As you may already know, WorkSafeBC has issued safety orders following an inspection at one BC Parks office. We wanted to reach out to you about these orders as we are trying to work with your employer to fix many long-standing safety concerns. Most of the orders have a province wide application and some are not limited to Parks.
- BCGEU members have long raised Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) issues in BC Parks – our union believes it is their hard work and persistence that has directly led to these orders.
- The orders have indicated that we must have a Parks provincial Joint OHS committee - one that meets regularly and receives annual training.
- Our union's priority is the health and safety of members and to ensure this essential work is done correctly.
- Your BCGEU Component Executive is currently working with a group of Parks employees to ensure that your employer has a plan to properly implement these orders.
So far your employer has committed to:
- Informing all staff (not just regional managers) to cease work that has been deemed unsafe by WorkSafe (e.g. helicopter long lining) until proper procedures are in place and training is documented.
- Enhanced work procedures and training for staff.
- Proposal for new local, regional and provincial OHS committees.
- Form a new committee and complete a new violence risk assessment and for it to be reviewed annually
- Develop a violence prevention plan
- Update and revise the BC Parks safety manual (SMAPP)
As we continue to work with BC Parks on establishing a provincial Joint OHS committee in conjunction with required local committees and implementing the various safety measures ordered in BC Parks, it is vital we hear from you, BCGEU members. You can contact the BCGEU OHS department at email@example.com or your local OHS rep or a steward. If any of your co-workers did not receive this email, please forward it along.
You can read all five of the WorkSafeBC orders in full here
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