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

Possible Kermode Bear spotted near Castlegar

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run on May 27

Stolen truck found in Christina Lake

Family happy the vehicle was found

Two more Johnson Flats properties given evacuation alerts

Forecast graphs for Boundary rivers show another spike for week of June 1

Boundary non-profits now eligible for emergency funds

Local charities can apply to get grants from the $40,000 pot, managed by the Phoenix Foundation

Trial date set in Castlegar RCMP shooting death

Constable Jason Tait has elected a jury trial.

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

Revelstoke woman finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Spirit bear possibly spotted in West Kootenay

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run near Castlegar on May 27

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

B.C. teacher reprimanded for sharing homophobic and sexist memes, making racist comments

Klaus Hardy Breslauer was accused of making a laundry list of concerning decisions as a science teacher

COVID-19: B.C. too dependent on foreign food production workers

New B.C. job site links unemployed with farm, seafood work

Another Asian giant ‘murder hornet’ found in Lower Mainland

This is the farthest east the invasive species has been found so far

Most Read