoo has been trying to send pandas back to China since May

Dinosaurs revived for animatronic auction in Langley

More than 500 robot dinosaurs, fossils, and exhibition gear are going on the block Aug. 6

B.C. paramedics responded to a record-breaking 2,700 overdose calls in July

Province pledges $10.5 million for expansion of overdose prevention response

Canada signs deals with Pfizer, Moderna to get doses of COVID-19 vaccines

Earlier in July both Pfizer and Moderna reported positive results from smaller trials

Canucks tame Minnesota Wild 4-3 to even NHL qualifying series

J.T. Miller leads Vancouver with goal and an assist

Cyclist in hospital after being hit by load of lumber hanging from truck on B.C. highway

A man is in hospital with broken ribs, punctured lung and a broken clavicle and scapula

Most Read