The British Columbia Workers Compensation Act has been updated. With the passage of Bill 9 in May, stricter rules have been put in place in several areas.
Stop-work orders are now possible if there is a high risk of serious injury, illness or death to employees. Previously, the threshold was the more serious “immediate danger” determination.
WorkSafeBC can also implement a company-wide stop-operations order if it believes that unsafe conditions exist across all of an enterprise’s locations.
When an incident does occur the employer must complete a preliminary investigation within 48 hours, and a full report must be submitted within 30 days. The employer must also determine interim corrective actions as appropriate, and prepare a corrective action report.
Changes have also been made to the injunctions process so that WorkSafeBC can now apply to the British Columbia Supreme Court to prevent a person from working in an industry, or in an activity in an industry, indefinitely or until further order of the Court.
Finally, the onus of proving due diligence now falls on the employer.