Updated July 8, 2021
The Provincial Health Office has issued a new order for Industrial Camps that removes the need for annual inspections and several restrictions. The new order measures the spread of COVID-19 and moves towards a focus on preventing communicable disease transmission.
Overall, restrictions on workers have been lifted so that their activities are not limited any more than those imposed on society. The order has been narrowed from applying to both camps and workplaces to just camps, given that WorkSafeBC requirements cover workplaces. Please refer to the WorkSafeBC website for more details, including guidance on communicable disease plans, daily health checks, mask use, barriers and other protocols. The and to the BC Centre for Disease Control also offers general guidance on a variety of topics.
Restrictions in the current order lifted are:
- rules on transportation of workers
- need to have annual inspections
- requirement for workers to do daily health checks
- mandatory mask wearing
- quarantine for fourteen days for unimmunized workers upon arrival in camp
Requirements that remain have been broadened to communicable diseases, rather than just COVID-19. The broadening to communicable disease will facilitate the transition of these requirements into a potentially updated Industrial Camp Regulation, without losing important gains made through the use of the PHO order. These include:
- requirements for a communicable disease prevention plan, which replaces the requirement for a COVID-19 infection prevention and control protocol. For the immediate future maintaining the COVID-19 safety plan will suffice to meet this requirement, while guidance for communicable disease prevention plans in the industrial camps settings is developed (in the meantime, refer to the WorkSafeBC website).
- appointing a communicable disease prevention and control coordinator (new term of the current infection prevention and control coordinator) who is responsible for oversight of the communicable disease prevention plan and liaison with the health authority
- maintaining high standards of camp hygiene
- ensuring workers have an opportunity to consult a health professional and arrange for symptomatic worker testing when recommended by medical health officer (MHO) or medical professional
- having a plan for ready access to, the medical, nursing and allied professional support necessary to support the management by public health of cases, clusters and outbreaks of communicable diseases among workers
- having procedures for the isolation of a worker exposed to, or with a confirmed or suspected case of communicable disease, and ensure that a worker in isolation has the supplies, support and services the worker needs
- reporting cases, clusters or outbreaks of communicable diseases and related information to the medical health officer and work with the MHO to deal with the situation
- a requirement for workers to provide information, including personal information, requested by an employer in the course of fulfilling the responsibilities of the employer under relevant sections of this order. Privacy protections are included.
There is a new requirement that employers must facilitate workers’ access to vaccination services.
The PHO will also be updating the Provincial infection and prevention control officer delegation to reflect the new terminology.
For full information, please view the Order. For those who are subject to the second PHO Order specific to NH, AME will continue to request clarity on whether this order is to be repealed and replaced by the new order.View past PHO Orders
A revised PHO Order for Industrial Camps – May 12, 2021
Here is a summary of the small changes made to clarify some issues:
- A requirement that employers must identify a place in which employees would isolate.
- Further clarity provided about the expectation of employers to provide support for workers during isolation.
- Clarified that inspections apply to vehicles in which workers would be transported together, rather than all vehicles.
- Clarified that workers who have already done 14 days of quarantine, such as Temporary Foreign Workers, do not have to do another 14 days of quarantine.
Effective April 13
A revised Order for Industrial Camps was issued April 13, 2021 to prevent and control the risk of transmission of COVID-19.
Please note that the guidance document on industrial camps and worksites will similarly be updated over the coming week to help sites prepare protocols, and coordinators for inspections. Please note inspections are required at sites again this year, even if the sites were inspected last year.
The following information is from Dr. Brian Emerson, Acting Deputy Provincial Health Officer.
Industrial Camps – This updates the July 2/20 order, and merges it with the Northern Health (NH) resource sector industrial camps order and the NH Industrial Projects Restart order (except for the data collection part of this order – see next point). Changes include:
- More detail included on Infection Prevention and Control Protocols which was in the more recent NH orders.
- Clarifies obligations on employers to support workers.
- More detail with regard to providing facilities for and services to workers in areas such as meal services, communication systems, internet facilities and laundry, to enable workers to remain in their individual accommodation and at the camp when not at the worksite, which was in the more recent NH orders.
- Enhanced mask wearing requirements.
- The requirement to remain at accommodation when new to industrial camps, which was in initial order, then taken out last summer, is brought back in to provide extra layer of protection given increased transmission.
- MHOs may institute tighter restrictions with regard to to workers leaving camp after the quasi-two week quarantine if there are clusters or outbreaks at that camp or in the surrounding community.
- Given that silviculture camps are generally self-contained, a specific Part has been added that allows silviculture workers more latitude with respect to physical distancing and mask wearing once they have completed the two-week quasi-quarantine phase.
Industrial Projects Restart – Requirements to submit plans and limit the number of workers coming to the projects have been removed as this was all completed in January and February. NH wishes to continue to monitor the number of workers so we have retained the requirement that the projects report worker numbers by different categories to NH.