Five months after special adviser Gord Macatee released his WorkSafeBC Review and Action Plan, the regulatory agency has released a report of its own — one that charts the progress it has made so far.
Macatee was appointed by WorkSafeBC's board of directors in April to suggest and track progress on improvements to strengthen worker health and safety, build a strong inspection and investigations regime and ensure dust mitigation compliance in wood manufacturing operations, such as sawmills.
WorkSafeBC's board of directors and Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour Shirley Bond accepted all 43 recommendations in the July report and have since been making efforts to accomplish them.
The group also committed to providing the public with updates on how the implementation of the recommendations to improve workplace health and safety in B.C. is going.
Macatee will also oversee WorkSafeBC's progress and make his own monthly reports.
According to WorkSafeBC's first update, progress so far includes:
- Implementing a sustained dust safety compliance plan for sawmills and wood manufacturing sector employers and introduction of new policies for sawmills and other wood processing manufacturers;
- Implementing a revised major case management protocol;
- Creation of a gatekeeper position to ensure oversight of all appropriate legal information to relevant parties;
- Finalizing the signing of two memoranda of understanding between WorkSafeBC and police agencies to cooperate and share information when appropriately conducting concurrent, joint, or sequential investigations into the same incident; and between WorkSafeBC and the criminal justice branch; and
- Developing a health and safety association in the wood manufacturing sector.