Starting on Sept. 1, 2021, employers will be required to review each area of a job site when determining if a person must wear safety headgear, such as a hard hat, in that area. Employers will determine, through a risk assessment, what safety precautions could be taken to prevent head injuries and whether a hard hat is necessary.
This regulatory change provides tools for employers to accommodate workers who wear head coverings, such as a turban, as a religious practice. B.C. Minister of Labour, Harry Bains initiated a request in 2019 asking WorkSafeBC to review safety headgear regulations and consider changes to make them more inclusive. WorkSafeBC held public and stakeholder consultations in 2020 and early 2021. Employers, industry associations, workers, unions and community leaders shared their perspectives on the proposed changes, which were considered as part of the decision. On April 27, 2021, the WorkSafeBC board of directors approved a regulatory change to Part 8 of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation dealing with safety headgear.
After the changes take effect on Sept. 1, 2021, WorkSafeBC will continue to conduct inspections in the industries with the highest risk of serious injuries. To ensure employers are aware of and understand the changes to the regulation, WorkSafeBC will send information to employers prior to the regulations coming into effect. The information will include information on each of the regulatory changes, which will include links to the revisions and any appropriate guidelines.
WorkSafeBC’s Occupational Health and Safety Regulation amendment:
Part 8 Safety Headgear