Legislative Change: A Primer on Bill 35

On January 1, 2016, the Workers Compensation Amendment Act (No. 2), 2015 (Bill 35) introduced a number of changes focused on expanding the role of joint occupational health and safety committees in workplace safety, and adding a new type of incident for employers to report.

The changes in Bill 35 build on the legislative changes made last year under Bill 9, which strengthened WorkSafeBC’s ability to promote and enforce workplace health and safety. Where Bill 9 added new enforcement tools for officers, Bill 35 supplements existing requirements for employers by adding additional roles and responsibilities of joint occupational health and safety committees.

The following document is a high level summary that provides an introduction and overview of the changes to the Workers Compensation Act:

Legislative Change: A Primer on Bill 35

You can learn more about the Bill 35 changes here or by visiting worksafebc.com.

RIMEX Rises to Safety Challenges

From Rimex.com

On December 17, 2015, RIMEX Supply Ltd. reached an important milestone in the advancement and improvement of their industrial health and safety standards, when they were awarded the Occupational Safety Standard of Excellence (OSSE) certification. The OSSE award is sponsored by the Food Industry Occupational Safety Association – Manufacturing Industry Occupational Safety Alliance (FIOSA-MIOSA), who provide a comprehensive and rigorous program to promote health and safety management in BC’s food and manufacturing industries. The program is endorses a best practices approach cooperation with WorkSafeBC. FIOSA-MIOSA provided in-depth guidance to set the highest possible standards for company-wide health and safety.

RIMEX is also proud to announce that their Agassiz manufacturing facility is the winner of the WorkSafeBC’s 2014 Innovations Contest. The Agassiz manufacturing team worked together on an ergonomics/safety project to reduce manual lifting and noise levels. The company used a participatory approach, consulting with their workers to improve the processing of half and full lock rings for wheel rims. Formerly, workers were lifting and lowering the rings (which weigh up to 50 kg.) as many as eleven separate times in the manufacturing cycle. Now, a streamlined process has been implemented in which each ring is lifted only twice. Workers actively developed, tested, and improved the solutions throughout the process.

We were very honored to be considered for this award. We try to involve our employees in all decisions which affect them and their working conditions. This was truly an example of the kind of success you can achieve with a participatory approach,” said James Read, RIMEX’s Agassiz Manufacturing Operations Manager.

Additional ergonomic improvements at Agassiz have involved reducing noise levels by introducing a rubber damper between steel plates in the stamping process. Plans are also in the works for further improvement, including adding a rotating table to turn the hefty lock rings and employing a hoist to eliminate manual lifting.

In parallel with its OSSE and WorkSafeBC successes, RIMEX is adopting the proven principles of “Lean Production”, which is a systematic method for eliminating waste within a manufacturing system.  The Lean concept focuses on enhancing production processes that add value, and reducing those that don’t. The principles of Lean manufacturing can be traced back to Henry Ford’s automobile revolution, but perhaps the most well-known contemporary proponent of the Lean system is Toyota, a company whose steady growth has focused attention on the benefits of Lean practices. The Lean system offers administrative tools and recommends procedural techniques that enable manufacturers to optimize production and increase value for customers.  RIMEX is capitalizing on the Lean formula by eliminating less efficient practices and exceling at the essential ones.

James Read acknowledges, “As we’ve started our journey down the Lean Manufacturing road, we’ve been carefully and correctly guided into the participatory method. The rewards are obvious, especially for the positive morale that derives from true teamwork, calculated empowerment and education.”

As RIMEX Supply Ltd. flourishes and grows, it strives to improve productivity… but always puts safety first.  It embraces and enforces that responsibility in protecting it employees, conducting its work and contributing to the community.

We are proud to include RIMEX Supply Inc. in the OSSE Hall of Fame

Government Grants available to support employee training costs.

The Canada-B.C. Job Grant is an employer-driven, cost-sharing program that can help employers invest in training for their current or future employees. The Grant assists eligible employers to offset the cost of training, with the employer contributing one-third of the cost of training. The maximum government contribution is $10,000 for each employee trained. Employers can apply directly or an Eligible Organization can act on behalf of employers.

Grant Allotments have re-opened for three separate funds.

Priority Sectors Fund

The Canada-B.C. Job Grant (CJG) is opening to BC Jobs Plan priority sectors, with targeted funding of up to $3 million, for eligible employers and organizations in these sectors to train new and current employees for available jobs.

The goal of the CJG is to increase participation of British Columbians in the labour force and help them to develop the skills necessary to find and keep a job.  The CJG objectives are:

  • to encourage greater employer involvement in training to ensure that skills are better aligned to job opportunities; and
  • to make it as easy as possible for all residents of British Columbia to get the help they need to develop the skills necessary to quickly find and maintain employment.

Employers and organizations must meet eligibility criteria and be operating in one of the following sectors:

  1. Agrifoods
  2. Aboriginal Peoples and First Nations
  3. Forestry
  4. Manufacturing
  5. Mining and Energy
  6. Natural Gas
  7. Small Business
  8. Technology and Green Economy
  9. Tourism
  10. Transportation


All training must start on or before March 31, 2016.

Full Priority Sectors Fund Details: https://www.workbc.ca/Employers/Run-your-business/Canada-B-C-Job-Grant/Canada-B-C-Jobs-Grant-B-C-Jobs-Plan-Priority-Secto.aspx


New Canadian Fund

The CJG is opening to applications from employers and organizations to train new Canadians for new or existing jobs, with targeted funding of up to $500,000.

Employers and organizations must meet eligibility criteria and complete checklist.  Participants under the CJG New Canadians Fund must also be:

  • A refugee landed in Canada; or
  • A protected person entitled to work in Canada; or
  • An immigrant to Canada within the past five years or less.


Full New Canadian Fund Details: https://www.workbc.ca/Employers/Run-your-business/Canada-B-C-Job-Grant/CJG-NEW-CANADIANS-FUND.aspx

Refugee Fund

Industry/sector and employer associations are invited to submit applications to a specific fund focused on training and hiring refugees.  Up to $1M will support associations to prepare refugees for employment in their particular sector, match refugees to employers and jobs, and deliver job specific skills training in partnership with employers.

Both job readiness and job specific training must start on or before March 31, 2016.  Training must be completed within 52 weeks.  Each participant can be funded for up to $10,000 in training.

Associations and their partner employers must meet CJG refugee fund eligibility criteria.  A participant must be a refugee landed in Canada.  If a participant does not meet this criterion, the applicant may be eligible under another stream.


Full Refugee Fund Details: https://www.workbc.ca/Employers/Run-your-business/Canada-B-C-Job-Grant/Canada-B-C-Job-Grant-Refugee-Fund.aspx


Contact the Manufacturing Safety Alliance of BC at 604.795.9595 or email manufacturing@safetyalliancebc.ca if you require any assistance in applying for a training Grant.

Looking forward to 2016

With 2016 on our doorstep we are motivated to bring in the New Year with enthusiasm but before we embrace the future, I would like to take a moment to reflect on all that we accomplished during an incredibly busy, dynamic and successful 2015.

We are always looking for ways to measure our performance and some good news came late in 2015 with WorkSafeBC’s announcement of base rate changes for the coming year. The classification units (CUs) aligned with FIOSA-MIOSA saw a 7.2% reduction in base rate premiums, an impressive statistic when compared to all other sectors that saw either minimal reductions or increases to their base rates. This means lower injury rates, lower claim costs and more money in the pockets of the companies we serve. FIOSA-MIOSA will be expanding by nine CUs in 2016 so we can look forward to helping hundreds more businesses improve their health and safety records.

This past year was especially successful for the Safety Pooling System (SPS) with a third pool of companies coming online. The SPS program has been designed to guide companies through the 2-year Journey to OSSE. The first SPS member company achieved OSSE certification in 2015 in well under two years – a noteworthy achievement. We are anticipating a leap forward in certifications in 2016.

FIOSA-MIOSA saw significant changes in legislation following the Prince George and Burns Lake sawmill tragedies with the passing of Bill 9 in May this year. The amendments to the Workers Compensation Act provide a range of new safety enforcement tools and give WorkSafeBC inspectors more autonomy to intervene in unsafe work environments. Despite being born in tragedy, these changes are a significant step in the efforts to keep BC workers safe.
To reach more of our members, particularly smaller companies that cannot afford to send key personnel on all day training, FIOSA-MIOSA launched the Online Learning Centre, an e-learning platform offering an ever expanding range of health and safety training courses available 24/7. Over 190 users have accessed the courses since the launch at the end of April.

Our Research, Programs and Development department debuted the “5 Steps to MSI Prevention Guidebook”, a resource that will act as a useful guide to reducing musculoskeletal injuries in the workplace, the cause of 69% of the top 5 claims in 2013, according to WorkSafeBC. Other resources developed in 2015 include the OSSE Readiness Self-Assessment Tool (ORSAT) and the Hazard Identification Toolkit.

FIOSA-MIOSA hosted a number of events this year including the OSSE Awards Gala in April. Nine companies received recognition for completing their OSSE certification and an additional 17 companies were presented with the Pinnacle Award, a distinction reserved for those who have completed both their OSSE certification and are BC Safety Charter signatories. The following day we hosted senior business leaders in at the BC Safety Charter Roundtable and had the fortune of welcoming 1-800-GOT-JUNK? Founder and CEO Brian Scudamore. Brian shared his experiences in business and was a source of transformational leadership for our senior business leaders. The annual Make It Safe conference in October was our most successful yet and was highlighted by powerful keynote presentations by Threads of Life Executive Director Shirley Hickman and workplace accident survivor Spencer Beach.

2015 was also a year of changes within the FIOSA-MIOSA organization. Our team has grown with talented and aptly qualified Safety Advisors, including individuals with expertise in occupational hygiene and confined space entry, and a team of accomplished marketing professionals who share the common vision of helping you Make it Safe.

There is much to look forward to in 2016 but everything that lies before us is the result of the support, passion and engagement of our members. We thank you for working with us to ensure a safe and healthy environment for our employees.

Our plans for 2016 include initiating a complete rebranding and name change, expanding our in-person training and e-learning course material, offering specialized ergonomic and occupational hygiene services and continuing the health & safety support services to assist our members to develop and continue to improve their health & safety systems. With a competent and focused team in place we are positioned for a very successful year.

With your support we have proven we can achieve great things. A sincere thank you to everyone who has contributed towards our mission of “engaging, educating and empowering our members through innovative health & safety programs, services and tools to make a difference in their lives.”
A safe and prosperous 2016 for all!

Lisa McGuire CRSP
CEO FIOSA-MIOSA Safety Alliance of BC