New WorkSafeBC rules on safety headgear now in effect
Other amendments to occupational health and safety regulation now also in force

New health and safety requirements for safety headgear among British Columbia employers took effect on Sept. 1, WorkSafeBC is reminding stakeholders.

Under the revised regulation, before a worker starts an assignment in a work area where there is a risk of head injury, the employer must take measures to eliminate or minimize the risk of head injury, and then require the worker to wear safety headgear.

“The intent of the change is to improve occupational health and safety in the workplace by requiring employers to follow the hierarchy of controls, which is a step-by-step approach to eliminating or reducing risks,” said WorkSafeBC.

Employers are also encouraged to involve workers in the review of any workplace hazards and any control measures that may be implemented to keep workers safe.

Other amendments

Several other amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation also took effect on Sept. 1.

One such change relates to pesticides and requires employers to ensure that no one enters a treated area until the restricted entry interval has expired.

“The revised sections provide further requirements for various scenarios, such as labels with multiple REIs indicated, where more than one pesticide is applied with different REIs, or if a label does not have an REI stated on the label,” said WorkSafeBC. “In addition to following REIs on labels, employers must ensure that workers comply with all safety information stated on labels of the pesticides as well.”

Another amendment requires that mobile equipment – except a few, including snowmobiles, ATVs and golf carts – must now be used with rollover protective structure (ROPS). This requirement is in place unless a risk assessment by a qualified person determines there is no or only a minimal risk of rollover.

Also, amendments to the regulation of high visibility apparel remove the reference to the WorkSafeBC standard and adopt the requirements of CSA Standard Z96-15, High-Visibility Safety Apparel for workers exposed to vehicles or mobile equipment.

This allows for greater consistency in high visibility apparel requirements across the country as the CSA standard is a regulatory requirement in other Canadian jurisdictions, according to WorkSafeBC.