March 7, 2013
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and
and Responsible for Labour
The facts on farm workers in B.C.
– B.C.’s labour laws and workplace safety standards apply to all workers
regardless of their nationality or immigration status.
the Employment Standards Branch protects farm workers:
Columbia's employment standards provide the minimum standards of wages and
working conditions in most non-unionized B.C. workplaces.
Employment Standards Branch Agriculture Compliance Team visits farms to
ensure farm owners, producers and Farm Labour Contractors (FLCs) are
complying with provincial employment standards legislation.
these visits, which take place over the course of the harvesting season,
workers are interviewed and given information about employment standards.
In 2012 alone, Employment Standards
representatives spoke directly with 3,157 agricultural workers while
performing 101 site visits.
employers are found in contravention of the act, mandatory escalating
addition to the farm visits, the branch reaches out to workers in the
agricultural sector and other sectors by conducting education seminars and
presentations to schools, groups of workers and employer associations.
Branch staff also network with community agencies and immigrant settlement
WorkSafeBC keeps farm workers safe:
inter-agency team, including WorkSafeBC and Employment Standards Branch
representatives, conducts random roadside inspections of farm vehicles.
2012, approximately 3,000 workers participated in a safety and health
education program designed for people coming to work in B.C. through the
Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program.
full-time WorkSafeBC officers are assigned to the agriculture sector and
recruitment is currently underway for six additional officers.
farm inspection reports have nearly tripled in the last decade – from 370
reports in 2000 to 1,002 reports in 2012.
has provided nearly $12 million since 1994 to the Farm and Ranch Safety
and Health Association (FARSHA).
also offers a number of health and safety publications in a wide variety
of languages. In addition, its call centre offers translation services in
to the 2007 van crash in Abbotsford:
2007, the B.C. government created the Inter-Agency Agriculture Compliance
Committee to ensure an integrated approach to farm worker safety. Find out
more at: http://www.gov.bc.ca/farmworkers/
2008, tougher provisions were enacted under the Employment Standards Act
to help ensure farm worker safety. This legislation:
growers from using unlicensed farm labour contractors.
for the cancellation or suspension of a farm labour contractor’s licence if
relevant WorkSafeBC and/or motor vehicle laws and regulations are violated.
farm labour contractors liable for the costs paid by government to provide safe
alternative transportation for stranded workers when an unsafe vehicle is taken
out of service during roadside inspections.
were 17 recommendations directed at government as a result of the
coroners’ inquest into the 2007 van crash:
recommendations are complete.
action was taken on three recommendations.
is ongoing on three more.
chart outlining these responses can be read at: http://www.gov.bc.ca/farmworkers/attachments/jury_recommendations.pdf
Response to 2008 mushroom farm
incident in Langley
following the 2008 mushroom farm tragedy, WorkSafeBC inspected every
mushroom farm in the province to make sure they were operating safely.
a coroner’s inquest in May 2012, WorkSafeBC and the Farm and Ranch Health
and Safety Association (FARSHA) began working together to implement the
chart of responses to the coroner’s recommendations is located at: http://www.worksafebc.com/news_room/features/2012/assets/pdf/InquestRecommendations.pdf
Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour
with the Province of B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/connect