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WorkSafeBC reminding employers to prepare for flooding and have evacuation plans in place

Published on: June 09, 2022

New WorkSafeBC resource can help employers plan for emergencies

Richmond, B.C. — Due to recent flood warnings for parts of B.C., WorkSafeBC is reminding employers of their responsibility to prepare for the risk of flooding — including planning for evacuation and rescue.

B.C.'s cold and wet spring season has caused a notable spike in the flood risk for the province, the B.C. River Forecast Centre reported in its May snow survey. Delayed snowmelt, increased rainfall, and a sudden change to warmer weather have increased the risk of flooding around the province.

"The most important thing that an employer can do is be prepared," says Al Johnson, Head of Prevention Services at WorkSafeBC. "With the elevated risk of flooding across the province, it is essential that employers do a risk assessment and have an emergency response plan that includes flood risks."

Flood preparations are particularly important for remote workers, or if workers travel through the backwoods. Roadway collapses can also come without warning, as was seen in the damage sustained when a large stretch of the Coquihalla was wiped out by landslides last November.

"Conditions can change quickly," Johnson says, "so it is imperative employers and workers pay close attention to ongoing news reports about road conditions."

To help employers prepare for emergency evacuations, including from floods, WorkSafeBC has developed a new resource for employers, called Emergency evacuation planning for your workplace. This publication is designed to help employers develop effective procedures for evacuating a workplace.

Johnson adds that employers should be engaging their workers in the planning process to ensure their input is received and any concerns are heard and addressed.

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.

WorkSafeBC also has the following resource available for employers:

The following government resources can help employers prepare for and respond to flood risks:

This news release is also available in the following languages:

About WorkSafeBC

WorkSafeBC engages workers and employers to prevent injury, disease, and disability in B.C. When work-related injuries or diseases occur, WorkSafeBC provides compensation and support to people in their recovery, rehabilitation, and safe return to work. We serve approximately 2.3 million workers and 255,000 employers across B.C.

For more information, contact:

Media Relations, WorkSafeBC
Tel: 604.276.5157