by Terry Thomas, CRSP – WorkSafeBC has the power to assess administrative penalties (monetary fines) against employers for non-compliance with the requirements of the Workers Compensation Act or the Occupational Health & Safety Regulation. There are now two levels of administrative penalty identified in Section 196 of the Act:
Lower Maximum Amount
The lower maximum amount of $1000 was introduced in October, 2015 through an amendment called the “Lower Maximum Administrative Penalties Regulation (LMAPR) – OHS Citations”. You can refer to Section 196.1 of the Workers Compensation Act and WorkSafeBC Policy D12-196.1-1 for further guidance
The lower maximum amount will be referred to as a citation and will be issued against an employer only for violations considered not to be high risk in nature. The base amount of $1000 will be adjusted annually to the cost of living increase. Currently the maximum penalty amount is set at $1,010.33 and the penalty for a first offence will be 50% of the maximum.
A citation will be issued for “non-compliance with an order or failure to submit a compliance report to WSBC within the specified time.” It will only be issued after a warning letter from WorkSafeBC has been issued to the employer identifying the issue. If a second exact or similar violation occurs within a three year period the full penalty will be assessed.
Upper Maximum Amount
The upper maximum amount level has been in place since 1997. You can refer to Section 196 of the Workers Compensation Act and WorkSafeBC Policy D-12-196.1 for further guidance
The upper maximum amount for a violation is currently set to $628,034.57, however the amount considered by WSBC for a specific employer will be calculated on the employer’s annual assessable payroll multiplied by 0.5% with a minimum amount of $1250. This penalty will be considered for any violation of the Workers Compensation Act or the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation.
If a violation is considered to be high risk, intentional, involves hindering a WSBC officer in performance of their duties, involves suppressing a worker’s attempt to report an injury, illness or hazardous condition or is a breach of a stop work / stop use order then a multiplier of 2 for each of the above criteria violated will be imposed. A high risk violation where an employer suppresses a worker’s report will have a multiplier of 4 applied to the base penalty amount. If an offence is a repeat penalty for the same or similar violation that occurs within 3 years of the initial violation then the repeat violation penalty will be doubled and each subsequent violation will have a doubling of the penalty amount.
For more information please contact the Manufacturing Safety Alliance of BC
T 1.604.795.9595 E firstname.lastname@example.org