FILE – People wait for their food at a restaurant in Yaletown in downtown, Vancouver, Thursday, December 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

FILE – People wait for their food at a restaurant in Yaletown in downtown, Vancouver, Thursday, December 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Over 1,500 COVID orders issued after workplace inspections: WorkSafeBC

That’s up from 300 orders in July

More than 1,500 orders have been issued after a total of 21,813 COVID-related inspections, WorkSafeBC said.

The data, which is current as of Jan. 22, is up from just 300 orders in July. Inspections are up from 12,646 completed by July 3 of last year. The 1,553 orders were issued after WorkSafeBC found a violation of COVID rules.

Of the 21,813 inspections, 8,105 were in the service sector which includes hospitality workers, gyms, hospitals, schools and hair salons. B.C. is one of the few provinces that has not closed dine-in restaurants during this second wave of the pandemic.

Next on the list were construction sites, both commercial and residential, with 5,637 inspections. Just behind in third place was the trade sector, which includes retail and wholesale operation and supermarkets, with 4,568 inspections.

Of the orders issued, 470 were in the service sector, 373 were in construction and 325 were in the trade sector. Manufacturing, including meat processing, breweries, sawmills, and pharmaceuticals, recorded 263 orders.

A total of 3,449 COVID-related claims have been submitted to WorkSafeBC as of Jan. 22. Of these, 1,777 have been allowed, 954 disallowed, with 449 still pending. The vast majority of allowed claims are in the service sector, which saw 1,328 claims.

“Claims are allowed when there is sufficient evidence to establish that the worker has COVID-19 and the risk in the workplace was significantly higher than the ordinary exposure risk,” WorkSafeBC explains. “Claims are typically disallowed when there is insufficient evidence to establish that the worker has COVID-19 (based on tests or symptom cluster), and/or the worker went off work strictly as a preventive measure.”

There are also still 197 claims that have been suspending, meaning the worker did not complete the process, seven were rejected, and 65 did not require adjudication. According to WorkSafeBC, one that do not require adjudication “may have been filed in error or there was nothing to consider as the worker did not seek medical attention and did not miss any time from work.”

Rejected claims are from either workers that are not covered under the Workers Compensation Act or from self-employed workers without optional protection.

READ MORE: WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims


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