WorkSafeBC has fined the Village of Cache Creek $8,135.02 in administrative penalties for what it calls “repeated” and “high risk” health and safety violations related to the village’s water treatment facilities.
The fines were imposed on April 9, 2021 following a site inspection in January 2021. Three violations were identified: failure to provide a written copy of the village’s confined space program; the use of uncalibrated ALT4X gas detectors; and failure to provide a written copy of the village’s safe work procedures for the use of disinfectants.
The inspection by WorkSafeBC determined that workers were not performing bump tests on gas monitoring equipment before entering confined spaces. It was also found that the gas monitors had incorrect alarm settings and had not been calibrated according to their required schedule: one had been due for calibration since March 2020, and in February 2021 the other was confirmed to be overdue for calibration.
The report also found that the village failed to conduct adequate pre-entry testing and inspections, in order to verify that required precautions had effectively controlled identified hazards prior to workers entering a confined space.
A report from WorkSafeBC, describing the violations and setting deadlines for receiving various reports and confirmations, was presented to council at their March 1 meeting. It noted that “WorkSafeBC will not impose this financial penalty if your firm establishes that it exercised due diligence to prevent the failure, non-compliance, or conditions to which this penalty relates.”
There were no comments from council or staff about the report, which was received and filed at the open meeting and referred to a closed meeting for further discussion.
Cache Creek chief financial officer Cristina Martini says that two of the issues have now been resolved. The village is in discussions with WorkSafeBC to get clarification on the third item.
Administrative penalties are fines imposed on employers for health and safety violations of the Workers Compensation Act, the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, and/or orders of WorkSafeBC, and for failure to take sufficient precautions to prevent workplace injuries or illnesses. Penalties are published as a deterrent, and to highlight the importance of making workplaces safe.