A WorkSafeBC occupational safety or hygiene officer may visit your worksite to conduct an inspection. Employers cannot obstruct an officer from carrying out their duties.
An officer has the right to
- Enter workplaces unannounced. You cannot deny an officer entry to a workplace
- Tour, observe and inspect the workplace
- Ask that work process commence, or tools be used
- Take photos
- Interview workers
- Inspect records
- Attend relevant employer training
- Remove items from the workplace for further investigation
- Stop unsafe work
The officer will leave (or email) an inspection report, which is an official record of the visit. An inspection report details findings of a worksite visit by a WorkSafeBC officer. It documents any points of discussion and recommendations. It also includes any orders or penalties that result from the visit.
Supervisors should review the inspection report as soon as it is issued. Ensure that reported facts are correct. If you believe they are not, bring this to the attention of the WorkSafeBC officer that wrote the report. Talk to the officer about the findings if you have any questions or require clarification.
The inspection report may include a compliance order. The order covers any violations found of the Workers Compensation Act or Occupational Health and Safety Regulation and provides a deadline by which the employer must comply. Normally, WorkSafeBC will give an employer 30 days to comply with an order.
WorkSafeBC may demand immediate compliance or shut down the worksite if there is a high hazard violation. It is important that supervisors review every WorkSafeBC order written for their workplace to
- Ensure that the order is understood and that action is taken to comply with the requirements as soon as possible
- Determine if the order is accurate and appropriate in the circumstances. If it appears it is not, then a review should be initiated
Contact a safety specialist through AskMyHR for assistance with complying with orders.
Reviews and Appeals
If you receive an order or penalty that you think is wrong, an application for a review must be filed with WorkSafeBC within 45 days of the date of the order. Contact a safety specialist through AskMyHR to help you with the review process.
A review request does not mean you can delay complying with the order. The requirements in the order must be carried out as stated by the date specified until the review or appeal is successfully completed.