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

Just Posted

Ride-hailing licence expected in Maple Ridge by April 1

Regional licence now on council agenda

Maple Ridge RCMP continue search for Atefeh Jadidian

The police released a new photo showing the missing woman walking east on Dewdney Trunk Road

Street drug deaths drop by half in Maple Ridge

City last on list of 15 with highest number of fatalities

COMMUNITY NETWORK: Weekend wellness event connects Indigenous with resources

Culture can be a medicine for Aboriginal people, as columnist Ginna Berg explains ahead of Saturday

Dragon boating changes lives for Spirit Abreast paddlers

The Cultus Lake based team is looking to fill a boat with breast cancer survivors and supporters.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation and Rio Tinto sign a historic agreement

Co-operation crucial to stem dropping Nechako Reservoir level

Hundreds of B.C. firefighters ‘climb the wall’ for BC Lung Association

The charity fundraiser saw participants climbing up 48 storeys

Stories of sexual assault at B.C. tree planting camps ‘shocking but not surprising:’ advocate

Contractors’ association is working with trainers to create respectful culture

Notorious B.C. fugitive to be extradited from California on murder charge

Brandon Nathan Teixeira submitted to extradition during court proceedings Thursday in Sacramento

Canada prepared to monitor for community spread of COVID-19: Tam

The U.S. confirmed one case of the new coronavirus, or COVID-19, in California Thursday

Decade-long health care battle draws to a close today in B.C.

Dr. Brian Day began his battle a decade ago against the B.C. government

Most Read