WorkSafeBC Home

Health Care and Social Services High Risk Strategy

The Health Care and Social Services High Risk Strategy (HRS) focuses WorkSafeBC resources on identified high-risk work activities within health care and community social services worksites. Workers in the health care and social services subsector represent approximately 11 percent of B.C.’s workforce. From 2015 to 2019, there were 46,929 time-loss claims — 41 percent of these were related to overexertion injuries. Claims related to violence in this subsector accounted for approximately 59 percent of B.C.’s total number of violence-related claims. The 2019 injury rates of the classification units (CUs) within this subsector reached a high of 8.9, well above the provincial injury rate of 2.2.

Point-of-care interactions between workers and patients or individuals pose the greatest risk of injury to workers, including serious injuries due to acts of violence. The initiatives in our 2021–2023 HRS strategy focus on work areas and occupations where interactions between the worker and the patient or individual can be observed.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some inspections will be conducted remotely. All inspections will integrate the Health Care and Social Services HRS focus with an employer’s basic responsibilities to ensure a safe and healthy workplace.

Our goals

The goals of the 2021–2023 HRS are to:

  • Reduce the risk of workplace violence and related injuries to health care and community social services workers
  • Reduce health care and community social services workers’ risk of overexertion or musculoskeletal injuries (MSIs) due to patient/individual lifting and patient/individual mobility limitations

Our focus

Our focus in 2021–2023 is to:

  • Apply point-of-care inspectional protocols focusing on violence prevention, MSI prevention, and employer internal responsibility systems
  • For 2021, additional focus on employer COVID-19 exposure prevention activities
  • Implement various initiatives to educate employers, workers, and supervisors; build relationships; and encourage safe work practices focusing on violence prevention and MSI prevention

What you can do

The following resources will help you better understand and address some of the health and safety issues we’ll be focusing on with our inspections and initiatives. For more resources and information, please visit our Health Care & Social Services pages.