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  December 6, 2023

Watch out Employers: WorkSafeBC Penalties are Increasing

Administrative penalties are fines imposed on employers for health and safety violations of the Workers Compensation Act, the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, and/or orders of WorkSafeBC, and for failure to take sufficient precautions to prevent workplace injuries or illnesses. Penalties are published as a deterrent and to highlight the importance of making workplaces safe.

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The WorkSafeBC penalty structure is based on the severity of the violation, whether it was committed intentionally or with reckless disregard, the effect of the violation on a worker, and any other factor deemed relevant at the discretion of the President. From there, the penalty is assessed based on the size of the employer’s payroll and the number of repeat offenses up to the statutory maximum.

Below is a table outlining the penalty assessment structure as of 2023. Expect the statutory maximum to continue to rise on January 1st of each subsequent year.

Penalty Payroll Calculation from Item 2(a) Number of applicable circumstances from Item 2(b)
One Two Three
Up to $250,000 $1,250 $2,500 $5,000 $7,500
$500,000 $2,500 $5,000 $10,000 $15,000
$1,000,000 $5,000 $10,000 $20,000 $30,000
$2,500,000 $12,500 $25,000 $50,000 $75,000
$5,000,000 $25,000 $50,000 $100,000 $150,000
$10,000,000 $50,000 $100,000 $200,000 $300,000
$20,000,000 $100,000 $200,000 $400,000 $600,000
$30,000,000 $150,000 $300,000 $600,000 Stat Max
$40,000,000 $200,000 $400,000 Stat Max
$50,000,000 $250,000 $500,000 Stat Max
$63,741,560 or more $379,684.42 (half statutory max) Stat Max ($759,368.84

In addition to the monetary amount of the penalty, employers should be aware that WorkSafeBC publishes the names of employers who have received penalties on its website, along with the amount of the penalty and a description of the incident or violation that led to the penalty being imposed.

Employers across British Columbia should remember that the failure to implement and/or enforce safety policies and procedures can have serious reputational, financial and human repercussions.  It is critical that employers remain compliant with the occupational health and safety requirements applicable at their worksites.

For more information, please see WorkSafeBC – Penalties.

Information provided by Mathews Dinsdale & Clark LLP. The information provided in this article is necessarily of a general nature and must not be regarded as legal advice. For more information about Mathews Dinsdale & Clark LLP, please visit mathewsdinsdale.com.

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