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Manufacturing High Risk Strategy

The injury rate and serious injury rate in the manufacturing sector are above the provincial injury rate, and the risks that drive serious injuries in this sector are highly fragmented. The top 15 general risks represent 56 percent of all the manufacturing claims, and the top risk (caught in or struck by machinery or conveyors) represents 18 percent of all serious injury claims in manufacturing.

Therefore, the Manufacturing High Risk Strategy (HRS) needs to address a significant number of risks to have an impact on the serious injury rate.

Combustible dust, particularly in sawmills and pellet mills, has been a critical issue over the past several years. However, other fire and explosions hazards may also be present in other manufacturing subsectors. Inspections associated with the Manufacturing HRS will address fire and explosions hazards, including combustible dust, where appropriate.


  • Reduce serious injury and fatal injury rates in the manufacturing industry
  • The 2018 strategy will address the risks of serious injury from these seven strategic focus areas:
    • Safeguarding and lockout
    • Powered tools
    • Hand tools (knives)
    • Material handling (falling objects)
    • Falls from elevation
    • Falls on same level
    • Mobile equipment

Additional risk areas are fire and explosion risks.


The HRS approach will be to assist employers in strengthening their safety management system by focusing on risk reduction — taking a two-pronged approach of inspection-based engagements and employer self-evaluations.

Officers will focus on the top 15 classification units that are at risk for serious injury, and evaluate whether the employer:

  • Identifies hazards and risks
  • Implements effective and compliant controls
  • Develops safe work procedures, programs, and policies
  • Provides related instruction, training, and supervision
  • Conducts effective inspections
  • Performs effective accident investigations
  • Engages the joint health and safety committee or worker health and safety representative

Deliverables and timelines



Inspection-based engagements
Q1–Q4 2018

  • All locations selected will be inspected at least once by their regional officer. The inspection will focus on the serious injury risks from the seven strategic focus areas that are most applicable to each location
  • In addition, all locations will have fire and explosion risks evaluated as a part of the inspection
  • Officers will follow up as needed to assist employers in strengthening their safety management systems to reduce their risks

Combustible dust workplace inspections
Q1–Q4 2018

  • All sawmills will receive at least one inspection by the combustible dust team officers

Employer self-evaluations
Q2–Q4 2018

  • Locations selected for employer self-evaluations will be engaged by their regional officer starting in Q2 and provided an option to self-evaluate their safety management system in relation to one or more of the serious injury focus areas and their fire and explosion risks

Safeguarding manual distribution
Q1 2018

  • Distribute the revised safeguarding manual (Safeguarding Machinery and Equipment) to employers and industry groups

Safeguarding resource development
Q1–Q4 2018

  • Develop and distribute machine- and industry-specific safeguarding safety bulletins
  • Facilitate at least two industry workshops on safeguarding and lockout

Lockout manual revision
Q1–Q4 2018

  • Conduct review of current resource and make revisions to support employers in effective lockout

Updates and results

WorkSafeBC’S High Risk Strategies and Industry Initiatives identify and target industries and employers with a high risk of serious workplace injury and a significant contribution to the serious injury rate. Each strategy focuses prevention initiatives on identified areas of high risk in order to apply resources and effort where they will be most effective. As part of our strategic initiative to develop measures to assess the effectiveness of prevention activities, we are providing updates of our High Risk Strategies and Industry Initiatives.

Note: To save space in bulleted lists, our update documents may refer to occupational health and safety as OHS. All references to the Act, refer to Part Three of the Workers Compensation Act. Penalties and warning letters reported in updates may have been initiated by inspections in a previous quarter.

Related resources