Wineries, cideries and breweries in the Interior will be inspected by WorkSafe before the upcoming tourist tasting season. (File photo)

Wineries, cideries and breweries in the Interior will be inspected by WorkSafe before the upcoming tourist tasting season. (File photo)

WorkSafe visiting Interior wineries, cideries and breweries ahead of tourist tasting season

40 field inspections and 35 consultations are expected over next few weeks

WorkSafeBC will be visiting wineries, cideries, and craft breweries in the Interior to make sure they are adhering to COVID-19 safety protocols in advance of the tourist tasting season.

The initiative will be concentrated on B.C.’s Interior and will focus on establishments with tasting rooms that may see an increase in customers in their workplaces. The inspections and consultations will confirm that up-to-date COVID-19 safety plans are in place and implemented effectively, and controls are in place to protect workers from COVID-19 transmission.

“With warmer weather here and summer fast approaching, these businesses will likely see increased activity in all three areas of their operations: agriculture, manufacturing, and customer visits,” says Al Johnson, head of Prevention Services at WorkSafeBC. “As the number of workers increases, manufacturing ramps up, and tasting rooms attract more visitors over the summer, we need to ensure these employers have updated and effective COVID-19 Safety Plans in place to protect their diverse workforces.”

WorkSafeBC will conduct approximately 40 field inspections and 35 consultations in the sector over the next three weeks.

Since the beginning of 2021, WorkSafeBC has been targeting specific industries. These inspections are informed by WorkSafeBC risk assessments and employer effectiveness surveys, as well as COVID-19 claim numbers, information from B.C.’s health authorities, and seasonal and temporal factors.

“We want to ensure we are working with B.C. wineries, cideries and brew pubs in order to help these businesses prepare for a safe and successful summer,” says Johnson.

All employers in B.C. are required to have a COVID-19 Safety Plan in place that assesses the risks to workers and implements measures to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in the workplace. The plan must be reviewed and updated as conditions change.

WorkSafe inspections by the numbers:

· As of May 8, 2021, WorkSafeBC has conducted 27,248 COVID-19-related inspections and 4,887 consultations.

· A total of 3,099 COVID-19-related orders have been issued for health and safety violations.

· WorkSafeBC has received 34,755 COVID-19-related enquiries to its Prevention Information Line since the start of the pandemic.

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