(The Canadian Press)

(The Canadian Press)

WorkSafe BC issues COVID-19 guidelines as businesses ready to reopen

WorkSafe says businesses need to ensure they have a COVID-19 safety plan to protect workers

B.C.’s workplace safety agency released new guidelines Friday as businesses across the province get set to reopen.

WorkSafe BC’s guidelines cover sectors ranging from restaurants to offices, including guidance on how many people should be allowed in a business as well as controlling entry and exit points.

In every industry, the guidelines emphasize having as little contact with customers as possible and ensuring social distance is maintained.

It also advises businesses to follow the protocol on gatherings, limiting events, such as museum tours, and working to establish safe occupancy limits.

It says specific guidelines for sports and recreation as well as child care will be released later.

ALSO READ: Here’s a phase-by-phase look at how B.C. hopes to re-open parts of society

But before reopening, WorkSafe says businesses need to ensure they have a COVID-19 safety plan to protect workers and it must be displayed.

It says employers should work with employees to ensure businesses remain safe.

“The planning process should involve workers for their input to ensure their concerns are heard and addressed,” said Al Johnson, WorkSafe BC’s head of prevention services, in a statement.

The agency says it will continue developing industry-specific guidelines as more businesses across B.C. begin reopening over the coming months.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has previously said businesses are under no obligation to reopen on Tuesday, and they should only do so when they are ready.

The Canadian Press

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