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A dubious record

WorkSafeBC handed out a record $4.4 million in fines last year for 211workplace health and safety violations, 16 of which involved fatalities.

WorkSafeBC handed out a record $4.4 million in fines last year for 211 workplace health and safety violations, 16 of which involved fatalities.

The penalties were imposed against 190 employers, almost 60 per cent of which involved construction-related industries.

The largest fine, for $250,000, was levied against Fort St. John-based Canadian Natural Resources after a worker fell from a drilling rig platform when it was engulfed in flames. The firm “failed to analyze the risks arising from work activities and to implement safe work procedures as required under the regulation,” WorkSafeBC found.

“Employers must take seriously their responsibility to ensure their workplace is healthy and safe for all workers,” said WorkSafeBC spokesperson Roberta Ellis.

“A penalty is not imposed if an employer is found to have taken all reasonable care to prevent a violation.”

Ellis said WorkSafeBC has increased its inspection and investigation capacity for employers that present the highest risk to workers, including construction and roofing companies.

Penalties are handed out when there has been a serious or repeated violation of occupational health and safety laws and regulations.

 
 
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