Helping employers to prepare for emergencies
On November 17, B.C. declared a provincial state of emergency due to flooding and landslides in the province. WorkSafeBC is monitoring the situation and encourages workers and employers to take steps to ensure they are able to continue accessing our services, and stay healthy and safe during this time.
Employer responsibilities for emergency preparedness
Under the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation — specifically sections 4.13 through 4.16 and Part 32 on emergency preparedness, response, evacuation, and rescue — all employers are expected to plan, prepare, and train their employees for all emergencies.
Key requirements include:
- Conducting a risk assessment to determine the most likely emergency situations in the workplace. Engaging workers in the risk assessment.
- Developing appropriate written procedures for evacuation, rescue, and re-entry once it is safe to do so.
- Providing well-marked means of escape in the event of an emergency.
- Ensuring that emergency procedures consider the safety of disabled workers.
- Conducting drills at least once every year.
- Making sure all workers on site know how to respond to an incident. Providing training to employees in emergency procedures and fire prevention.
- Assessing and providing adequate first aid coverage.
- Providing appropriate personal protective equipment for workers doing the rescue, evacuation, and subsequent re-entry into workplaces.
- Ensuring a sufficient number of workers are available to implement rescue procedures.
This announcement is also available in the following languages:
Health and safety information and resources
WorkSafeBC emergency preparedness resources:
- 12 Tips for an Effective Emergency Response Plan
- How to Prepare an Emergency Response Plan for Your Small Business
WorkSafeBC restoration work resource:
Flood response resources:
- Be prepared for floods (Province of B.C.)
- Flood safety (Technical Safety BC)
- Gas and electrical equipment safety in floods (Technical Safety BC)
- Information Bulletin: Emergency – natural disaster protocol for electrical and gas equipment safety (e.g. – fire, flood, earthquake, landslide) (Technical Safety BC)
- Workplace health and safety after a flood (Government of Alberta)
If you have a health and safety question or concern, please call WorkSafeBC’s Prevention Information Line at 604.276.3100 in the Lower Mainland (toll-free within B.C. at 1.888.621.SAFE).