Recent Worksafe BC penalties: BC Hydro fined $678,889 and BC…

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Recent Worksafe BC penalties: BC Hydro fined $678,889 and BC Ferries fined $674,445 after employee electrocution, drowning. “failed to provide its workers with the information, instruction, training, and supervision necessary to ensure their health and safety.”

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  1. Were they live-line working in the hydro incident?

    >WorkSafeBC determined the conductor had not been completely isolated before work began.

    Seems at odds with the next sentence

    >The employer failed to ensure that acceptable written safe work procedures were followed where isolating high-voltage electrical equipment was not practicable.

  2. From The Narwal, “May 9, 2019 — WorkSafeBC has fined a forest company $29,049 for the deaths of three workers in a “high-risk” railway accident on northern Vancouver Island .” Basically the company (WFP) neglected to maintain a device that would have derailed the string of cars before it got onto the mainline. There were several other mistakes made(crew working downhill of the reload) but one of the main safety devices was neglected just because it would have cost a few bucks.

  3. For what it’s worth, I’ve worked as an electrical contractor for BC Hydro for a few years and generally their safety culture is pretty strong. When working in plants, equipment is not only locked out, but grounded out, sources of potential backfeed are also locked out, and the person responsible for lockouts is always willing to take the time to show you all of the lockout points and make sure you understand how & why. We’re always required to test for zero energy before beginning work.

    For work on high voltage lines, you can’t lock them out the same way but there are processes that need to be followed before work can begin.

    We had a near-miss on our crew once with equipment that was being commissioned (ie: not fully Hydro’s responsibility yet), and our work was shut down for weeks while new safe work plans were established so that this particular set of circumstances could not happen again.

    Unfortunately BC Hydro is normally tight-lipped when it comes to accidents and I don’t think they’ve released the details of how this happened. Ie: was the worker working on the wrong line, did the operator turn off the wrong one, etc…

    The thing about working with high voltages & amperages is that when something does go wrong it can go really wrong, and any system involving humans is ultimately subject to human error. I can’t comment about this specific incident without knowing details, but in my own experience I wouldn’t say it’s due to lax safety in general at the company. And honestly I feel much safer working at a hydro facility than I do working for a small-time residential/commercial company where you might be expected to work on live circuits, be up on a roof without a harness, the top step of a ladder, or any of the thousand other dangerous circumstances that electricians & other tradespeople find themselves in where the attitude is “do it or I’ll find someone else who will”.

  4. still cheaper for the company to pay the fine then it is to train workers. They won’t do fuck all and its fucked up that the value of a life is only 600k

  5. I didn’t click on the link but just going by the thumbnail to the side of it I’m guessing the employee was stretching with electrical cables attached to his knee.

  6. These fines are not big enough to make a difference. It will produce nothing more than a two week mandate to complete ineffective online training courses and then they will go right back to crossing their fingers and not caring about anything but their bonuses and shareholder dividends.

  7. 600K!? how is that going to convince them to do what they’re
    supposed too when the fine is cheaper than doing what their supposed to?

  8. Pathetic fines. There is a highway of tears for military personnel who are killed in action, but these men get little or no recognition and the corporation that was to protect them from injury on the job gets a slap on the wrist.