Specimens to be tested for COVID-19 are seen at LifeLabs after being logged upon receipt at the company's lab, in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, March 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Inspectors have now issued 1,553 COVID-19 health and safety violation orders in workplaces across British Columbia.

That's almost quadruple the 399 violations that had been recorded by WorkSafeBC as of July 31.

The violation orders followed 21,813 workplace inspections that were conducted in the province up to Jan. 22, and are broken down by industry as follows:

  • 470 in the service sector
  • 373 in construction
  • 325 in trade
  • 263 in manufacturing
  • 67 in the primary resources sector
  • 47 in transportation and warehousing
  • Eight in the public sector

Some industries were subjected to far more inspections than others. The service sector – which includes hotels, restaurants, hospitals, schools, salons, realtors and theatres – accounted for the largest number of violations and the largest number of inspections.

According to the WorkSafeBC website, inspections are "an important component in verifying that employers have safety plans in place and are meeting their obligations to manage the risk of COVID-19 transmission in their workplaces."

Violations can be observed during an inspection or a follow-up visit, and inspectors can either call ahead or show up unannounced.

WorkSafeBC has also provided 4,093 in-person and virtual consultations to help employers craft their safety plans, and fielded 27,725 calls to its prevention information line.