Manufacturing High Risk Strategy from WorkSafeBC

WorksafeBC have identified Manufacturing as one of the four main industries at high risk of serious workplace injuries and therefore contributing to the serious injury rate.

An engineer thiking about Manufacturing High Risk Strategy from WorkSafeBC

The injury rate and serious injury rate in the manufacturing sector are above the provincial injury rate, and the risks that drive serious injuries in this sector are highly fragmented. The top 15 general risks represent 56 percent of all the manufacturing claims, and the top risk (caught in or struck by machinery or conveyors) represents 18 percent of all serious injury claims in manufacturing.¹

One issue that has been critical over the past years has been combustible dust, particularly in sawmills and pellet mills. Inspections associated with the Manufacturing High Risk Strategy (HRS) will address fire and explosion hazards, including combustible dust, which may also be present in other manufacturing subsectors.

The goals of the 2018-2020 HRS are to:

  • Reduce serious injury and fatal injury rates in the manufacturing industry
  • The 2018-20 strategy will address the risks of serious injury from these seven strategic focus areas:
    • Powered tools
    • Hand tools (knives)
    • Material handling (falling objects)
    • Falls from elevation
    • Safeguarding and lockout
    • Falls on same level (slips and trips)
    • Mobile equipment
      (Additional risk areas are fire and explosion risks.) ²

The HRS approach will be to assist employers in strengthening their safety management system by focusing on risk reduction — taking a two-pronged approach of inspection-based engagements and employer self-evaluations.

Self-evaluation: Employers are invited to participate in a voluntary self-guided evaluation of their fire and explosion risks, and of the leading risk factors for serious injury in their workplace.

Inspection focus: Officers will focus on the top 15 classification units (CUs) that are at risk for serious injury, and evaluate whether the employer:

  • Identifies hazards and risks
  • Implements effective and compliant controls
  • Develops safe work procedures, programs, and policies
  • Provides related instruction, training, and supervision
  • Conducts effective inspections
  • Performs effective accident investigations
  • Engages the joint health and safety committee or worker health and safety representative ³

Results So Far

Over the four quarters of 2018 WorksafeBC met 94% of  their inspection target. They carried out 719 inspections of their intended 768. Throughout this period, they issued 2,095 Orders, 398 Orders with potential high-risk violations, 9 warning letters, 71 citations, 11 stop use orders, 2 stop work orders and imposed 4 penalties. ⁴

Over the four quarters of 2019 WorksafeBC met and exceeded their target for inspections (103%). They carried out 720 inspections, surpassing their intended 697. Throughout this period, they issued 1,912 Orders, 453 Orders with potential high-risk violations, 16 warning letters, 55 citations, 9 stop work orders and imposed 5 penalties. ⁵

So far in 2020 (Q2) WorksafeBC have inspected 294 of their 783 target. They have issued 643 Orders, 128 Orders with potential high-risk violations, 3 warning letters and 5 citations. ⁶

Additional Resources

WorksafeBC has put together fantastic resources to assist employers and employees, such as: Manufacturing Inspection checklists, Self-evaluations tools for employers and Safeguarding machinery and equipment booklets.

There are hundreds of documents and videos for the manufacturing industry available with links to tips and advice on safety and compliance. These can be found at:

1, 2, 3 –

4, 5, 6 –