Rights and Responsibilities
Within the WCA there are specific responsibilities set out for workers, employers, supervisors and contractors to ensure their individual health and safety and the health and safety of all others in the workplace. The definition of a workplace encompasses any place a worker is present that is associated to their job tasks and duties. This includes any office, vessel, vehicle, mobile equipment and field stations or sites. The following sections explain the roles and responsibilities of each of the different BCCF staff positions with regards to health and safety in the workplace. Any worker, supervisor, contractor or member of management that contravenes the BCCF OHSP, WCA and/or the OHSR may be subject to disciplinary action and/or prosecution under the WCA along with any applicable Federal regulations.
BCCF as an organization will:
- Ensure that there is a current safety program in place with necessary resources to limit the risk of incidents, injuries, and illness within the workplace and ensure the safety of all BCCF staff;
- Comply with all aspects of the WCA and OHSR pertinent to the work and duties of BCCF;
- Assign competent persons to oversee, inspect, assist, and direct workers in the completion of their duties and tasks;
- Ensure the health and safety of all BCCF workers and that of other workers present at the same workplace, as per WCA Part 1 Section 115;
- Remedy any hazardous conditions in the workplace promptly, with proper consideration for due diligence, and as reasonably practicable;
- Ensure all BCCF workers are aware of and know how to avoid and/or minimize all known and reasonably conceivable hazards that their work or tasks may involve prior to commencing their duties;
- Ensure all BCCF workers are made aware of their rights, responsibilities, duties, and applicable safe work standards as set out by the WCA, OHSR and BCCF OHSP;
- Provide workers with the necessary instruction, training, equipment, and supervision to ensure the continued upkeep of health related and safety conditions at their worksite including conditions which may impact the health and safety of others present;
- Provide supervisors with necessary training and support to achieve their health and safety related responsibilities;
- Ensure all BCCF supervisors, and staff have received training in, and are aware of, their appropriate and safe response in regards to any event, incident, or accident including the process of response, reporting, investigation, and delegation of corrective action;
- Provide a copy of the WCA and OHSR to all workers at a known location;
- Ensure all tools and equipment, including personal protective equipment, are in good condition to complete their work in the safest manner possible; and
- Cooperate with Workers Compensation Board (the Board), including their officers as required.
The definition for ‘worker’ under the WCA states that any person that has entered into or works under a contract, written or oral, expressed or implied, whether by way of manual labour or otherwise is consider a worker. The definition also includes persons not yet entered into or under contract that are undergoing training or probationary work specified or stipulated by the employer preliminary to employment. All persons specified by that definition of worker, those employees of BCCF, will:
- Review, understand and comply with the BCCF OHSP, WCA, and OHSR and any additional WorkSafeBC policies, standards and guidelines applicable to their work;
- Participate in orientation and training as required by BCCF OHSP, WCA, and OHSR or as requested by BCCF staff;
- Learn and comply with applicable BCCF safe work practices(SWPs) and safe job procedures (SJPs) in addition to any related hazard control measures and check-in protocols as identified on their Job Safety Analysis (JSA), including the use of or wearing of personal protective equipment (PPE);
- Refrain from horseplay or poor conduct that could put themselves or other workers or any other persons at risk while working;
- Report to and notify applicable Project Coordinator and BCCF Safety Coordinator any new or unforeseen hazards not accounted for on their JSA; this includes the absence of or deficiencies in any PPE necessary to complete work safely;
- Work with Project Coordinator and BCCF Safety Coordinator to correct and minimize these new hazards in a timely and reasonably practicable manner;
- Conduct ongoing reviews and inspections of their workplace to ensure the worker, management, and applicable persons are aware of new or developing hazards;
- Refuse and do not attempt any work they believe to be unsafe (See page 12 for additional details);
- Maintain awareness and protection for their own health and safety along with the health and safety of other workers or persons exposed to the workplace;
- Comply with any applicable BCCF documentation protocols, report incidents, injuries, and near misses to BCCF Safety Coordinator and complete and submit related records;
- Operate only equipment they are trained, qualified and authorized to;
- Guarantee that they are fit to perform duties and not impaired by drugs, alcohol or other substances or causes; and
- Cooperate with Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee (JOHSC), BCCF Safety Coordinator and the Workers Compensation Board, including officers of the Board or any person acting on behalf of the Board.
BCCF does not employee any Supervisors within its Management Team. The BCCF Safety Coordinator will have some similar duties as Supervisors as laid out in Section 117 of Workers Compensation Act. Please review the Safety Coordinator section below for a full list of the rights and duties the BCCF Safety Coordinator will be responsible for. In some instances there could be temporary field season staff that take on a role as a Crew Leader, these individuals will be considered supervisors and will:
- Practice due diligence within their roles and the supervision of the workers tasked to them;
- Ensure the ongoing health and safety of all crew members under their direct supervision;
- Review, comply, and understand the BCCF OHSP, WCA, and OHSR parts and sections, including policies, standards and guidelines applicable to the work being supervised;
- Ensure workers are aware of and informed about all foreseeable hazards;
- Ensure workers under their supervision adhere to all safety regulations, SWPs, SJPs and participate in any “tail-gate” safety meetings, orientation, training, and educational sessions applicable to their work;
- Take all reasonable steps to correct any failure to comply with safe working practices, procedures, and protocols set out by the OHSR, BCCF OHSP, or any other applicable regulations;
- Maintain communication with workers under their supervision and ensure new or developing conditions or changes in work are appropriately recognized;
- Investigate unsafe conditions reported to them, ensure prompt corrective action is taken; and
- Cooperate with JOHSC, BCCF Safety Coordinator and the Workers Compensation Board, including officers of the Board or any person acting on behalf of the Board.
Note: Where there are more than nine members on a crew, the crew may have the opportunity to vote for and elect a safety representative from within their crew. If there are less than 9 members a crew leader will be elected by the Project Coordinator and/or Safety Coordinator.
BCCF employs and maintains a role for a full time Safety Coordinator. This individual is available through the week for safety administration and at biweekly Management meetings shall discuss safety concerns, issues, and courses of action as a group to ensure the health and safety of all BCCF workers. The Safety Coordinator takes on the duties and responsibilities of a joint health and safety committee with assistance from management where required. The Safety Coordinator will:
- Identify and as reasonably practicable either eliminate or control hazards that have potential to be unhealthy or unsafe for workers;
- Ensure all workers are informed and aware of these hazards which are applicable to them and knowledgeable on how to control them;
- Advise management and BCCF safety committee on effective means and systems to respond to any unsafe conditions and hazards in the workplace as well as any necessary changes or updates to safety programs or policies required by the Occupational Health and Safety regulation;
- Address any deficiencies in health and safety protocols and procedures within the organization and recommend solutions to the applicable management staff and BCCF safety committee;
- Consult with management and all other applicable BCCF staff on any issues related to occupational health and safety in and around the workplace;
- Recommend training and educational programs or any other health and safety improvements to management and all other applicable BCCF employees;
- Monitor effectiveness of any training, protocols, and BCCF OHSP;
- Promote and grow health and safety culture in the workplace to all levels of BCCF including management, administration and project related employees;
- Ensure appropriate written protocols, safe job procedures and safe work practices are in place and provided to or readily available to workers;
- Respond promptly and effectively to any complaints regarding worker health and safety, this includes investigations of any refusals to work;
- Ensure all incident investigations, regular inspections, and safety related reporting/records are completed and retained in accordance with the Occupation Health and Safety Regulation and this OHSP;
- Maintain all records and statistics so that they would be readily available upon request of BCCF management or members/officers of the Board;
- Monitor the implementation of and ongoing development of safety related work protocols and documentation;
- Perform or facilitate workplace and equipment inspections; and
- Participate in investigations, inquiries or inspections performed by WorkSafeBC and members or officers of the Workers Compensation Board;
- Record and provide minutes from applicable OH&S meetings for JOHSC review.
BCCF has established and will maintain a JOHSC. At all times it will consist of a minimum of 4 employees, with at least half the membership belonging to worker representatives (project coordinators), equal membership of employer representatives and worker representatives with 2 co-chairs. One co-chair will have been elected by the employer and the other by the workers. The BCCF Safety Coordinator will always be one of the employer’s representatives. Current JOHSC members and their locations will be listed on the BCCF website under safety. JOHSC will meet a minimum of once a month, but potentially twice a month. These meetings will be every other Tuesday at 10:30am. Copies of the minutes from these meetings and any resulting reports will be retained by BCCF for a minimum of 2 years and are available upon request to employees. Minutes from the three most recent JOHSC meetings will be available on the employee website.
In the event that the JOHSC is unable to agree on an issue relating to the health and safety of BCCF workers and their associated workplaces a co-chair may report the disagreement to the Board for potential investigation and resolution.
Members of the JOHSC are entitled to 8 hours a year for training approved by the Board and paid for by the employer (including travel costs), related to occupational health and safety. Longer time allotments may be given where required by regulation. Member on the JOHSC may designate other members of the committee to use their educational hours.
Contractors are included in the definition of ‘worker’ under the Workers Compensation Act and as such are responsible for everything listed in this section under worker. In addition contractors of BCCF will:
- Ensure that they have WCB coverage and it is in good standing;
- Maintain a structure of proper communication and reporting with BCCF so that required parties may effectively manage their responsibilities and requirements within the OH&S process;
- Comply with all applicable Parts of the Workers Compensation Act and Occupational Health and Safety Regulation; and
- Adhere to, and operate in accordance with, all requirements, policies and procedure set out in this OHSP and/or if applicable their own OHSP.
In most cases, BCCF has been assigned the responsibility of prime contractor through our service agreements with the project owners and sponsors. This responsibility cannot be transferred to another individual, employer, or organization without the prior written approval of the project owner/sponsor as per the OHSR and the applicable service agreement. The full obligations of the prime contractor are laid out within the OHSR. These prime contractor responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Coordination of and the overall management of the occupational health and safety at the workplace with multiple employers and employees as set out in written agreement;
- Ensure that all known hazards are communicated between multiple employers; and
- Ensure compliance of all occupational health and safety requirements at the workplace.
Note that each employer represented at the workplace is still responsible for the health and safety of their own workers and it is their duty to ensure that the prime contractor if one has been assigned is complying with the written agreement and maintaining the health and safety of their workers.
An owner may or may not also be the employer or prime contractor at the workplace, should one not be assigned, in which case their responsibilities are covered in those sections as well as this one. It should be noted that if a person has two or more roles as mentioned in this case that that person is responsible for complying with all the requirements of all of their roles (section 124 of the Act). In general an owner’s responsibilities are as follows:
- Meet and comply with all applicable occupational health and safety requirements, including any WSBC or applicable federal regulatory orders;
- Notification to employers or prime contractor of any known hazards at the workplace and any information required to mitigate these hazards; and
- Maintain the workplace (land and premises) so as to ensure the health and safety or workers or other persons at the workplace.
Suppliers of equipment such as tools, equipment, machine or biological, chemical or physical agents are responsible for:
- Ensuring that tools, equipment, machine or biological, chemical or physical agent are safe when used in accordance with the directions provided;
- Ensuring tools, equipment, machine or biological, chemical or physical agent comply with the regulations;
- Providing directions for safe use and maintenance of tools, equipment, machine or biological, chemical or physical agent;
- Ensuring equipment, tools, machines, etc., are supplied to BCCF in a condition safe for use and in compliance with the Act and the Regulation; and
- Complying with the Act, Regulation and any orders.