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Occupational Health & Safety Regulation (OHSR)

The OHSR contains legal requirements that must be met by all workplaces under the inspectional jurisdiction of WorkSafeBC. Many sections of the OHSR have associated guidelines and policies.

This includes most workplaces in B.C., except mines and federally chartered workplaces such as banks, interprovincial and international transportation, telephone systems, and radio, television, and cable services.

The purpose of the OHSR is to promote occupational health and safety and to protect workers and other persons present at workplaces from work-related risks to their health, safety, and well-being. Compliance with the requirements provides the basis on which workers and employers, in cooperation, can solve workplace health and safety problems. The requirements are not an end in themselves, but are a foundation upon which to build an effective health and safety program.

WorkSafeBC is committed to the regular review of the requirements of the OHSR based on regulatory experience and changes in knowledge, technology, and work practices. All interested parties are invited to forward suggestions for improvement to WorkSafeBC .

Note: The requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation are adopted under the authority of the Workers Compensation Act as amended from time to time.

Many parts of the OHSR have associated guidelines, which are used to help interpret and apply the OHSR. Other policies and practices of WorkSafeBC are set out in the Prevention Manual.

How the OHSR is organized

This section provides brief information about the 32 Parts of the OHSR.

Parts 1-4: Core Requirements 

The Core Requirements apply to all workplaces, and include:

  • Part 1: Definitions - A list of words used in the OHSR that have specific meanings.
  • Part 2: Application -- A description of how the OHSR is applied.
  • Part 3: Rights and Responsibilities -- Details about elements of a health and safety program, investigations and reports, workplace inspections, the right to refuse work and first aid.
  • Part 4: General Conditions -- Requirements for such aspects of workplace safety as building and equipment safety, emergency preparedness, preventing violence, working alone, ergonomics, illumination, indoor air quality, smoking, and lunchrooms.

Parts 5-19: General Hazard Requirements. 

  • Parts 5-19 deal with general hazards found in a number of workplaces, usually higher-hazard operations. Topics include the safe use of chemicals, confined space entry procedures, guarding of machinery and the use of mobile equipment. In many workplaces, including office environments, only a small portion of these requirements may apply.

Parts 20-34: Industry/Activity Specific Requirements

  • Parts 20-34 deal with requirements that apply to specific industries -- such as forestry, oil and gas, and construction - or to specific hazardous activities -- such as blasting and diving. The last two Parts cover firefighting, and evacuation and rescue.

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