British Columbia’s health and safety authority is working to make workplaces in the province safer, including a stricter definition of evening hours when employers are required to provide extra protection to employees working late.
WorkSafeBC held public hearings in May and early June to consider proposed regulatory amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation. Once the input from the consultations are reviewed, WorksafeBC will make any necessary changes and present the amendments for debate in the provincial legislature.
Notable amendments include changes to the following sections of the regulation:
• Part 1 - definition of qualified registered professional
• Part 4 - definition of late night hours
• Parts 4 and 26 - avalanches
• Parts 1, 4, and 20 - notification of utilities
• Part 4 - wire rope guardrails and prior approval
• Part 8 - leg protection
• Parts 4, 6, 8, 9, 12, 23 and 31 - respirator protection factors
• Part 9 - alternate procedures (confined spaces)
• Part 12 - swing-arm restraint
• Part 13 - swing stages and prior permission
• Part 15 - standards for slings
• Part 16 - warning signal device
• Part 19 - minimum clearance (electrical safety)
• Parts 5, 6, and 30 - biohazardous agents.
The proposed amendments with explanatory notes and details of the public hearings are available at www.worksafebc.com/regulation_and_policy/public_hearings/
One of the notable aspects of the amendments is the proposed change to the definition of “late-night hours,” during which employees are afforded extra protection due to the risk of violence. Currently, late night hours are from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., but the amendments will change the starting time to 11 p.m. to bring the definition in line with the province’s liquor control regulations.
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