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. In 2021, this employer group was shifted to the Small Business Initiative and PACE now focuses on employers with 20 or more workers, where a formal OHS program and a joint committee are required.
In 2018–2021, inspectional activities included engaging with new firms and following up with firms that had gone through the process in previous years, to determine if compliance has been maintained. This approach will continue in 2022.
The goals of the 2021–2023 PACE Initiative are to:
- Evaluate workplace OHS programs and joint committees with respect to compliance with the Workers Compensation Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation
- Engage employer leadership to promote improvement of formal OHS programs and joint committee function beyond the basic requirements
- Promote worker participation and engagement to improve health and safety culture
- Prevent and reduce injury rates
- Inspections will focus on the implementation and maintenance of OHS programs, and the effectiveness of joint committees. Specifically, this includes reviewing the following:
- Employer leadership and commitment to occupational health and safety
- Ability of workers and employers to identify, assess, and control risks
- Process of incident investigation and reporting
- Functionality of joint committees
- This initiative uses a current state assessment that includes on-site inspections, interviews with employer and joint committee co-chairs, a cultural assessment process, and a document review to evaluate the adequacy of OHS programs and joint committee function