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October 28, 2017 3:09 am

Minister Bond Responds to Babine Inquest Recommendations

Sunday, August 2, 2015 @ 3:22 PM

Prince George, B.C. – Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour Shirley Bond has responded to the recommendations of the jury at the B.C. Coroners Service inquest into the Babine Forest Products mill explosion in 2012.

The jury issued two recommendations pertaining to the jurisdictions Bond is responsible for.  The first called for an expansion of Section 132 of the Workers Compensation Act to give a WorkSafeBC officer the power to address issues that are unresolved at the Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee for an extended period of time.  Evidence at the inquest revealed that the wood dust issue remained unresolved for a long period of time and WorkSafeBC officer intervention may have addressed and highlighted the need for dust mitigation.

The other recommendation called for an amendment to Section 176(2) of the Workers Compensation Act to ensure that a copy of the full incident investigation report is provided to the Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee or the worker representative.  Evidence indicated that workers were not informed about results of investigation reports and that knowledge of such reports can be used for training information and safety awareness.

Minister Bond says “This has been a very difficult process for the community and the families involved and again I want to extend my condolences to those who were injured or lost loved ones in the Babine mill tragedy.

“I want to thank the inquest jury for these recommendations that will help to guide future actions to keep workers safe. The jury has issued recommendations to a wide variety of agencies including the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour, to various other provincial government bodies and external organizations.

“The Babine Forest Products Inquest (July 31, 2015) jury recommendations received today will be reviewed and inform the efforts already underway across government to ensure worker safety. These efforts include the complete review of the jury recommendations from the Lakeland Mill Inquest (May 14, 2015). Government intends to report back in writing to the coroner on the work being done on all of the recommendations.”


As per usual ..bond talks buts says nothing

Where do you get that from? Sound like their actively engaging worker safety and trying to accommodate all the recommendations. Really hoping
worksafe gets some real good investigative training tools and Corporations will start cleaning up their act. As well, changes in legislation don’t happen overnight.

Yup, these 41 recommendations will go by way of the 33 Highway of Tears Recommendations, and the Walley Opal recommendations… they will be ignored, and will sit on a shelf gathering dust, IMO.

Doesn’t look good already as photo op Shirley had the opportunity to, but did not, make one single commitment.

I do not know why ANYONE would expect ANY Minister or other heads of agencies involved to say anything definitive at this time.

The recommendations are just in and the Administrators get first dibs at recommending the things which have already been done (Such as S217 of CC of C).

What I am always unsure of is why they need that many words to say “We received them; we will be reviewing them; we will respond to the Coroner and with suggested actions; the response will be made public. Enjoy the rest of the weekend.”

That should read: “the Administrators get first dibs at recommending the things which need to be done and identify the things which have already been done. (Such as S217 of CC of C).

Giving BACK the power for WSBC inspectors to address issues that are unresolved at the Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee for an extended period of time, is a no brainer. It is quite simple, give the inspectors back the power to shutdown a workplace if it is putting the worker’s health and safety at risk.

But no, photo op Shirley will have to vet it though the rest of her a pro-corporate / business government, where those recommendations will either die on the table, or get watered down to the point of being ineffective… IMO of course!

They already have that power. They just do not do it. The question is why!!

That is why WSBC has to be investigated whether internally or externally. I suspect they already are doing it internally. Telling people that, however, indicates culpability. WSBC has at least 6 lawyers on their payroll. I know how cautious they are about admitting culpability.

I highly recommend we review these recommendations then will possibly recommend that the recommendations that are recommended continue to be recommended until this whole entire incident is forgotten about so business will go on as per usual….

….. until the next incident …. I mean, after all, the real “conspiracy” here is by those who make their living from coroner and other inquiries.

There are two biggies that stand out to me in these incidents, including the inquiries:

1. intimidation and harassment – the fear of coming forward with the suggestion that one does not feel safe – that is both a corporate culture plus a union culture that promote such fear.

2, ignorance of what a safe workplace actually is as it applies specifically to the place in which one works. Any good orientation should cover that for those who are new to it and especially those who are not new to it and have become complacent. They are often the worse,

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