Program and Committee Evaluation (PACE) Initiative
WorkSafeBC’s Program and Committee Evaluation (PACE) Initiative was created, in part, in response to the B.C. Coroners Service recommendations from the Lakeland inquest regarding the role and responsibilities of joint health and safety committees, and from Bill 35 (2015), which focuses on expanding the role of joint committees in workplace health and safety.
The initiative was piloted in 2017, focusing on employers with workplaces that were considered either moderate to high risk and with 20 or more workers, or low risk with 50 or more workers. Employers’ occupational health and safety (OHS) programs and joint health and safety committees were evaluated as part of this pilot.
In 2018, the PACE Initiative was rolled out throughout the province and expanded to include employers in low, moderate, or high risk industry sectors with 9-19 workers requiring less formal OHS programs.
The goals of the 2021–2023 PACE Initiative are to:
- Prevent and reduce injury rates
- Evaluate workplace OHS programs and joint committees/worker health and safety representatives for compliance with the Workers Compensation Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation
- Engage employer leadership to promote improvement of formal and less formal OHS programs and joint committee/worker representative function beyond the basic requirements
- Inspections will focus on the implementation and maintenance of OHS programs and joint committee/worker representative function. Specifically this includes reviewing the following:
- Management leadership and commitment to occupational health and safety
- Ability to identify, assess, and control risks
- Process of incident investigation and reporting
- Functionality of joint committees/worker representatives
- This initiative uses an employer self-evaluation questionnaire, on-site inspections, specific interviews with management and joint committee co-chairs, document review, and a validation process to evaluate the adequacy of OHS programs and joint committee/worker representative function.
In 2018–2020, inspectional activities included engaging with new firms and following up with firms that had gone through the process in the past (2017–2019) to determine if compliance has been maintained. This will be the case in 2021 as well.