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Policies Workers Compensation Act Division 12 Enforcement

Policy Item D12-187-1
RE: OHS Compliance Orders
BACKGROUND

1. Explanatory Notes

Section 187(1) provides a broad general authority for the Board to make orders for carrying out matters and things regulated, controlled or required by Part 3 or the regulations. This includes authority to make orders in a variety of specific situations set out in section 187(2).

This policy addresses orders directed towards remedying an occupational health and safety ("OHS") violation. An OHS compliance order is WorkSafeBC's primary tool to remedy non-compliance with health and safety requirements in the Act and Regulation.

Powers to make orders are also found in other sections of the Act. For example, section 196 provides that administrative penalties may be imposed by order. This policy does not address those types of orders.

Failure to comply with an order may be addressed by administrative penalties, injunctions, or prosecution.

2. The Act
Section 187:

(1) The Board may make orders for the carrying out of any matter or thing regulated, controlled or required by this Part or the regulations, and may require that the order be carried out immediately or within the time specified in the order.

(2) Without limiting subsection (1), the authority under that subsection includes authority to make orders as follows:

(a) establishing standards that must be met and means and requirements that must be adopted in any work or workplace for the prevention of work related accidents, injuries and illnesses;

(b) requiring a person to take measures to ensure compliance with this Act and the regulations or specifying measures that a person must take in order to ensure compliance with this Act and the regulations;

(c) requiring an employer to provide in accordance with the order a medical monitoring program as referred to in section 161;

(d) requiring an employer, at the employer's expense, to obtain test or assessment results respecting any thing or procedure in or about a workplace, in accordance with any requirements specified by the Board, and to provide that information to the Board;

(e) requiring an employer to install and maintain first aid equipment and service in accordance with the order;

(f) requiring a person to post or attach a copy of the order, or other information, as directed by the order or by an officer;

(g) establishing requirements respecting the form and use of reports, certificates, declarations and other records that may be authorized or required under this Part;

(h) doing anything that is contemplated by this Part to be done by order;

(i) doing any other thing that the Board considers necessary for the prevention of work related accidents, injuries and illnesses.

(3) The authority to make orders under this section does not limit and is not limited by the authority to make orders under another provision of this Part.

Section 188:

(1) An order may be made orally or in writing but, if it is made orally, must be confirmed in writing as soon as is reasonably practicable.

(2) An order may be made applicable to any person or category of persons and may include terms and conditions the Board considers appropriate.

(3) If an order relates to a complaint made by a person to the Board or an officer, a copy of the order must be given to that person.

(4) An officer of the Board may exercise the authority of the Board to make orders under this Part, subject to any restrictions or conditions established by the Board.

3. The Regulation
Section 2.4:

Every person to whom an order or directive is issued by the Board must comply promptly or by the time set out in the order or directive.

POLICY

Workplace parties must comply with the Act and OHSR. An OHS Compliance order does not initiate the obligation to comply with the Act and regulations. It is not sufficient simply to obey a WorkSafeBC order after a violation, injury or disease has occurred.

When identifying violations at a workplace, WorkSafeBC will ordinarily write orders.

When a particular safety issue involves more than one employer or worker, WorkSafeBC will determine which workplace parties should be the recipients of orders.

In some cases, where there are a number of violations, WorkSafeBC may write orders to address the underlying health and safety issues without writing an order relating to each violation.

PRACTICE

When WorkSafeBC identifies a violation but does not write an order, the circumstances should be documented in the inspection notes of the inspection report and the relevant regulations referenced for future tracking.


EFFECTIVE DATE: March 1, 2013
AUTHORITY: s. 187, Workers Compensation Act
CROSS REFERENCES: s. 188, Workers Compensation Act, s. 2.4 Regulation
HISTORY: Amended effective March 1, 2013 to confirm WorkSafeBC's discretion regarding writing orders and to align policy with the practice of WorkSafeBC.
Housekeeping changes effective September 15, 2010 to delete practice reference and make formatting changes.
Item developed to implement the Workers Compensation (Occupational Health and Safety) Amendment Act, 1998, effective October 1, 1999.
Consequential changes subsequently made to the restatement of section 187 to reflect the Workers Compensation Amendment Act, 2002 and to the Explanatory Notes and the cross-references to reflect the Workers Compensation Amendment Act (No. 2), 2002, on March 3, 2003. Effective December 31, 2003, this policy incorporates portions of Procedure No. 1.3.3-1 "Issuing Inspection Reports" of the former Prevention Division Policy and Procedure Manual.
APPLICATION:

Policy Item D12-188-1
RE: Orders - Contents and Process
BACKGROUND

1. Explanatory Notes

Section 188sets out the contents and process requirements in relation to orders. Subject to the terms of the relevant sections, these requirements apply to all the powers to issue orders under Part 3. They are not limited to orders issued under the Board's general authority in section 187.

2. The Act

Section 188:

(1) An order may be made orally or in writing but, if it is made orally, must be confirmed in writing as soon as is reasonably practicable.

(2) An order may be made applicable to any person or category of persons and may include terms and conditions the board considers appropriate.

(3) If an order relates to a complaint made by a person to the board or an officer, a copy of the order must be given to that person.

(4) An officer of the board may exercise the authority of the board to make orders under this Part, subject to any restrictions or conditions established by the board.

POLICY

After an inspection, the Board officer must complete a report, but its completion may be deferred until any required investigation is completed. This report may contain one or more orders, or no orders, depending on whether violations of the regulations were observed and the number and type of any observed violations. If an officer has observed no violations, this will be stated in the report.

Where possible, the officer will hold a post-inspection conference with management having responsibility and authority to comply with the orders.

The worker representative who accompanied the inspection will be invited to the conference. If the worker representative normally designated for this purpose has been unable to attend the inspection, the designated worker representative will be invited as well, if now available. Other parties involved may also be invited at the discretion of the officer. The purpose of the conference is to ensure that the parties understand the orders.


EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 1999
AUTHORITY: s. 188, Workers Compensation Act
CROSS REFERENCES: s. 187, Workers Compensation Act
HISTORY: Housekeeping changes effective September 15, 2010 to delete practice reference and make formatting changes.
APPLICATION:

Policy Item D12-191-1
RE: Orders - To Stop Work
BACKGROUND

1. Explanatory Notes

Section 191(1) sets out circumstances in which the Board may issue an order to stop work at a workplace.

2. The Act

Section 191:

(1) If the board has reasonable grounds for believing that an immediate danger exists that would likely result in serious injury, serious illness or death to a worker, the board may order

(a) that work at the workplace or any part of the workplace stop until the order to stop work is cancelled by the board, and

(b) if the board considers this is necessary, that the workplace or any part of the workplace be cleared of persons and isolated by barricades, fencing or any other means suitable to prevent access to the area until the danger is removed.

(2) If an order is made under subsection (1) (b), an employer, supervisor or other person must not require or permit a worker to enter the workplace or part of the workplace that is the subject of the order, except for the purpose of doing work that is necessary or required to remove the danger or the hazard and only if the worker

(a) is protected from the danger or the hazard, or

(b) is qualified and properly instructed in how to remedy the unsafe condition with minimum risk to the worker's own health or safety.

(3) Despite section 188(1), an order under this section

(a) may only be made in writing, and

(b) must be served on the employer, supervisor or other person having apparent supervision of the work or the workplace.

(4) An order under this section expires 72 hours after it is made, unless the order has been confirmed in writing by the board.

POLICY

Whether there are reasonable grounds for making an order under section 191(1) is a matter of fact in each case.

In considering whether there are reasonable grounds for an initial order, the officer will consider his or her own knowledge and experience regarding the situation along with any advice and assistance that may be immediately available. To avoid a potential for immediate danger, an officer might need to make a decision on the spot without doing the full inquiries that might be otherwise desirable.

If the Board wishes to confirm the order under section 191(4) beyond the initial 72-hour period, it may make additional inquiries. New information might be received that affects the decision as to whether there are reasonable grounds.

An order may be rescinded before the expiry of the initial 72-hour period if the employer's actions support it.


EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 1999
AUTHORITY: s. 191, Workers Compensation Act
CROSS REFERENCES:
HISTORY: Housekeeping changes effective September 15, 2010 to delete practice reference and make formatting changes.
APPLICATION:

Policy Item D12-195-1
RE: Orders - Cancellation and Suspension of Certificates
BACKGROUND

1. Explanatory Notes

Section 195(1) sets out circumstances in which the Board may cancel or suspend a certificate, or place conditions upon the use of a certificate issued under Part 3 or the regulations.

2. The Act

Section 195:

(1) If the Board has reasonable grounds for believing that a person who holds a certificate issued under this Part or the regulations has breached a term or condition of the certificate or has otherwise contravened a provision of this Part or the regulations, the Board may, by order,

(a) cancel or suspend the certificate, or

(b) place a condition on the use of that certificate that the Board considers is necessary in the circumstances.

(2) An order under this section suspending a certificate must specify the length of time that the suspension is in effect or the condition that must be met before the suspension is no longer in effect.

POLICY

Section 195 applies to certificates issued by the Board to qualify persons to do a particular job, including:

  • certificates issued to first aid attendants and instructors under section 159;
  • certificates issued to blasters and instructors under section 163; and
  • any similar certificate issued by the Board under Part 3 or the regulations.

The section also applies to such certificates issued on behalf of the Board by another person, such as a training agency, under an arrangement with the Board.

(a) First Aid Certificates

A first aid certificate issued to a first aid attendant may be suspended, cancelled or have conditions placed upon its use where the first aid attendant engages in inappropriate conduct, including:

  • smoking while assessing or treating an injured worker and/or while handling oxygen therapy equipment, or permitting others to do so;
  • failure to use the assessment and injury treatment techniques outlined in first aid training courses unless conditions precluded them;
  • conduct that poses an unreasonable threat to the safety and well-being of other workers or the public;
  • removing themselves from being able to see or hear any summons for first aid at a workplace;
  • abandonment of an injured worker after beginning assessment or treatment;
  • refusal to treat an injured worker when acting as a designated first aid attendant; or
  • treating or transporting an injured worker while impaired or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

EFFECTIVE DATE: March 30, 2004
AUTHORITY: s. 195, Workers Compensation Act
CROSS REFERENCES: ss. 159, 163, Workers Compensation Act
HISTORY: Housekeeping changes effective September 15, 2010 to delete practice reference and make formatting changes.
Item developed to implement the Workers Compensation (Occupational Health and Safety) Amendment Act, 1998, effective October 1, 1999. Policy revised to incorporate the parts of Policy No. 80.27 of the former Prevention Division Policy and Procedure Manual relating to circumstances when the WCB may suspend, cancel or place conditions on the certificate of a first aid attendant, effective March 30, 2004.
APPLICATION: This policy applies to events occurring on or after March 30, 2004 that leads to the consideration of a suspension, cancellation or placement of a condition on certificates issued under Part 3 of the Act, or the regulations.

Policy Item D12-196-1
RE: Administrative Penalties - Criteria for Imposing
BACKGROUND

1. Explanatory Notes

Section 196(1) sets out the criteria for imposing an administrative penalty.

An administrative penalty must not be imposed if the employer exercised "due diligence" to prevent the failure, non-compliance or conditions to which the penalty relates. Item D12-196-10 sets out more information with respect to "due diligence".

2. The Act

Section 196(1):

The Board may, by order, impose an administrative penalty on an employer under this section if it considers that

(a) the employer has failed to take sufficient precautions for the prevention of work related injuries or illnesses,

(b) the employer has not complied with this Part, the regulations or an applicable order, or

(c) the employer's workplace or working conditions are not safe.

POLICY

The main purpose of administrative penalties and similar levies is to motivate the employer receiving the penalty and other employers to comply with the Act and regulations.

The Board will consider imposing an administrative penalty when:

  • an employer is found to have committed a violation resulting in high risk of serious injury, serious illness or death;
  • an employer is found in violation of the same section of Part 3 or the regulations on more than one occasion. This includes where, though a different section is cited, the violation is essentially the same;
  • an employer is found in violation of different sections of Part 3 or the regulations on more than one occasion, where the number of violations indicates a general lack of commitment to compliance;
  • an employer has failed to comply with a previous order within a reasonable time;
  • an employer knowingly or with reckless disregard violates one or more sections of Part 3 or the regulations. Reckless disregard includes where a violation results from ignorance of the Act or regulations due to a refusal to read them or take other steps to find out an employer's obligations; or
  • the Board considers that the circumstances may warrant an administrative penalty.

If violations or other circumstances requiring consideration of a penalty have occurred, the following additional factors will also be considered in deciding whether to propose or to levy the penalty:

  • whether the employer has an effective, overall program for complying with the Act and the regulations;
  • whether the employer has otherwise exercised due diligence to prevent the failure, non-compliance or conditions to which the penalty relates;
  • whether the violations or other circumstances have resulted from the independent action of workers who have been properly instructed, trained and supervised;
  • the potential seriousness of the injury or illness that might have occurred, the number of people who might have been at risk and the likelihood of the injury or illness occurring;
  • the past compliance history of the employer, including the nature, number and frequency of violations, and the occurrence of repeat violations;
  • the extent to which the employer was aware or should have been aware of the hazard or that the Act or regulations were being violated;
  • the need to provide an incentive for the employer to comply;
  • whether an alternative means of enforcing the regulations would be more effective; and
  • other relevant circumstances.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 29, 2003
AUTHORITY: s. 196(1), Workers Compensation Act
CROSS REFERENCES: See also Administrative Penalties - High Risk Violations (Item D12-196-2), Prior Violations and Orders (Item D12-196-3); Authority to Impose Administrative Penalties (Item D12-196-4), and Due Diligence (Item D12-196-10 and s. 196(6) of the Workers Compensation Act)
HISTORY: Housekeeping changes effective September 15, 2010 to delete practice reference and make formatting changes.
This Item was originally developed to implement the Workers Compensation (Occupational Health and Safety) Amendment Act, 1998, effective October 1, 1999. Consequential changes were subsequently made to the restatement of section 196 to reflect the Workers Compensation Amendment Act, 2002 and to the Explanatory Notes, the restatement of section 196 and the cross-references to reflect the Workers Compensation Amendment Act (No. 2), 2002, on March 3, 2003. Effective July 1, 2003, a minor change was made to the second bullet of the policy, for congruency with Items D12-196-3 and D12-196-6. Effective October 29, 2003, an example in the policy that referenced section 20.11 of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation was deleted to reflect the repeal of that section.
APPLICATION: This policy applies to all decisions to impose administrative penalties on and after October 29, 2003.

Policy Item D12-196-2
RE: Administrative Penalties - High Risk Violations
BACKGROUND

1. Explanatory Notes

The criteria set out in Item D12-196-1 require consideration of whether a violation involves high risk of serious injury, serious illness or death.

2. The Act

See D12-196-1.

POLICY

Whether a violation involves high risk of serious injury, serious illness, or death will be determined in each case on the basis of the available evidence concerning:

  • the likelihood of an injury, illness or death occurring;
  • the number of workers affected; and
  • the likely seriousness of any injury or illness.

Violations on the list set out below are assumed to be high risk in the absence of evidence showing the contrary:

  1. Working in an excavation over four feet deep without adequately supporting or sloping the sides of the excavation or adopting other safeguards allowed by the regulations.
  2. Working within the specified minimum distances from unguarded overhead energized high voltage electrical conductors without complying with the requirements of the regulations.
  3. Working on equipment that is not locked-out when required.
  4. Permitting workers to be exposed to situations or conditions that are immediately dangerous to life or health.
  5. Permitting inadequately protected workers to be exposed to conditions that are likely to cause a chronic health effect.
  6. When operating mobile equipment:

    (a) failing to have rollover protective structures (ROPS) on equipment where required by the regulations,

    (b) failing to install or use seat belts where required by regulation.
  7. Failing to fell all dangerous trees as required by the regulations.
  8. Using domino falling procedures.
  9. Leaving cut-up trees.
  10. Failing to take appropriate measures to control the fall of trees, for example, not leaving sufficient holding wood, carelessly cutting off corners of holding wood, not placing the backcut higher than the undercut, failing to use wedges or failing to have wedging equipment immediately available.
  11. Permitting workers, other than the faller and other persons permitted by the regulations, to be within the minimum distance of two tree lengths of the tree being felled.

Even though a violation is not on the list, an administrative penalty may be considered on the basis that the evidence in that case shows the violation posed a high risk to workers.


EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2003
AUTHORITY: s. 196(1), Workers Compensation Act
CROSS REFERENCES: See also Administrative Penalties - Criteria for Imposing (D12-196-1)
HISTORY: Housekeeping changes effective September 15, 2010 to delete practice reference and make formatting changes.
Item developed to implement the Workers Compensation (Occupational Health and Safety) Act, effective October 1, 1999. Effective July 1, 2003, at number 7 of the policy, the term "snags" was removed, and replaced with "dangerous trees".
APPLICATION: Policy change effective July 1, 2003 applies to all orders, including orders imposing administrative penalties under section 196, issued on or after July 1, 2003.

Policy Item D12-196-3
RE: Administrative Penalties - Prior Violations and Orders
BACKGROUND

1. Explanatory Notes

The criteria set out in Item D12-196-1 require consideration of whether a prior violation or order should be considered in deciding to impose an administrative penalty on an employer following a later violation or order.

2. The Act

See D12-196-1.

POLICY

The Board will consider imposing an administrative penalty when an employer is found in violation of the same section on more than one occasion. This includes where, though a different section is cited, the violation is essentially the same.

Violations at one of several locations of a firm will normally be considered as though that location were the firm's only location. Violations at more than one location may be considered together if they result from a failure of the firm's overall program of compliance with the Act and regulations. This would include failure to:

  • effectively communicate with all locations regarding health and safety concerns;
  • provide adequate training to managers and others who implement site health and safety programs;
  • make local management accountable for health and safety performance; and
  • provide local management with sufficient resources for health and safety issues.

A business may be sold or reorganized between two occurrences of violations. Item AP1-42-3 of the Assessment Manual sets out guidelines for the Board's decision on whether a new experience rating position will be assigned to the reorganized business.

For the purpose of an administrative penalty, the prior violations are treated as part of the firm's history, where the same experience rating position is assigned to the new firm.


EFFECTIVE DATE: October 29, 2003
AUTHORITY: s. 196(1), Workers Compensation Act
CROSS REFERENCES: See also Administrative Penalties - Criteria for Imposing (D12-196-1)
HISTORY: Housekeeping changes effective September 15, 2010 to delete practice reference and make formatting changes.
Effective March 18, 2003, references to policy items in the former Assessment Policy Manual were replaced with references to policy items in the Assessment Manual. Effective October 29, 2003, an example referencing section 20.11 of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation in the policy was deleted to reflect the repeal of that section.
APPLICATION: This policy applies to all decisions to impose administrative penalties on and after October 29, 2003.

Policy Item D12-196-4
RE: Administrative Penalties - Authority to Impose
BACKGROUND

1. Explanatory Notes

This policy sets out the non-exclusive ways in which the Board may impose financial penalties if an employer does not comply with the occupational health and safety requirements in the Act and regulations.

2. The Act

Section 73(1):

73 (1) If
(a) an injury, death or disablement from occupational disease in respect of which compensation is payable occurs to a worker, and

(b) the Board considers that this was due substantially to

(i) the gross negligence of an employer,

(ii) the failure of an employer to adopt reasonable means for the prevention of injuries, deaths or occupational diseases, or

(iii) the failure of an employer to comply with the orders or directions of the Board, or with the regulations made under Part 3 of this Act,

the Board may levy and collect from that employer as a contribution to the accident fund all or part of the amount of the compensation payable in respect of the injury, death or occupational disease, to a maximum of $44,468.66.

Section 160(b):

160

If an employer fails, neglects or refuses to install or maintain first aid equipment or service required by regulation or order, the Board may do one or more of the following:

(b) impose a special rate of assessment under Part 1 of this Act.

Section 196(1):

The Board may, by order, impose an administrative penalty on an employer under this section if it considers that

(a) the employer has failed to take sufficient precautions for the prevention of work related injuries or illnesses,

(b) the employer has not complied with this Part, the regulations or an applicable order, or

(c) the employer's workplace or working conditions are not safe.

POLICY

The Board has authority under the Act to:

  1. impose an administrative penalty under section 196(1),
  2. levy and collect a contribution from an employer under section 73(1), and
  3. impose a special rate of assessment under section 160(b).

EFFECTIVE DATE: March 24, 2010
AUTHORITY:
CROSS REFERENCES: See also Assignment of Authority (Item D2-111-1), Administrative Penalties - Criteria for Imposing (Item D12-196-1), Imposing of Levies - Charging of Claims Costs (Item D24-73-1), and First Aid Equipment - Imposing of Special Rate of Assessment (Item D8-160-1).
HISTORY: This policy incorporates portions of, and replaces, Policy No. 1.4.2 "Penalty Assessments and Levies" of the former Prevention Division Policy and Procedure Manual.

Amended March 24, 2010 to delete the reference to the Vice-President, Prevention Division, make minor wording changes and add a cross-reference to Policy D2-111-1 which has been amended to address authority over claims cost levies.
APPLICATION:

Policy Item D12-196-6
RE: Administrative Penalties - Amount of Penalty
BACKGROUND

1. Explanatory Notes

The Board is authorized to impose administrative penalties on employers for failure to comply with Part 3 of the Act and the regulations, and under certain other conditions. Section 196(3) provides that the Board must not impose an administrative penalty where the employer exercised due diligence. Section 196(2) provides that the Board must not impose an administrative penalty greater than $607,297.58. Commencing January 1, 2004, this maximum is subject to adjustment under section 25.2 of the Act on January 1 of each year.

The Act does not specify the amount of an administrative penalty that may be imposed in particular situations.

2. The Act

Section 196(2):

An administrative penalty which is greater than $607,297.58 must not be imposed under this section.

POLICY

Amounts of administrative penalties will be determined under this POLICY. No administrative penalty will be levied where the employer exercised due diligence to prevent the failure, non-compliance or conditions to which the penalty relates.

1. "Basic amount" of the penalty
(a) Tables for determining "basic amounts"

The following tables contain the guidelines used by the Board in determining the "basic amount" of an administrative penalty.

Category A Penalties

This table applies where there is:
(i) A serious injury or illness or death; or
(ii) High risk of serious injury or illness or death; or
(iii) Non-compliance was wilful or with reckless disregard

Assessable Payroll Range ($) Penalty Amount ($)
up to 500,000 2.5% of payroll, or 2,500, whichever is greater
500,001 - 1,000,000 12,500 + 2.25% of payroll over 500,000
1,000,001 - 1,500,000 23,750 + 2.0% of payroll over 1,000,000
1,500,001 - 2,000,000 33,750 + 1.75% of payroll over 1,500,000
2,000,001 - 2,500,000 42,500 + 1.5% of payroll over 2,000,000
2,500,001 - 3,000,000 50,000 + 1.25% of payroll over 2,500,000
3,000,001 - 3,500,000 56,250 + 1.0% of payroll over 3,000,000
3,500,001 - 4,000,000 61,250 + .75% of payroll over 3,500,000
4,000,001 - 4,500,000 65,000 + .5% of payroll over 4,000,000
4,500,001 - 5,000,000 67,500 + .25% of payroll over 4,500,000
over 5,000,000 68,750 + .125% of payroll over 5,000,000, or 75,000, whichever is less

Category B Penalties

This table applies for any other violations

Assessable Payroll Range ($) Penalty Amount ($)
up to 500,000 1.0% of payroll, or 1,000, whichever is greater
500,001 - 1,000,000 5,000 + .36% of payroll over 500,000
1,000,001 - 1,500,000 6,800 + .32% of payroll over 1,000,000
1,500,001 - 2,000,000 8,400 + .28% of payroll over 1,500,000
2,000,001 - 2,500,000 9,800 + .24% of payroll over 2,000,000
2,500,001 - 3,000,000 11,000 + .2% of payroll over 2,500,000
3,000,001 - 3,500,000 12,000 + .16% of payroll over 3,000,000
3,500,001 - 4,000,000 12,800 + .12% of payroll over 3,500,000
4,000,001 - 4,500,000 13,400 + .08% of payroll over 4,000,000
4,500,001 - 5,000,000 13,800 + .04% of payroll over 4,500,000
over 5,000,000 14,000 + .02% of payroll over 5,000,000, or 15,000, whichever is less

The "basic amount" of the administrative penalty will be determined on the basis of the employer's assessable payroll for the full calendar year immediately preceding the year in which the incident giving rise to the penalty occurred. If the employer had no payroll in the preceding year, or if the preceding year's assessable payroll is unknown, or based on less than a full calendar year or a Board estimate of payroll, the Board may, for the purpose of calculating the penalty, estimate a value for the employer's assessable payroll for a full calendar year based on the best information available at the time the penalty is imposed. The estimate will not be less than any estimate made previously by the Board of the employer's assessable payroll for the calendar year. An estimate will not result in no penalty or a penalty below the minimum amount set out in the tables. The "payroll" for independent operators with Personal Optional Protection is the amount for which they have purchased coverage.

(b) Multi-site employers

Where a firm has more than one location, the Board may, in determining the "basic amount"of the penalty, use the assessable payroll at the location where the violation occurred, provided that:

  • the violation has resulted from an occupational health and safety failure at that location rather than a general "program failure" on the part of the employer, and
  • the employer provides the necessary payroll information for that location to the Board and cooperates in any audit that the Board considers necessary.

A "program failure" includes failure to:

  • effectively communicate with all locations regarding health and safety concerns;
  • provide adequate training to managers and others who implement site health and safety programs;
  • make local management accountable for health and safety performance; and
  • provide local management with sufficient resources for health and safety issues.

(c) Variation factors

In each individual case, the "basic amount" of the penalty may be varied by up to 30%, having regard to the circumstances, including the following factors:

(a) nature of the violation;

(b) nature of the hazard created by the violation;

(c) degree of actual risk created by the violation;

(d) whether the employer knew about the situation giving rise to the violation;

(e) the extent of the measures undertaken by the employer to comply;

(f) the extent to which the behaviour of other workplace parties has contributed to the violation;

(g) employer history;

(h) whether the financial impact of the penalty would be unduly harsh in view of the employer's size; and

(i) any other factors relevant to the particular workplace.

2. Penalties up to $250,000

With the approval of the President or delegate, the Board may impose an administrative penalty of up to $250,000 where:

(a) the employer has committed a high risk violation wilfully or with reckless disregard; and

(b) a worker has died or suffered serious permanent impairment as a result.

3. Penalties up to the Statutory Maximum

With the approval of the President or delegate, the Board may impose an administrative penalty up to the statutory maximum where:

(a) the employer has committed a high risk violation wilfully or with reckless disregard;

(b) multiple fatalities have occurred or a number of workers have suffered serious permanent impairment as a result of the violation; and

(c) there is evidence of a systemic disregard by the employer for worker safety, such as a history of serious repeated non-compliance.

4. Repeat penalties

(1) An administrative penalty will be imposed as a "repeat penalty" where:

(a) it is for a violation that is the same as, or substantially similar to, a prior violation for which a penalty has been imposed;

(b) the violations occurred within 3 years of one another; and

(c) at least 14 days prior to the date of the violation giving rise to the repeat penalty, the Board

(i) had imposed a penalty for the prior violation, or

(ii) provided notice of a potential penalty for the prior violation.

(2) For paragraph (1), the date of a violation is the date of the incident.

(3) The Board may provide notice under paragraph (1)(c) verbally or in writing, in person, by telephone, by mail, fax, email or other method.

(4) A "repeat penalty" will be calculated as follows:

(a) Calculate the "basic amount" of the penalty, including any variation, using Item 1 of this Policy (D12-196-6).

(b) Increase the "basic amount" of the penalty for each "prior penalty" as follows (up to the statutory maximum):

Prior penalty Multiply basic amount by
one 2
two 3
three 6
four 12
five or more 24

For paragraph (4)(b), "prior penalty" means any prior penalty where the requirements of paragraph (1) above are satisfied.

5. Recovery of costs saved through non-compliance

The amount of any costs saved or profit made by the employer through committing the violation shall, as far as is known, be added to the penalty amount determined under 1, 2, 3, or 4 above and forms part of the administrative penalty.

6. Statutory maximum

In no case will the Board levy an administrative penalty greater than the statutory maximum then in effect.

PRACTICE

Examples of Application of the Repeat Penalty Provisions

Example 1: You are calculating the penalty to be imposed for a violation that occurred less than 14 days after another similar violation that also resulted in a penalty. The employer has no other prior penalties for the same violation.

Calculate the penalty in accordance with Item 1 of this policy by determining the applicable table amount and applying any variation factors. After applying Item 4 of this policy, you determine that the current penalty is not a "repeat penalty". The penalty will therefore be imposed based on the table amount with variation plus any amounts added under Item 5 of this policy.

Example 2: You are calculating the penalty to be imposed for a violation that occurred less than 14 days after another similar violation that also resulted in a penalty. The employer has one other prior penalty for the same violation for which more than 14 days notice was given before the current violation.

Calculate the penalty in accordance with Item 1 of this policy by determining the applicable table amount and applying any variation factors. After applying Item 4 of this policy, you determine that the current penalty is a "repeat penalty". There are two prior similar penalties, however only one meets the requirements to be considered as a "prior penalty". Using the table under Item 4, you determine that one prior similar penalty will result in the amount that you calculated for the penalty being multiplied by two.


EFFECTIVE DATE: January 2, 2010
AUTHORITY: s. 196(2), Workers Compensation Act
CROSS REFERENCES: See also Administrative Penalties - Criteria for Imposing (Item D12-196-1), Administrative Penalties - Prior Violations and Orders (Item D12-196-3), Administrative Penalties - Due Diligence (Item D12-196-10)
HISTORY: This Item was originally developed to implement the Workers Compensation (Occupational Health and Safety) Amendment Act, 1998, effective May 1, 2000.

Consequential changes were subsequently made throughout Item to implement the Workers Compensation Amendment Act (No. 2), 2002, on March 3, 2003.

Effective July 1, 2003 a minor change was made at number four of the policy, to correct the reference of section 20.22 to section 20.11 of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation.

Effective October 29, 2003, an example referencing section 20.11 of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation in the policy was deleted to reflect the repeal of that section.

Effective March 25, 2009 a change was made to base the penalty calculation on the employer's assessable payroll for the full calendar year immediately preceding the year in which the incident that gave rise to the penalty occurred. Effective March 25, 2009 a change was made to allow the Board to estimate payroll in certain situations.

Effective January 2, 2010 a change was made to

(a) Item 1 to correct a typographical error in the Category A penalty table, and

(b) Item 4 so that an administrative penalty will be imposed as a "repeat penalty" where:
(i) it is for a violation that is the same as, or substantially similar to, a prior violation for which a penalty has been imposed;
(ii) the violations occurred within 3 years of one another; and
(iii) at least 14 days prior to the date of the violation giving rise to the repeat penalty, the Board
(1) had imposed a penalty for the prior violation, or
(2) provided notice of a potential penalty for the prior violation.

Housekeeping changes effective September 15, 2010 to correct paragraph reference in item 4(4) and make formatting changes.
APPLICATION: This policy applies to all decisions to impose administrative penalties on and after October 29, 2003. The amendments made effective March 25, 2009 apply to all decisions, including appellate decisions, made on or after the effective date of the changes. The amendments made effective January 2, 2010 apply to all penalties where a penalty is imposed on or after the effective date of the changes. Transitional provisions apply to penalties within the appeal period, before Review Division or before WCAT on the effective date.

Transitional Provision for Repeat Penalty Calculation:
Penalties within the appeal period or under review or appeal on the effective date of the policy change will be subject to the policy in effect when originally imposed, with the additional requirement that a prior penalty will only be used to increase the amount of a repeat penalty, if at least 14 days prior to the date of the violation giving rise to the repeat penalty, the Board

(a) had imposed a penalty for the prior violation, or

(b) provided notice of a potential penalty for the prior violation.

Policy Item D12-196-7
RE: OHS Penalties & Claims Costs Levies - Effect of Application for Stay at Review Division
BACKGROUND

1. Explanatory Notes

This policy addresses administrative penalties imposed pursuant to section 196 of the Act and claims cost levies imposed pursuant to section 73(1) of the Act.

An administrative penalty or claims cost levy must be paid unless a stay is granted by the Chief Review Officer of the Review Division, or the Workers' Compensation Appeal Tribunal.

This policy sets out limits on collection while the decision on an application for a stay is pending at Review Division.

2. The Act
Section 223:

(1) If a person fails to pay an amount owed to the Board under this Part[Part 3], the Board may,

(a) if the person is an employer, direct that the amount be levied on the employer by way of an assessment, and
(b) in any case, issue a certificate for the amount owed and file that certificate in the Supreme Court.

(2) An assessment under subsection (1) (a) is deemed to be an assessment under Part 1 of this Act and may be levied and collected under and in accordance with that Part.

(3) A certificate filed under subsection (1) (b) has the same effect, and all proceedings may be taken on it by the Board, as if it were a judgment of the court for the recovery of a debt of the amount stated in the certificate against the person named in it.

Section 96.2(5)

Unless, on application, the chief review officer orders otherwise, the filing of a request for a review under subsection (3) does not operate as a stay or suspend the operation of the decision or order under review.

Section 96.2(4)

On application, and where the chief review officer is satisfied that

(a) special circumstances existed which precluded the filing of a request for review within the time period required in subsection (3) [90 days], and
(b) an injustice would otherwise result,

the chief review officer may extend the time to file a request for review even if the time to file has expired.

Section 244

Unless the appeal tribunal orders otherwise, the filing of a notice of appeal under section 242 does not operate as a stay or affect the operation of the decision or order under appeal.

POLICY

If an employer has applied to the Chief Review Officer for a stay under section 96.2(5) relating to an administrative penalty or claims cost levy, WorkSafeBC will not collect the administrative penalty or claims cost levy by assessment, or take any additional steps to collect by garnishment, or writ of seizure and sale until the Chief Review Officer has decided the application or the review is concluded, whichever occurs first.

This does not apply to a stay request on a request for review filed after the time to file has expired unless the Chief Review Officer grants an application under s.96.2(4) to extend the time to file a request for review.

PRACTICE

This policy allows WorkSafeBC to register a certificate with the Court and register the debt against an employer's land while a stay request is pending. This would generally only occur when WorkSafeBC identifies a significant risk of loss.


EFFECTIVE DATE: March 1, 2013
AUTHORITY: s. 196(5), Workers Compensation Act
CROSS REFERENCES: ss. 96.2(5), 223(1), 244, Workers Compensation Act
HISTORY: Amended March 1, 2013 to specify the court proceedings affected by an application for a stay, to include claims cost levies and to address late requests for review.
Housekeeping changes effective September 15, 2010 to delete practice reference and make formatting changes.
Item developed to implement the Workers Compensation (Occupational Health and Safety) Amendment Act, 1998, effective October 1, 1999. Consequential changes subsequently made to the statement of the Act and to the POLICY statement to reflect the Workers Compensation Amendment Act (No. 2) 2002, effective March 3, 2003.
APPLICATION:

This policy applies to all applications for stay requests of penalties or claims cost levies made to Review Division on or after the effective date.

For stay requests on penalties made before the effective date, the policy in effect at that time applies, with two modifications to provide that the limits on collection:

  • will end when the Chief Review Officer has decided the application, or the review is concluded, whichever occurs first, and
  • will not apply to a stay request on a request for review filed after the time to file has expired unless the Chief Review Officer grants an application under s. 96.2(4) to extend the time to file a request for review.

Policy Item D12-196-8
RE: Administrative Penalties - Payment of Interest on Successful Appeal
BACKGROUND

1. Explanatory Notes

Section 196(6) requires the payment of interest where an administrative penalty is reduced or cancelled on appeal.

2. The Act

Section 196(6):

If an administrative penalty under this section is reduced or cancelled by a Board decision, on a review under section 96.2 or on an appeal to the appeal tribunal under Part 4, the Board must

(a) refund the required amount to the employer out of the accident fund, and
(b) pay interest on that amount calculated in accordance with the policies of the board of directors.

POLICY

The policies governing the payment of interest are set out in policy in Item AP1-39-2 of the Assessment Manual.


EFFECTIVE DATE: March 3, 2003
AUTHORITY: s. 196(6), Workers Compensation Act
CROSS REFERENCES:
HISTORY: Housekeeping changes effective September 15, 2010 to delete practice reference and make formatting changes.
Item developed to implement the Workers Compensation (Occupational Health and Safety) Amendment Act, 1998, effective October 1, 1999. Consequential changes subsequently made to the Explanatory Notes and to the restatement of section 196(6) to reflect the Workers Compensation Amendment Act (No. 2), 2002, on March 3, 2003.
APPLICATION:

Policy Item D12-196-9
RE: Administrative Penalties - Prosecution Following Penalty
BACKGROUND

1. Explanatory Notes

An employer may either be required to pay an administrative penalty in respect of a violation or prosecuted under the Act for the violation, but not both.

2. The Act

Section 196(7):

If an administrative penalty is imposed on an employer under this section, the employer must not be prosecuted under this Act in respect of the same facts and circumstances upon which the Board based the administrative penalty.

POLICY

Once a prosecution under the Act has been commenced against an employer in respect of a violation, the Board will not impose an administrative penalty. A prosecution is "commenced" for this purpose, when an information is laid pursuant to the Offence Act.

An administrative penalty will not be imposed even if the prosecution does not proceed or is unsuccessful.


EFFECTIVE DATE: March 3, 2003
AUTHORITY: s. 196(7), Workers Compensation Act
CROSS REFERENCES:
HISTORY: Housekeeping changes effective September 15, 2010 to delete practice reference and make formatting changes.
Item developed to implement the Workers Compensation (Occupational Health and Safety) Amendment Act, 1998 effective October 1, 1999. Consequential changes subsequently made throughout the Item to reflect the Workers Compensation Amendment Act (No. 2), 2002, on March 3, 2003.
APPLICATION:

Policy Item D12-196-10
RE: Administrative Penalties - Due Diligence
BACKGROUND

1. Explanatory Notes

The Board is authorized to impose administrative penalties on employers for failure to comply with Part 3 of the Act and the regulations, and under certain other conditions. Section 196(3) provides that an administrative penalty must not be imposed under this section if the employer exercised due diligence to prevent the failure, non-compliance or conditions to which the penalty relates.

2. The Act

Section 196(3):

An administrative penalty must not be imposed under this section if an employer exercised due diligence to prevent the circumstances described in subsection (1).

POLICY

The Board will consider that the employer exercised due diligence if the evidence shows on a balance of probabilities that the employer took all reasonable care. This involves consideration of what a reasonable person would have done in the circumstances. Due diligence will be found if the employer reasonably believed in a mistaken set of facts which, if true, would render the act or omission innocent, or if the employer took all reasonable steps to avoid the particular event.

In determining whether the employer has exercised due diligence under section 196(3), all the circumstances of the case must be considered.


EFFECTIVE DATE: March 3, 2003
AUTHORITY: s. 196(3), Workers Compensation Act. "Due diligence" is defined at common law by the courts. The standard set out in the POLICY section reflects the leading Supreme Court of Canada case - R. v. Sault Ste. Marie [1978] 85 DLR (3rd) 161. The requirements of the "due diligence" defence are open to re-interpretation by the courts. They may, therefore, be changed in future. Were this to happen, changes would be required to the Board's POLICY as well.
CROSS REFERENCES: See also Supervisors (Item D3-117-1), Multiple-Employer Workplaces (Item D3-118-1), Owners (Item D3-119-1), Directors and Officers of a Corporation (Item D3-121-1), Overlapping Obligations (Item D3-123/124-1); Administrative Penalties - Criteria for Imposing (Item D12-196-1)
HISTORY: Housekeeping changes effective September 15, 2010 to delete practice reference and make formatting changes.
Item developed to implement the Workers Compensation (Occupational Health and Safety) Amendment Act, 1998, effective October 1, 1999. Consequential changes subsequently made to various parts of the Item to reflect the Workers Compensation Amendment Act (No. 2), 2002, on March 3, 2003.
APPLICATION: This policy applies to all decisions to impose administrative penalties on and after March 3, 2003.

Policy Item D12-196-11
RE: Occupational Health and Safety ("OHS") Warning Letters
BACKGROUND

1. Explanatory Notes

As an alternative to imposing an administrative penalty, the Board (operating as WorkSafeBC) may send the employer a letter warning that further similar violations of the Act or Regulation could result in an administrative penalty.

Both administrative penalties and warning letters are tools intended to motivate employers to comply with the Act and Regulation.

WorkSafeBC may send warning letters when the grounds for considering an administrative penalty are met and an employer has failed to exercise due diligence.

This policy provides factors for considering the appropriateness of a warning letter. A key factor is the likelihood that the warning letter will be sufficient to motivate the employer to comply in the future. Another is the potential for serious injury, illness, or death in the circumstances.

There is no requirement that a warning letter be sent prior to imposing a penalty.

The policy notes that ordinarily more than one warning letter will not be issued for the same or similar violations. This is because a warning letter is to motivate an employer to comply and non-compliance of a same or similar type suggests that a warning letter was not effective to do so. Similarly, a warning letter would not generally be appropriate for the same or similar violations following a penalty or prosecution. In both circumstances, WorkSafeBC would need to consider what other enforcement tools would be effective to motivate compliance.

2. The Act

Section 196(1):

The Board may, by order, impose an administrative penalty on an employer under this section if it considers that

(a) the employer has failed to take sufficient precautions for the prevention of work related injuries or illnesses,

(b) the employer has not complied with this Part, the regulations or an applicable order, or

(c) the employer's workplace or working conditions are not safe.

Section 111(1):

In accordance with the purposes of this Part, the Board has the mandate to be concerned with occupational health and safety generally, and with the maintenance of reasonable standards for the protection of the health and safety of workers in British Columbia and the occupational environment in which they work.

Section 111(2)(d):

In carrying out its mandate, the Board has the following functions, duties and powers:

(d) to ensure that persons concerned with the purposes of this Part are provided with information and advice relating to its administration and to occupational health and safety and occupational environment generally...

Section 183:

If an officer makes a written report to an employer relating to an inspection, whether or not the report includes an order, the employer must promptly

(a) post the report at the workplace to which it relates, and

(b) give a copy of the report to the joint committee or worker health and safety representative, as applicable.

POLICY

WorkSafeBC may send a warning letter when any of the criteria in Policy D12-196-1 for considering an administrative penalty have been met, and an employer has failed to exercise due diligence.

The applicable criteria from Policy D12-196-1 are as follows:

(1) an employer is found to have committed a violation resulting in high risk of serious injury, serious illness or death;

(2) an employer is found in violation of the same section of Part 3 or the regulations on more than one occasion. This includes where, though a different section is cited, the violation is essentially the same;

(3) an employer is found in violation of different sections of Part 3 or the regulations on more than one occasion, where the number of violations indicates a general lack of commitment to compliance;

(4) an employer has failed to comply with a previous order within a reasonable time;

(5) an employer knowingly or with reckless disregard violates one or more sections of Part 3 or the regulations. Reckless disregard includes where a violation results from ignorance of the Act or regulations due to a refusal to read them or take other steps to find out an employer's obligations; or

(6) WorkSafeBC considers that the circumstances may warrant an administrative penalty.

When considering the appropriateness of a warning letter, some of the factors WorkSafeBC may consider are:

(a) the potential for serious injury, illness or death in the circumstances; and

(b) the likelihood that a warning letter will be sufficient to motivate the employer to comply in the future, taking into account:

(i) the extent to which the employer was or should have been aware of the hazard;

(ii) the extent to which the employer was or should have been aware that the Act or regulations were being violated;

(iii) the past compliance history of the employer; and

(iv) the effectiveness of the employer's overall program for compliance.

WorkSafeBC will, where practicable, send a copy of the letter to any union representing workers at the workplace.

WorkSafeBC will not ordinarily issue:

(a) more than one warning letter to an employer for the same or similar violations; or

(b) a warning letter to an employer that has received a penalty or has been prosecuted for the same or similar violations.

The issuance of a warning letter for a violation does not limit WorkSafeBC's ability to pursue administrative penalties, prosecution or other enforcement or compliance action for subsequent violations.

This policy relates solely to warning letters and does not affect or limit WorkSafeBC's ability to pursue administrative penalties, prosecution or other enforcement or compliance action.

PRACTICE

WorkSafeBC will advise the employer of the obligation to provide a copy of the warning letter to the joint committee and the obligation to post the warning letter in the workplace.

In the event that all the orders underlying a warning letter are cancelled, WorkSafeBC will code the warning letter as withdrawn, or the equivalent, in its systems.


EFFECTIVE DATE: May 1, 2013
AUTHORITY: ss.196(1), 111(1) and 111(2)(d), Workers Compensation Act
CROSS REFERENCES: See also Administrative Penalties - Criteria for Imposing (D12-196-1); section 183, Workers Compensation Act
HISTORY: Policy amended effective May 1, 2013 to:
(a) clarify the criteria to issue an OHS warning letter;
(b) treat violations following a warning letter consistently with those following orders or penalties;
(c) confirm that WorkSafeBC will not ordinarily issue a warning letter to an employer after a prior warning letter, penalty, or prosecution for the same violation; and
(d) remove the requirement to mail a warning letter to the joint committee or worker representative.

Housekeeping changes effective September 15, 2010 to delete practice reference and make formatting changes.
Item developed to implement the Workers Compensation (Occupational Health and Safety) Amendment Act, 1998, effective October 1, 1999. Consequential changes subsequently made to various parts of the Item to reflect the Workers Compensation Amendment Act (No. 2), 2002, on March 3, 2003.
APPLICATION:

Policy Item D12-198-1
RE: Occupational Health and Safety Injunctions
BACKGROUND

1. Explanatory Notes

Section 198 of the Act provides that the Board (operating as WorkSafeBC) can apply to the Supreme Court of British Columbia (the "Court") for an injunction restraining a person, including a corporation, from committing a violation or requiring a person to comply with the Workers Compensation Act ("Act"), Occupational Health and Safety Regulation ("Regulation") or an order.

When WorkSafeBC applies to the Court for an injunction, a judge will decide whether or not to grant it.

If a person fails to comply with an injunction and is found to be in contempt of court, they may face a fine, jail sentence or other terms imposed by the Court.

2. The Act
Section 198:

(1) On application of the Board and on being satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to believe that a person

(a) has contravened or is likely to contravene this Part [Part 3 of the Act], the regulations or an order, or

(b) has not complied or is likely not to comply with this Part, the regulations or an order,

the Supreme Court may grant an injunction restraining the person from continuing or committing the contravention or requiring the person to comply, as applicable.

(2) An injunction under subsection (1) may be granted without notice to others if it is necessary to do so in order to protect the health or safety of workers.

(3) A contravention of this Part, the regulations or an order may be restrained under subsection (1) whether or not a penalty or other remedy has been provided by this Part.

POLICY

An injunction is a tool to achieve compliance with an order or an obligation under the Act or Regulation.

WorkSafeBC may use an injunction at the same time as other tools such as an administrative penalty or prosecution.

The following are some of the circumstances in which WorkSafeBC may consider an injunction:

(a) failure to comply with a stop work order issued under section 191 of the Act,

*Explanatory Note: A stop work order, shutting down all or part of a workplace is issued in circumstances where an immediate danger exists that would likely result in serious injury, serious illness, or death to a worker. Failure to comply with a stop work order is particularly serious since WorkSafeBC has issued it after determining that an immediate danger exists.

(b) failure to comply with an order to stop using or stop supplying unsafe equipment under section 190 of the Act,

*Explanatory Note: A stop use order provides that an item not be used or supplied if WorkSafeBC has reasonable grounds to believe that it is not in safe operating condition or is non-compliant.

(c) failure to comply with an order other than one in (a) or (b) above, and

(d) repeated violation of the same, or similar, section of the Act or Regulation.

This does not limit WorkSafeBC's ability to pursue an injunction in other circumstances.

An injunction is an exceptional remedy to seek. WorkSafeBC may consider the following factors in determining the necessity and appropriateness of pursuing an injunction:

(a) the level of risk that might result from further non-compliance,

*Explanatory Note: If non-compliance is exposing workers to a significant risk, this supports the use of an injunction. If the risk is very low, an injunction might not be appropriate, subject to consideration of items (b) and (c) below.

(b) the impact of the non-compliance on WorkSafeBC's ability to carry out its health and safety mandate, and

*Explanatory Note: In some cases, the risk may be low or unknown but non-compliance may make it difficult or impossible for WorkSafeBC to carry out its mandate. For example, if WorkSafeBC is repeatedly refused entry to a workplace, an injunction may be necessary to ensure that WorkSafeBC can inspect that workplace.

(c) the effectiveness of other tools to obtain compliance in the circumstances.

*Explanatory Note: This involves considering what tools, such as orders and penalties, would be effective to achieve compliance as well as looking at the effectiveness of the tools already used.

In some cases, follow up by WorkSafeBC may be sufficient to obtain compliance. An administrative penalty or prosecution, or the prospect of either may also be sufficient to do so. In most cases of non-compliance with an order, WorkSafeBC will likely use tools other than an OHS Injunction to obtain compliance.

Enforcement tools have their limitations, however. Administrative penalties can be imposed very quickly in urgent circumstances but apply only to employers. This may provide little deterrence to the principal of a corporation with minimal assets. Prosecutions can be used for both employers and workers but are slower due to the inherent time requirements of the process.

Injunctions have the advantage of timeliness and broad application. If necessary, an injunction can be obtained quickly and can apply both to individuals and to corporations. The injunction itself and the need to appear before the court may result in a higher level of compliance than from a Board order alone. A further advantage is that non-compliance with an injunction (contempt of court) can be dealt with fairly quickly and can result in significant consequences, including fines or jail.

* The explanatory notes are to provide additional explanation of the factors but are not themselves policy.

PRACTICE

The President's Assignment of Authority states that injunction applications must be approved by WorkSafeBC's President/Chief Executive Officer. WorkSafeBC lawyers apply to the Court for the injunction. The Court then decides whether to grant an injunction.

Applications Without Notice

WorkSafeBC's normal practice is to provide notice whenever possible before the application is made.

Although the Workers Compensation Act states that injunction applications may be made without notice, this will be done rarely and generally only in circumstances of extraordinary urgency. Court decisions state that there must be a very significant reason to proceed without notice to the other party.


EFFECTIVE DATE: December 1, 2011
AUTHORITY: s. 198, Workers Compensation Act
CROSS REFERENCES: ss. 115(1)(b), 190, 191 Workers Compensation Act
s. 2.4, Occupational Health and Safety Regulation
HISTORY:
APPLICATION: This policy is applicable to all decisions to pursue an injunction made after the effective date.

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