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WorkSafeBC reports highest number of COVID-19-related violations in service sector

Person checking into hotel. (via Getty Images)

WorkSafeBC says it has issued the highest number of COVID-19-related orders in the Service Sector, with the majority of the orders issued to employers who failed to provide employees with proper training, information and supervision in the wake of the pandemic.

Where a prevention officer observes a health and safety violation, the officer will ordinarily issue an order to the responsible workplace party. As of July 3, WorkSafeBC has issued 334 of such COVID-19-related orders

The Service Sector (e.g. hotels, restaurants, gyms, hospitals, schools, real estate, and hair salons) represents the lion's share of the orders, with a whopping 104 COVID-19-related orders issued this year. 

In an email to Glacier Media, WorkSafeBC provides a breakdown COVID-19-related workplace violations in the Service Sector. The highest number of violations (13) occurred when the employer did not provide workers, "with adequate information, instruction, training and supervision to ensure the health and safety of those workers in carrying out their work and to ensure the health and safety of other workers at the workplace."

Following that, the second-highest number of orders (9) were issued when the employer failed, "to ensure the health and safety of all workers present at the workplace at which this employer's work is being carried out."

The third-highest number of orders (5) was issued when WorkSafeBC inspectors determined that a workplace posed, "a risk of injury to workers from violence arising out of their employment, and where elimination of the risk is not possible, the employer has failed to establish procedures, policies or work environment arrangements to minimize the risk."

The Service Sector: Orders Issued

In total, WorkSafeBC issued the highest number of orders in the Accommodation, Food, and Leisure Services, with 52. Following it, 24 orders were issued in "Unspecified Services." 

There were 16 orders issues in Health Care and Social Services, while WorkSafe BC issued seven in Education. There were also three orders issued in Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services, and two in Business Services.

As the province reaches its final phase of the Restart Plan, WorkSafeBC officers will focus on verifying that employers have a COVID-19 Safety Plan that assesses the risk of exposure at their worksite and implements measures to keep their workers safe.