Fernie Memorial Arena closed off during the winter. File photo Fernie Memorial Arena closed during winter following the deadly ammonia leak. File photo

WorkSafeBC yet to decide whether to take further action in Fernie gas leak tragedy

Agency had found City of Fernie and CIMCO Refrigeration violated workplace health and safety laws

Six months after releasing a scathing report into a fatal gas link at a Fernie arena, WorkSafeBC has yet to decide whether to take enforcement action against two employers found to have broken workplace health and safety laws.

Three workers were killed at the Fernie Memorial Arena on Oct. 17, 2017, when the aging curling rink chiller started leaking ammonia.

READ MORE: WorkSafeBC releases damning report into Fernie arena tragedy

WorkSafeBC released its report on the matter last summer, saying occupational health and safety systems did not mitigate risks to workers, that incident-response measures were not present, and that the manufacturing process of the chiller tubes fostered corrosion.

The report found the City of Fernie had made eight violations of the Workers Compensation Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, such as failing to conduct regular inspections to prevent unsafe working conditions and failing to develop and implement an exposure control plan for ammonia.

Toromont Industries Ltd. and its subsidiary, CIMCO Refrigeration, were also cited for failing to protect the health and safety of its workers, including allowing maintenance work to be performed prior to ensuring the effective mitigation and control of all hazards present.

READ MORE: City of Fernie responds to investigation report

At the time, WorkSafeBC said it was considering whether to impose penalties on the two employers. Not much has changed in six months.

“WorkSafeBC is currently considering the findings of the incident investigation report to determine appropriate enforcement action,” a spokesperson told Black Press Media.

According to the WorkSafeBC website, employers who commit health and safety violations may be fined. The amount of a penalty is based on the nature of the violation, a company’s history of violations, and the size of the company’s payroll.

The maximum Occupational Health and Safety Regulation penalty is $662,102.49.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Heart of Our City: Ron Nyce

Teaching, dancing and encouraging culture create the heartbeat of this drummer

Breast cancer screening available in Prince Rupert – ten days only

Mobile imaging suite will be in Prince Rupert from July 6 to 16

RCSCC 7 – Captain Cook is searching for new C.O.

Officer position will be vacant with CIC sailing away to different shores.

Police investigate July 2 homicide in Houston

Man succumbed to injuries at Pearson Road residence

Solidarity movement displayed in city

Prince Rupert locals demonstrated against

B.C. records 31 new cases, six deaths over three days due to COVID-19

There are 166 active cases in B.C., 16 people in hospital

96-year-old woman scales B.C. butte with help of family, friends

‘I did as I was told and I enjoyed every minute of it’

Parallel crises: How COVID-19 exacerbated B.C.’s drug overdose emergency

Part 1: Officials say isolation, toxic drug supply, CERB, contributing to crisis

Canadians with disabilities disproportionately hit by COVID-19 pandemic

More than four out of 10 British Columbians aged 70 and up have various disabilities

Camping offers a great pandemic escape, for less money than you might think

But for many first-timers, knowing what to bring can be a challenge

Turbulence in Canadian opinion on airlines COVID-19 response: poll

Thousands of people have beseeched Transport Minister Marc Garneau to compel airlines to issue refunds,

Police issue warning after baby comes across suspected drugs in Kamloops park

The 11-month-old girl’s mother posted photos on social media showing a small plastic bag containing a purple substance

Most Read