Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine
British Columbia’s Occupational Health & Safety authority has expanded its toll-free phone service to connect workers and employers in the province to prevention officers more easily.
The “Prevention Information Line” now helps callers reach a dedicated prevention officers with diverse specializations, according to a July 30, 2019 press release from WorkSafeBC. Workers and employers can report in multiple languages, since the prevention officers have access to interpreters.
“The purpose of the services to enhance access to Occupational Health & Safety information, improve response times and ultimately reduce injuries,” Jacqueline Holmes, WorkSafeBC’s manager of prevention field services, says in a press statement.
“No matter where they are located in the province,” adds Holmes, “workers and employers have direct access to WorkSafeBC prevention officers.”
WorkSafeBC launch the phone service to get people convenient access to information, guidance and resources regarding workplace safety regulations, rights and responsibilities. A worker can report incidents or unsafe working conditions, as well as request a worksite inspection or consultation; it is also possible to discuss any OH&S issue with a prevention officer.
Call volumes to the Prevention Information Line on Occupational Health & Safety issues have increased by approximately 20 per cent since the expansion earlier this year, the release noted. In the meantime, the average response time has decreased by 70 per cent.
Almost 50 per cent of these calls have been safety-related, WorkSafeBC states, while about 21 per cent dealt with bullying, harassment, and/or discrimination. In terms of industries, nearly a third of the inquiries have come from the construction sector, followed by healthcare at 8.1 per cent, manufacturing at 7 per cent, and hospitality at 6 per cent.
While the hotline is open 24 hours a day every day, prevention officers are directly available on weekdays from 8:05 am to 4:30 pm, says WorkSafeBC. The toll-free number is accessible across Canada.
I was pleased to hear that province of British Columbia is doing everything reasonable into employers and workers and supervisors gaining direct access to safety prevention officers.
In Ontario, we have to call a hotline and request an inspector to show up at a jobsite, mind you, the hotline number will do everything he can to access a suitable health and safety inspector for the sector required. In other words, if one request communication with an industrial inspector it may not take much time at all. I have found the Ministry of Labour of Ontario to be as transparent and accessible, better than many other governmental departments.
I hope this will do the same for the province of British Columbia. People need access to safety information, the sooner the better!
HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including all your company questions concerning health and safety. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.
We can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ensure your workplace is a safe place.
Remember – In Canada, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.