When is Working Alone Not
Recently, WorkSafeBC updated its guideline to the
Working Alone provisions found in sections 4.20.1
to 4.23 of the OHS Regulation. Specifically, WorkSafeBC sought
to define the phrase "assigned to work alone or in isolation."
Assigned to work alone
or in isolation
In its updated guideline, WorkSafeBC stresses that the
requirements of the working alone regulation apply only when a worker is assigned
to work alone or in isolation.
WorkSafeBC has defined “assigned to work alone or in
isolation” to mean:
Where the worker is directed or expected to
work during a scheduled or predetermined period of time, such as a
specified work shift or a specified portion of a work shift. During that
time it is anticipated or expected that the worker will be working alone
or in isolation. Workers who work alone or in isolation for short
or intermittent periods of time without being directed to do so are not
considered to have been "assigned" to work alone.
The updated guideline also includes the following
A worker in most office and similar work
settings, where other workers are normally present during their work
hours, is not considered to be assigned to work alone or in isolation if,
for example, the worker decides to come in early, work late, or come in
on a day off. While a worker in such a setting may choose to work alone
and this is permitted by the employer, the worker is not considered to
have been assigned to work alone. Accordingly, the provisions of sections
4.20.2 to 4.23 would not apply.
So what does that all mean...?
In a situation where a worker decides to come into
school early, work late or come in on a weekend or day off, working alone
procedures do not need to be implemented. However, it is important to
note that the worker will likely still be considered to be working by
Public school districts in British Columbia fall under
Classification Unit #765008 of the WorkSafeBC classification system.
The 2009 assessment rate is $0.64 per $100 of
assessable payroll to a maximum wage per worker of $68,500. This is a 5%
increase over the 2008 rate. The 2008 assessment rate was $0.61 and the
2007 assessment rate was $0.59. This trend of higher rates is likely to
continue into 2010.
The Request for Review Form has been revised mostly to
allow applicants to request telephone contact or an oral hearing.
Notwithstanding these changes, the Review Division is clear that the
“Read and Review method” will remain the predominant method for
conducting reviews. Applicants will be required to indicate why they feel
telephone contact or a hearing might be necessary. In general, oral
hearings will rarely be granted. The majority of those granted will be
prevention reviews. The new form can be found by clicking on the
following link (Request for