B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains (Black Press Media)

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains (Black Press Media)

VIDEO: WorkSafe BC increases inspections by 50% as businesses reopen

Random inspections are to ensure businesses follow COVID-19 guidelines, requirements from health officials

WorkSafe BC will focus on random inspections to ensure businesses follow health guidelines and requirements as the province enters Phase Two in its COVID-19 reopening plan.

According to Labour Minister Harry Bains, the work safety organization completed 8,719 inspections from March 22 to April 16 to ensure businesses that were open prior to May long weekend were following protocols ordered by health officials. That’s compared to roughly 4,000 during the same time a year prior.

Since the province initiated its multi-phase reopening plan, businesses from restaurants to gyms to salons have been scurrying to welcoming back customers and clients. WorkSafe BC released a handful of sector-specific guidelines on Friday (May 15).

“This is to make sure businesses have the best safety measures in place and consumers can place their trust when stepping inside of them,” Bains said during a news conference on Thursday (May 21).

Inspectors will be visiting businesses at random to ensure the guidelines, as well as requirements from the provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, are being met, Bains added, calling it a “review and inspection regime.”

Employers and business owners with questions can call WorkSafe BC at 1-888-621-7233, he continued.

British Columbians have been eagerly awaiting for social contact restrictions to be eased in order to return to a sliver of normalcy from before the novel coronavirus touched down in the province.

Businesses have been dealt the heavy task of finding a balance between keeping staff and customers safe while also recouping steep financial losses due to the pandemic

Bains said that the province’s website saw 524,000 page views since the guidelines were made public, a 440 per cent increase from previous weeks.

But while these sector-specific guidelines have answered some questions, the information has sparked others.

“The guidelines were never intended as a silver bullet, one size fits all solution,” Bains said. “We expect the same entrepreneurial spirit shown through the epidemic – like the distilleries that pivoted to making sanitizer – to still shine bright as we restart to recover.”

Bains spent much of the Thursday announcement answering inquiries from face mask rules to three-day work weeks.

More to come.

READ MORE: B.C. restaurants can host dine-in guests again, but what will that look like?

COVID-19: Here’s a phase-by-phase look at how B.C. hopes to reopen parts of society


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Just Posted

Katie Hamilton is one of three Victoria residents receiving a $10,000 podcast production grant from Telus Storyhive. Her podcast, Her Love of Sport, will take listeners through stories from women in the sports industry. (Courtesy of Katie Hamilton)
Three podcasts coming to Victoria following Telus Storyhive grants

Victoria podcasts chosen out of 700 applications to receive $10,000

A screenshot from a Nuu-chah-nulth healing song and performance created in collaboration between Hjalmer Wenstob and Timmy Masso. (Screenshot from YouTube)
VIDEO: Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation brothers produce COVID-19 healing song

Hjalmer Wenstob and Timmy Masso share dance and inspiration.

Paramedic Matthew Schlatter of Victoria is living a fuller life today due to the double lung transplant he received in 2019. He encourages B.C. residents to register as an organ donor and let their families know their wishes. (Instagram/Matthew Schlatter)
Vancouver Island man living a full, active life after double-lung transplant

Matt Schlatter encourages people to register as an organ donor to help others live

‘For Sale’ signs quickly turned to ‘Sold’ signs as record-high demand for housing meets record-low inventory. (Cole Schisler photo)
Multiple offers and unconditional sales rampant as Island housing market booms

Historically low interest, pent-up demand and low supply has sent the market soaring

Stz’uminus Elder George Harris, Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, and Stz’uminus Chief Roxanne Harris opened the ceremony. (Cole Schisler photo)
Red dresses to be hung from Ladysmith to Oyster Bay, showing solidarity against racism

Leaders from Stz’uminus First Nation and the Town of Ladysmith hung new dresses on Sat. April 17

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

(Black Press file photo).
Multiple stabbings at Vancouver Island bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault in Comox

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. finance minister to table historic pandemic-challenged deficit budget

Budget aims to take care of people during pandemic while preparing for post-COVID-19 recovery, Robinson said

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control has listed Harbour Air and Air Canada flights to and from Nanaimo, from April 3, 4 and 12, on its list of flights with COVID-19. (News Bulletin file)
COVID-19 cases reported for Nanaimo flights, says disease control centre

Nanaimo flights for April 3, 4 and 12 listed on BCCDC’s list of flights with COVID-19

A Parksville Fire Department’s firefighter hoses down the facade of a Parksville Heritage Centre building after it caught fire on Friday afternoon (April 16). (Michael Briones photo)
Fire crews, roofers work to douse building fire in Parksville

Damage was minimal and workers escaped injury

Best of the City 2019 (Sergej Krivenko photo)
Voting opens for Victoria’s annual Best of the City

Annual awards mark 27th year in Greater Victoria

‘Nanaimo’ will be spelled out in five-foot-tall letters upon a slab of concrete overlooking Swy-a-Lana Lagoon at Maffeo Sutton Park. (Greg Sakaki/The News Bulletin)
Five-foot-tall letters spelling out ‘Nanaimo’ coming to Maffeo Sutton Park

$50,000-project expected to be installed by the end of April

Most Read