Wellness In The Workplace: Wellness Matters Event – April 22nd 2021  Find out more

COVID-19 Information & Guidance

Regulatory requirements such as those outlined By WorkSafe BC will require employers to consider how COVID-19 fits into their existing safety programs, and practices.  Specifically they would be looking for a plan that addresses how:

  • Your workplace is organized and arranged
  • Some specific activities are carried out
  • You clean and sanitize
  • Changes and precautions will be communicated to everyone in the workplace

Right To Refuse Unsafe Work

When considering COVID-19 in the workplace it’s important to remember that like any other hazard in the workplace, employees have the right to refuse unsafe work where they believe it presents an undue hazard which is described as by Worksafe BC as:

“An “unwarranted, inappropriate, excessive, or disproportionate” risk, above and beyond the potential exposure a general member of the public would face through regular, day-to-day activity.”

Mental Health

While many aspects of the COVID-19 return to work plan will be focused on mitigating transmission and infection of the disease, mental health may also be a significant consideration.  Some employees may experience varying degrees of anxiety related to the potential exposure to the virus through work.  There are numerous organizations, and resources that can provide support for workers.

Healthlink B.C. provides a number of resources available to employers, employees, and the wider community here https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/mental-health-covid-19

Regulatory and Other Guidance

Businesses returning to work must consider not just COVID-19 social expectations, but regulatory expectations as well.  WorkSafe BC has a host of industry specific resources, as well as general requirements on building workplace safety plans that workplaces should review and consider.
The Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety also has industry specific guidance available.