WorkSafeBC stepping up its workplace presence ahead of spring break, St. Patrick’s Day

Richmond, B.C. (March 11, 2021) — WorkSafeBC will have an increased presence at workplaces across B.C. ahead of the upcoming spring break period and St. Patrick’s Day to remind businesses they must have measures and controls in place to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in the workplace.

WorkSafeBC will be inspecting and consulting with businesses throughout the month of March when many families participate in spring break activities. The initiative will focus primarily on overnight and short-term accommodation, food and leisure services, amusement facilities, sports and entertainment facilities, ski hills, and golf courses.

WorkSafeBC will also be launching an initiative focused on bars, pubs and restaurants ahead of St. Patrick’s Day on March 17.

“With spring break and St. Patrick’s Day both taking place this month, we want to ensure employers and workers are again ready for a potential increase in people coming to their workplaces,” says Al Johnson, Head of Prevention Services for WorkSafeBC. “We’re reminding businesses to make sure they have an up-to-date COVID-19 safety plan in place, that it’s understood by all staff, and that it’s being implemented effectively.”

All employers in B.C. are required to have a COVID-19 Safety Plan that assesses 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.

To assist employers, WorkSafeBC has developed the resource: Reviewing and updating your COVID-19 safety plan: A guide for employers, available at worksafebc.com.

“The vast majority of businesses in B.C. are taking COVID-19 safety very seriously and want to be in compliance,” says Johnson. “But we’ve also seen some employers let their safety plan become dated — where it no longer reflects the latest PHO orders or changing conditions — and this is an important focus area for our prevention officers.”

Employers are responsible for the health and safety of their workers, and this includes doing everything reasonably possible to ensure customer compliance with COVID-19 safety protocols and orders, including maintaining physical distance and wearing masks as required.

Key Facts
• As of March 5, WorkSafeBC had conducted 24,221 workplace inspections and 4,494 consultations related to COVID-19. A total of 2,232 orders had been issued for health and safety violations.
• In spring of last year, WorkSafeBC worked with employer groups to develop protocols for more than 30 industries to operate safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
• Last month, WorkSafeBC launched an awareness campaign to support workplace health and safety. The province-wide, multi-language campaign focuses on several specific actions workers and employers need to take to keep workplaces safe from COVID-19.

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About WorkSafeBC
WorkSafeBC engages workers and employers to prevent injury, disease, and disability in B.C. When work-related injuries or diseases occur, WorkSafeBC provides compensation and support to people in their recovery, rehabilitation, and safe return to work. We serve approximately 2.5 million workers and 249,000 employers across B.C.

For more information, contact:
Media Relations, WorkSafeBC
Email: media@worksafebc.com
Tel: 604-276-5157

BC Leads Canadian Golf Rounds Boom in 2020

As anyone who got out to golf this year likely experienced, golf was a hot commodity when it came to staying busy and getting out into wide-open spaces during the COVID-19 pandemic and tee times became coveted across the country. Data recently released from the National Golf Course Owners Association backs the anecdotal evidence with an 18.9% increase in rounds played in Canada and BC continuing to outpace the nation with a year-to-date increase of 23.2% to the end of October 2020 and continuing to climb as Lower Mainlanders and Vancouver Islanders are still playing golf!

Rounds up Double Digits

Nationally, rounds across Canada were up 61.8% in October for 18.9% year to date. When comparing to the 5-year average, rounds were up 17.8% further reinforcing the success golf experienced during the 2020 season.

While 18.9% annual growth is impressive in and of itself, it is even more impressive when one considers that rounds were down 25.9% at the end of May. With rounds growth from June through October, supported by fantastic weather enabling season extensions, the Canadian Golf Industry recouped the first five-month deficit and catapulted the industry forward 18.9%!

British Columbia golf rounds played increased by 57.4% in October and 23.2% year to date, beating the 5-year average, and leading the country slightly ahead of Alberta and Atlantic Canada.

Revenue

Golf course revenue follows a similar suit as round growth, showing that golfers are not only golfing more but also spending more (i.e. beverages and snacks). National data shows a revenue increase of 49.9% for the month of October (compared to 2019) and 28.6% year to date, but transactions increased a whopping 87.4% for October as well.

In British Columbia, revenues increased 45.8% in October (over 2019) and 16.6% year to date.

Looking Ahead to 2021

With new golfers to the game, equipment sales up significantly over the past summer, some sport and travel restrictions likely in place for a while, and continued implementation of COVID-19 protection protocols and ensuring golfers are offered an enjoyable experience during their visit, British Columbia golf courses can look forward to another busy season in 2021.