Surrey Business News

Your Busi­ness is Never Too Small for Safety

- Business · Health · Personal Safety · Lifestyle · British Columbia

Sound fa­mil­iar? Small busi­ness own­ers wear many hats, and are of­ten re­quired to be ex­perts in ev­ery­thing from pay­roll to pur­chas­ing. Sort­ing out your reg­is­tra­tion and in­sur­ance with Worksafebc, as well as un­der­stand­ing your work­place health and safety re­quire­ments, are im­por­tant as­pects of your busi­ness. Here are some an­swers to ques­tions many small busi­ness own­ers have.

Do all small busi­nesses need to reg­is­ter for Worksafebc in­sur­ance?

Gen­er­ally, you need to reg­is­ter if you:

• Em­ploy and pay work­ers on a reg­u­lar, ca­sual, or con­tract ba­sis

• As a home­owner, hire an in­di­vid­ual to work

• in or around your home for a cer­tain pe­riod of time (e.g., child care, lawn ser­vices, etc.)

Come from an­other prov­ince or coun­try to work in B.C.

• Work in the com­mer­cial fish­ing or truck­ing in­dus­tries

Most B.C. work­ers are au­to­mat­i­cally cov­ered for work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion. How­ever, pro­pri­etors and their spouses, as well as part­ners in a part­ner­ship, are not considered work­ers un­less they have been granted op­tional cov­er­age. If you’re a pro­pri­etor or part­ner and would like to be cov­ered for work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion, you must ap­ply for Per­sonal Op­tional Pro­tec­tion (POP).

What does Worksafebc do for me?

Worksafebc pro­vides no­fault in­sur­ance for work­ers and em­ploy­ers. All work­ers are cov­ered by Worksafebc in the event of a work­place in­jury, work-re­lated dis­ease or fa­tal­ity. Em­ploy­ers reg­is­tered with Worksafebc pay pre­mi­ums that fund the sys­tem, and in re­turn, can­not be sued for the cost of a work-re­lated in­jury, dis­ease, or fa­tal­ity.

How can I re­duce the chance of work­place in­juries?

Your first step in pro­tect­ing work­ers is to iden­tify po­ten­tial haz­ards in your work­place. Over half of the claims re­ceived at Worksafebc are for in­juries due to slips, trips and falls; be­ing struck by an ob­ject; or for sprains, strains, or pulled mus­cles or lig­a­ments. Ask your­self, what is it about the ac­tiv­i­ties or pro­cesses that could in­jure your work­ers or harm their health?

Talk to your work­ers about health and safety is­sues they en­counter in their work. Keep lines of com­mu­ni­ca­tion open with your work­ers, as they can help to iden­tify risks. Im­prov­ing health and safety doesn’t have to be costly, but the po­ten­tial re­turn on in­vest­ment is huge.

Do you know your re­spon­si­bil­i­ties as an em­ployer?

• Reg­is­ter with Worksafebc

• Com­ply with the Work­ers Com­pen­sa­tion Act and the Oc­cu­pa­tional Health and Safety Reg­u­la­tion

Pro­vide a safe work­place with train­ing, su­per­vi­sion and writ­ten pro­ce­dures

Re­port in­juries, dis­eases, and other in­ci­dents to Worksafebc

Worksafebc of­fers re­sources for small busi­nesses

Small busi­ness own­ers have unique con­cerns and ques­tions. Worksafebc of­fers on­line re­sources, down­load­able forms, and guides to help you find the right an­swers quickly. You can also con­tact them at small­

“I have so much to do, and so many things to know...some days, health and safety slips down my list of pri­or­i­ties.”

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