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New Employer Occupational Health and Safety Obligations Now in Force
On May 14, 2015, Bill 9, the Workers' Compensation Amendment Act, 2015, was given Royal Assent. As we previously reported, the amendments significantly expand WorkSafeBC’s powers to deal with non-compliance and increase employers’ obligations in respect of workplace health and safety. Several sections of the statute are now in force. Of particular note is the new two stage incident investigation process. Employers must undertake a Preliminary Investigation and rectify any unsafe conditions, acts or procedures within 48 hours, followed by a Full Investigation of which a copy of the investigation report must be provided to WorkSafeBC within 30 days of the incident.
Clients are encouraged to review their internal incident investigation procedures to ensure that they meet the new standard. Employers failing to comply with the requirements of the Act could face financial penalties.