WorkSafeBC Says Major Progress Made in Implementing Recommendations
Prince George, B.C.- Just five days before the Coroner’s inquest into the deaths of Glenn Roche and Alan Little in the Lakeland Mill explosion is set to start, WorkSafe BC has released an update on the status of implementation of recommendations in the report by Gordon Macatee.
Macatee had made 43 recommendations in his report which was released in December of 2014, a report that followed the Crown’s decision not to lay charges in connection with the fatal explosion of April 2012.
WorkSafeBC says it has fully implemented 23, with 8 more to be completed as scheduled, and the remaining 12 fall under Bill 9, the Workers Compensation Act 2015, which was introduced in the Legislature on February 11th.
WorkSafeBC says there has been considerable progress on dealing with combustible dust including updating of policies to clarify protocols for mitigation and control of wood dust. There have also been focused inspections of sawmills which indicated improvements in compliance. WorkSafe also says the industry is expressing suport to setting up a Health and Safety Association for the wood products manufacturing sector with a focus on training and sharing of best practices.
Much of the work done focuses on investigations. WorkSafe investigators were under heavy fire following the explosions at Babine Forest Products in Burns Lake and Lakeland Mills in Prince George over the manner in which the investigations were handled. In both cases, the Crwon concluded there was no likelihood of conviction because of the way evidence was collected. WorkSafe says there has been enhanced training of WorkSafe officers and managers on major case management, investigation techniques, penalty process management and collaboration skills.