WorkSafeBC 10-Day Closures – Details on Expedited Closures
April 12, 2021 — Effective today, new powers have been granted to local Medical Health Officers and WorkSafeBC officers to issue closure orders to workplaces in response to COVID-19 transmission.
If a workplace has 3 employees test positive for COVID-19 and public health officials believes that transmission occurred at the workplace, an order to close the workplace for a minimum of 10 days may be issued. Following a closure order, WorkSafeBC will work with the employer to ensure safety plans are sufficient and develop a return to opening process.
To avoid this risk of closure, businesses should ensure they are following best practices for prevention of COVID-19 in the workplace. This includes ensuring an updated COVID-19 Safety Plan is in place, and that workers are performing daily health checks:
COVID-19 Safety Plans
- Every employer is required to have a COVID-19 safety plan that assesses the risk of exposure at their workplace and implements measures to keep their workers safe, and that the plan is updated to reflect new regulations
- Workplaces must ensure that all workers and customers maintain an appropriate physical distance and extra care should be taken in small office spaces, break rooms and kitchens
- Remote working opportunities should be sought where possible
- Safety Plan Resources:
- COVID-19 Safety Plan Template
- Industry-specific information for details on developing a safety plan, including for:
- Reviewing and updating your COVID-19 safety plan: A guide for employers, which will help you ensure your plan continues to be effective and functioning properly
Daily Worker Health Checks
- Employers must ensure that every worker performs a daily health check before entering the workplace.
- Health checks are mandatory self-assessments conducted by workers and includes confirming with their employer, in written or verbal format, that they have reviewed the complete list of entry requirements and that none of the prohibited criteria apply to them.
- Health Check Template — Use this document to ensure you are asking the right questions. You must ask workers:
- Whether have travelled outside Canada in the last 14 days
- Whether they have been told by public health that they are a close contact of a positive COVID case
- Whether they have been told by public health to isolate
- Whether they are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- fever, chills, cough, loss of smell or taste, extreme tiredness, headaches, body aches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, difficulty breathing or sore throat
- If they answer yes, they should not be allowed in the workplace. If they have symptoms, they should call 811 to determine if they should be tested.
- By performing this health screen, you are doing your due diligence to ensure sick or at-risk workers do not remain in your workplace