The provincial government recently introduced Bill 5 – 2022: Workers Compensation Amendment Act, 2022, which proposes new protections to help keep workers safe from the danger of asbestos.
The proposed amendments include the establishment of requirements that asbestos abatement contractors must be licensed to operate in British Columbia, and that workers and employers who perform this work must complete mandatory safety training and certification.
Upon passage of the bill, WorkSafeBC will implement the new requirements, which would include:
- Developing the standards that asbestos safety training and certification programs must comply with
- Developing a licensing scheme for abatement contractors
- Amending the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation to align with the changes to the Workers Compensation Act, and support the certification and licensing schemes
- Identifying who will act as the training and certifying bodies for asbestos abatement workers
Active participation from workers, employers, and other stakeholders will play a key role in shaping the province’s asbestos abatement safety training and certification program, so consultation and opportunities to provide input will be key elements of our plan.