WorkSafeBC to Mandate Vaccination for Most of Its Own EmployeesLisa Thibault
24 Sep 2021—WorkSafeBC has shared with its partners that they will be following the lead of public health and mandating vaccination for most of the organization’s own employees in the coming weeks. As context for companies evaluating their own vaccine policy, this is the direction WorkSafeBC is taking:
As of November 1, all WorkSafeBC employees whose role requires them to interact in person with employers, workers, and members of the public — or with other WorkSafeBC employees — will be required to be vaccinated. Full vaccination (both doses) will be required before entering our offices, public or private workplaces, and workers’ homes. This decision is grounded, as always, in public health guidance; as leaders, we must take every available step to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in our workplaces and our communities.
According to WorkSafeBC President & CEO Anne Naser, this decision is based on our current public health situation and risk levels:
The scientific evidence supporting this approach is clear. According to B.C.’s Ministry of Health, after factoring for age, unvaccinated people are 37.9 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than those who are fully vaccinated. Those who have been vaccinated are protecting not just their own health, but the health of all those who aren’t eligible for vaccines, including children under 12. They are also helping assure the sustainability of our health care systems, by reducing the burden on those who work in them.
The messaging from WorkSafeBC also notes that “While vaccines have been identified as the primary preventative measure to prevent illness and reduce the risk of hospitalization and death, it’s important to continue with our supplementary protocols, which include mask-wearing, social distancing, and handwashing in all our facilities.”
For more perspectives on the vaccine policy question, you can revisit our recent webinar or join us at Make It Safe 2021 for two key case study sessions on vaccine policy:
- Make It Safe Keynote | Vaccine policy, passports, and privacy
- Make It Safe Case Study | Inside the design of an effective vaccine policy
Some members have also requested help responding to employee concerns and hesitations about the vaccine. If you would like this type of support, please contact us to discuss your situation.
As always, with policy decisions in this area, we encourage you to obtain legal advice. If we can help you navigate workplace health and safety controls and decisions, please contact us.