More than 1,500 COVID-19 violations found at B.C. workplaces so far

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WorkSafeBC says it has issued 1,553 orders for workplace health and safety violations found while conducting COVID-19 safety plan inspections.

The agency has performed 21,813 such workplace inspections.

The service sector, including hotels, restaurants, gyms, film sets and hair salons, saw the most inspections, at 8,105, resulting in 470 orders.

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It was followed by construction, with 4,637 inspections and 373 orders, and trade — including retail and wholesale operations, supermarkets and service stations — with 4,568 inspections and 325 orders.

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Inspections can be scheduled or unscheduled, and on-site or remote.

The agency said remote inspections, which are conducted by phone or videoconference and may be a followup to an on-site inspection, were more common at the start of the pandemic and currently account for about one in five inspections.

According to WorkSafeBC, orders may include direction to improve COVID-19 safety plans and protocols.

In the case of continued non-compliance, other enforcement measures such as citations may be issued.

WorkSafeBC said it was targeting environments with the highest risk for possible infection.

That includes places where it’s hard to maintain physical distance, where workers interact with many people, frequently touch shared surfaces, or have seen prior transmission.

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