320 businesses written up for not following COVID-19 measures, WorkSafeBC says
Published Monday, July 6, 2020 1:46PM PDT Last Updated Monday, July 6, 2020 2:00PM PDT
VANCOUVER -- Hundreds of businesses have been written up for not following proper COVID-19 safety measures, but WorkSafeBC says the vast majority are doing their part to combat the spread of the virus.
With B.C. well into Phase 3 of its restart plan, the province's workplace safety agency shared an update Monday on how businesses are adapting to the new normal.
The transition hasn't been an easy one and each business has its own unique set of challenges.
"We have had situations where employers haven't done so well," said Al Johnson, head of prevention services at WorkSafeBC, on CTV Morning Live.
WorkSafeBC has done more than 12,000 inspections up until the end of June, with 320 of those businesses getting written up for not being up to standards, he said.
"When our prevention officers write an order, they're really in a position where they need to motivate an employer or direct an employer to do more in the workplace because they're not going to do it voluntarily," said Johnson.
"We've encountered situations where they just don't want to do something and we say they need to. But 320 times out of 12,000, that's not so bad."
Johnson said a lot of employers are being proactive when reconfiguring their business plans to address COVID-19.
"For the most part they really do want to do things right and we want to support them to be successful," he said.
The most important factor is that businesses follow the advice given by B.C.'s health officials, Johnson said. Although he acknowledges that safety protocols may look different from one business to another.
"You will see some differences but as long as they're applying the concepts of physical distancing, cleanliness, hygiene and in some cases the use of PPE and Plexiglas barriers," he said.
WorkSafeBC has set up a prevention information line where people can call 24/7 to report a business if they have concerns about its safety protocols.
"This is new for many employers and we recognize that," Johnson said. "But they do need to manage the risk of COVID like any other health and safety risk in the workplace."