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Occupational Health and Safety Regulation

The Occupational Health and Safety Regulation (Regulation) contains legal requirements that must be met by all workplaces under the inspectional jurisdiction of WorkSafeBC.

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 Regulation 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 Regulation 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 sections of the Regulation have associated guidelines and policies, which are used to help interpret and apply the Regulation.

How the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation is organized

This section provides brief information about the 33 Parts of the Regulation.

Parts 1–4: Core Requirements

The Core Requirements apply to all workplaces, and include:

  • Part 1: Definitions — A list of words used in the Regulation that have specific meanings.
  • Part 2: Application — A description of how the Regulation 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 20–32 and 34: Industry/Activity Specific Requirements

  • Parts 20–30 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. Part 31 covers firefighting, Part 32 covers evacuation and rescue, and Part 34 covers rope access.

Note: Part 33, Occupational First Aid, was repealed by B.C. Reg. 348/2003, effective March 30, 2004.