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October 28, 2017 5:37 am

WorkSafeBC Says Major Progress Made in Implementing Recommendations

Wednesday, February 25, 2015 @ 12:59 PM

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.



Recommendations mean nothing.

In this case yes they do I work in the forest industry and before the explosions it was extremely common to walk through dust piles 3 and 4 deep only after a few hours of accumulation now your hard pressed at least where I work to find a pile more than 2 inches deep after 12 hrs of running time

I would say that WorkSafe and the industry both changing their practices has vastly improved work place safety

You don’t have to believe me but you can go to virtually any sawmill or pulpmill and they can show you before and after pictures of what the mills looked like before the explosions and now 2 years after the explosions there are huge changes

If you’re not trained to do something, you leave the work to those who “are” trained to conduct interviews,investigations and collect evidence that shall be used in any form of inquest or court action. These clowns should never be involved in any “investigation” where loss of life or serious injury has occurred and liability could be the result of criminal negligence.

After the independent investigation is complete, the court actions settled and the determination of who is at fault is done, then they can look at policies and recommendations but nothing more than that. WCB or WorkSafe still jerks the worker(s) around when it comes to compensation and treatment of work place injuries.

I’ve had two compensatable injuries in my working career, and in neither case did I ever feel WCB or WorkSafe was “jerking me around”. For an agency of government I thought they were pretty efficient and gave me good service. Of course, in each instance I wanted to go back to work. Not make a career out of living off Compensation benefits for the rest of my days when I was able to pay my own way.

When it comes to safety of the workers there should not be recommendations.. they should be mandatory. If not done fines levied or business shut down till the work is complete… A recommendation leaves it up to the employer to decided if he wants to do it or not… not acceptable when you are talking about peoples lives.

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