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Program and Committee Evaluation (PACE) Initiative

WorkSafeBC’s Program and Committee Evaluation (PACE) Initiative was created, in part, in response to the B.C. coroner’s 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.

Goals

The goals of the 2018–2020 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

Approaches

  • 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. 

Deliverables and timelines

Activities Details
Inspections
Q1–Q4 2019
  • Officer team training
  • Identify and inspect firms
  • Review employers’ self-evaluation questionnaire responses to officers’ validation
  • Interview joint committee co-chairs/worker representatives and senior management representatives
  • Determine the functioning of the OHS programs and joint committees/worker representatives for compliance with the Act and Regulation
  • Re-visit and continue to engage with firms that were inspected in 2017/2018 to determine sustained compliance
Awareness and education activities
Q1–Q4 2019
  • Provide information and resources on changes to joint committee/worker representative requirements in the Act and Regulation
  • Develop and distribute resources for employers, committees and representatives

Updates and results

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