New Government Bill Addresses Lakeland/Babine Recommendations
Prince George, B.C. – The provincial government has introduced a new bill it says takes further action to enhance workplace safety.
A government news release says Bill 35 was tabled to address “the Lakeland and Babine coroner’s inquest recommendations that were directed to the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour.”
The announced amendments to the Workers Compensation Act will:
*Require employers to immediately report to WorkSafeBC all workplace fires or explosions that had the potential to cause serious injury to a worker.
*Require employer investigation reports be provided to the workplace health and safety committee or worker health and safety representative, or be posted at the worksite.
*Specify meaningful participation for worker and employer representatives in employer accident investigations.
* Specify a role for workplace health and safety committees to provide advice to the employer on significant proposed equipment and machinery changes that may affect worker health and safety.
*Allow WorkSafeBC to proactively assist workplace health and safety committees in resolving disagreements over health and safety matters.
The Province says these amendments “are part of the ongoing, co-ordinated work government has undertaken to make workplaces safer.”
Seven of the 43 recommendations made by Gord Macatee in the WorkSafeBC Review and Action Plan report were directed at the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training, and Responsible for Labour: five from the Lakeland Inquest (May 14) and two from the Babine Inquest (July 31).