Getting started (the basics)
To get started with creating and managing a safe and healthy workplace, follow the links below for more information and resources on the basic requirements.
Everyone in the workplace has certain responsibilities for workplace health and safety. As an employer, it's important that you understand your own rights and responsibilities for workplace health and safety, as well as those of owners, supervisors, prime contractors, and workers.
Managing the health and safety side of your business includes managing risk in your workplace. The first step to managing risk is to identify things or situations in your workplace that could cause harm to workers. The next step is to assess the likelihood and seriousness of the potential harm. Once you've assessed the risk, you can take steps to control the risk to reduce the potential harm.
All employers are required to have a health and safety program. The type of program you need depends on the number of workers and the risks associated with the work. Learn more about the required elements of an effective health and safety program, and how they can help prevent workplace injury and disease.
If your workplace has 20 or more workers, you are required to have a joint health and safety committee. The joint committee brings together representatives of the employer and the workers, in equal number, to identify and help resolve health and safety issues in the workplace. We provide training materials for joint health and safety committee members.
Workplace inspections are an effective way to prevent injuries and disease. Performing regular workplace inspections will help you identify conditions or unsafe acts, determine what corrective measures need to be taken, and prevent unsafe work conditions from developing. There are three different types of inspections: regular, planned workplace inspections; equipment inspections; and special inspections.
The joint health and safety committee brings together representatives of the employer and the workers to help the employer identify and resolve health and safety issues in the workplace. You need to establish and maintain a joint health and safety committee if your workplace has 20 or more workers. In smaller workplaces, a worker health and safety representative may be enough. We provide training materials for joint health and safety committee members.
When safety-related incidents do happen on the job, both employers and WorkSafeBC have certain responsibilities. Incident investigations help identify root causes and hazards while finding ways to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future. Two different investigations take place after an incident occurs: an employer investigation and a WorkSafeBC investigation.
You are responsible for immediately reporting serious incidents to us, including when a worker is seriously injured or killed, a building collapses, or there is a major release of a hazardous substance. This is not the same as reporting injuries as part of a claim.
Beyond the basics
There are a number of steps you can take to improve your health and safety culture and performance, beyond just meeting the basic requirements. Follow these links for more information and resources on these topics: