WorkSafeBC has filed hundreds of orders against companies in violation of COVID-19 regulations - InfoNews

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WorkSafeBC has filed hundreds of orders against companies in violation of COVID-19 regulations

Bohemian Cafe servers Noah Peters and Cara Spelliscy show how they check customers' temperatures before they're seated. But not all workplaces take such precautions.
July 05, 2020 - 2:59 PM

If workers or customers feel unsafe in stores, offices or on constructions sites because they don’t think COVID-19 guidelines are being followed, they can file complaints with WorkSafeBC.

As of June 26 – the latest numbers available – there were 1,618 reports to WorkSafeBC of potential violations, according to an email from media relations officer Craig Fitzsimmons.

Those resulted in 320 orders from WorkSafeBC.

But if you want to know where those orders apply, their infractions or other actions taken, you're going to have plenty of trouble finding it. 

A WorkSafeBC web page does give a breakdown of what industries the orders were issued in, but does not include the names of individual businesses or even geographical areas. But a June 17 email from WorkSafeBC said, at that time, only three orders had been issued in the Thompson and Okanagan regions.

“WorkSafeBC does not post stop-work orders online, but we do post penalties,” Fitzsimmons wrote. “If there is a specific business that you believe have had health and safety violations, you can request an inspection report via a freedom-of-information request.”

The website shows no orders issued due to COVID-19 violations.

Almost one-third of the orders, 101, were in the Service Sector which includes hotels, restaurants, gyms, hospitals, schools, real estate and hair salons.

There were 79 in Manufacturing and 55 in Construction.

There were 62 orders issued in the Trade category, which includes retail and wholesale operations, supermarkets and service stations.

Primary Resources, such as forestry, oil, gas, fishing and agriculture had 18 orders. There were three in the Public Sector and two in Transportation, which includes taxis, movers, transit, ferries, recycling depots and warehouses.

If you have concerns about the safety of work places call WorkSafeBC at 1-888-621-7233.

For more information on COVID-19 inspections, go here.

The penalties page is here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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