Adam Slight, left, and Janet Lourenco, handle a grocery order for a customer at Pauper’s Pub in Toronto on Saturday, April 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin

WorkSafe BC conducted 70 inspections in the Okanagan amid B.C.’s reopening plan

WorkSafe BC has conducted 100 inspections at restaurants across the province since May 19

WorkSafe BC has been busy conducting random inspections of businesses amid B.C.’s COVID-19 reopening plan, with 70 inspections taking place in the Okanagan in the past 10 days.

Since May 19, eight of those inspections were conducted at restaurants.

Across B.C., 100 inspections have taken place in restaurants between May 19 and May 28, making up approximately 20 per cent of total inspections.

To date, there have been no orders or penalties issued.

According to Ivy Yuen with WorkSafe BC, the primary purpose of conducting inspections is to ensure that employers are assessing risks and implementing measures to prevent exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace.

“Our current approach is to verify that the COVID-19 safety plan has been created and implemented and to consult with employers on potential gaps or improvements. Enforcement steps may be necessary in circumstances where the employer has not completed a safety plan, and despite an opportunity to complete it, has not done so,” said Yuen.

If a business doesn’t comply with an order in time it can lead to sanctions, explained Yuen.

“The amount of a penalty is based on the size of the employer’s payroll, the nature of the violation, and an employer’s history of violations,” she said. “The primary purpose of penalties is to motivate the employer receiving the penalty, and other employers, to comply with occupational health and safety legislation and regulation, and to keep their workplaces safe.”

Yuen said that there isn’t an exact number of warnings handed out to businesses before it receives an order or penalty. Instead, there are many contributing factors and things to consider before administering potential orders and penalties.

WorkSafe BC would rather work with employers to educate and consult with them to ensure they have a safety plan for both customers and employees, according to Yuen.

The Kelowna Capital News recently received an email from a resident stating they had visited a local establishment and that WorkSafe BC was conducting an inspection at the time. The resident claimed the restaurant received a warning for not enforcing social distancing between customers.

WorkSafeBC would not confirm if the warning was given and therefore the Capital News is not naming the establishment.

However, Yuen did say if an employer does not comply with an order in time, a penalty could be considered.

The statutory maximum penalty amount in 2020 is $674,445.93.

“This maximum is set out in legislation and is adjusted in January of each year,” stated Yuen.

In 2019, WorkSafe BC imposed 445 penalties totalling approximately $9.6 million in fines.

READ MORE: Socially distant first aid and other COVID-19 challenges

READ MORE: WorkSafe BC increases inspections by 50% as businesses reopen


@Jen_zee
jen.zielinski@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

After slow start, Summerland sees more tourism activity

Majority of visitors come from within British Columbia

EDITORIAL: Accommodating Okanagan fruit pickers

Campsite for agricultural workers to open in Summerland

LETTER: Customer service builds strong support

Company showed positive attitude and swift response

COLUMN: Fiscal sticker shock

Deficit and debt increasing while Canada’s credit rating has been downgraded

LETTER: Summerland’s solar project should be scrapped

Flaws and objections have been raised

The pandemic is widening Canada’s workplace gender gap

Gender pay gap is incentivizing fathers to work while mothers watch children, a new B.C. study has found

Ex-Okanagan Mountie forfeits 20 days’ pay after sexual misconduct review

A former Vernon RCMP constable made sexual comments, grabbed genitals of male officer in two incidents 10 years ago

Security guard assaulted in Kamloops park thanks police, public for quick arrest

Glen Warner, 71, was attacked on July 2 by a man who was asked by Warner to not smoke

Portraits celebrating Syilx culture now on display at Kelowna International Airport

Sheldon Pierre Louis’ art will be on display at YLW from now until July 2021

Deer and moose die after being chased by dogs in South Okanagan

BC conservation officers are asking the public to control their pets

3 people dead in Prince George motel fire

Fire personnel believe the blaze was suspicious although investigation in early stages

Man found dead on Okanagan trail identified as Hollywood actor

GoFundMe campaign launched for man found dead at summit of Spion Kop

B.C. sets terms to review police, mental health, race relations

MLAs to recommend Police Act changes by May 2021

Trail RCMP officer accused of criminal harassment, forcible entry

BCPS: The charges against Murchie date between 2017 and 2020

Most Read