Know your obligations

When employees drive for work, employers need to address road safety hazards in their occupational health and safety program. This applies to any work-related driving employees do, from making deliveries to calling on clients. Employers need to know their responsibilities for their drivers under several laws and regulations.

Driving can be one of the most dangerous things many employees do. Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of workplace traumatic death in B.C. That’s why road safety is an important element of a safety program.

WorkSafeBC requirements

The Workers Compensation Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation assign responsibilities to employers, supervisors, and employees. Those obligations apply in all provincially-regulated workplaces in B.C.

Because any vehicle that’s being used for work purposes is a workplace, the requirements apply:

  • Whenever a worker is driving or riding in a vehicle that’s being used for work
  • Whether the work vehicle is owned, leased, or rented by the employer or the employee driving it
  • To all work driving, whether it is full-time, part-time or occasional

Review WorkSafeBC’s employer, supervisor and employee responsibilities.

Motor Vehicle Act requirements

The Workers Compensation Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation assign responsibilities to employers, supervisors, and employees. Those obligations apply in all provincially-regulated workplaces in B.C.

Because any vehicle that’s being used for work purposes is a workplace, the requirements apply:

The Act regulates the operation of vehicles, such as registration, licensing and insurance, driver licensing and practices, offences, and enforcement. The Regulations define vehicle requirements such as brake systems and tires.

Review key employer responsibilities under the Act and Regulations.

Commercial vehicle requirements

The following provincial laws apply to owners and operators of vehicles that are designed to carry a load or engage in commercial transportation. Vehicles include:

  • Ambulances
  • Buses
  • Fire trucks
  • Hearses
  • Pickups
  • Some road building machines
  • Taxis, limousines
  • Tow trucks
  • Truck and trailer combinations
  • Truck tractors
  • Trucks with an attached delivery body
  • Vans

Commercial Transport Act and Commercial Transport Regulations

Review the Commercial Transport Procedures Manual and related bulletins and circulars for information on meeting these responsibilities.

Passenger Transportation Act and Passenger Transportation Regulation

These provincial laws apply to owners and operators of commercial passenger vehicles such as taxis, limousines, and some buses. It also governs ride-hail vehicles (Transportation Network Services).

Review the rules, regulations, and licensing of commercial passenger transportation in B.C. for information on meeting these responsibilities.

Safety Code

The Safety Code applies to commercial vehicles licensed with a gross vehicle weight of 5,000 kg or more, or operating under the Passenger Transportation Act, or with a seating capacity of 10 or more passengers plus the driver. The Safety Code is contained in the Motor Vehicle Act Regulations.

Visit BC Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement for a practical review of the Safety Code’s requirements. You can also complete the National Safety Code for Carriers course.

Other requirements

Other provincial and federal laws may apply to employers with work drivers in B.C. Use this overview to identify laws your organization may need to address in your road safety policies and practices.

  • Industrial roads

    The provincial Industrial Roads Act and Regulations apply to vehicle owners and drivers. They apply when vehicles travel roads constructed on Crown or private lands used primarily for transporting natural resources, machinery, materials, or personnel.

    The Act requires vehicles to be maintained in safe and proper operating condition. The Regulations define requirements for vehicle inspections, record keeping, reporting unsafe conditions, maintenance, lights, and driver licensing.

  • Federally regulated workplaces

    The federal Canada Labour Code applies to employers that have operations beyond a provincial boundary. Employers include:

    • Airlines
    • Broadcasting
    • Chartered banks
    • International shipping
    • Interprovincial pipeline, rail, trucking
      • Military
      • Postal service
      • RCMP
      • Telecommunications

     

    The Code’s occupational health and safety section describes duties to identify hazards and prevent injuries. It includes requirements for training, supervision, personal protective equipment, first aid, and incident investigations. The Code also specifies that vehicles used by employees in the course of their employment must meet prescribed health, safety, and ergonomic standards.

  • Dangerous goods

    Federal and provincial laws and regulations apply when transporting dangerous goods in commercial or personal vehicles in B.C.

    The Federal Transport of Dangerous Goods Regulations describe requirements for transporting substances or materials that are dangerous to life, health, property, or the environment. This includes explosive, flammable or combustible, poisonous, compressed gases, nuclear substances, or organisms.

    The B.C. Transport of Dangerous Goods Act applies when transporting any product, substance, or organism listed in the provincial Regulation.

    Review employer responsibilities for transporting dangerous goods.

  • Criminal conduct

    The federal Criminal Code applies to employers, supervisors, and anyone else who directs, or has authority to direct, how a person does their work.

    The Code lays out a legal duty to take reasonable steps to prevent bodily harm to any person arising from assigned work or tasks. It addresses criminal liability organizations and their representatives may have for negligence and other offences.



Why Road Safety Matters