Workplace accidents can be devastating. In addition to serious injuries that may make it impossible for someone to work for a period of time–or maybe even ever again–in the worst cases, death result. In the province of British Columbia, following an accident of this nature an investigation will be conducted by WorkSafeBC. The investigation will determine whether a business was compliant with workers’ compensation and occupational health and safety rules.
Such an investigation was recently commenced into a workplace accident that occurred in British Columbia. Last month, one worker was killed, and another seriously injured, when an incinerator exploded. Though the specifics of the accident are currently being looked into, according to a RCMP Staff Sergeant, the explosion occurred as the workers burned refuse found at a power plant construction site.
WorkSafeBC took over after the RCMP — which is also conducting an investigation into the incident — turned control of the accident location to it. In addition to interviewing witnesses, records have also been seized in the course of the investigation. What the ultimate findings of the investigation will be remains to be seen. Depending on the findings of WorkSafeBC, it is possible that a business could face financial penalties, or even criminal proceedings.
The legal and regulatory requirements for workplaces concerning workers’ compensation and occupational health and safety (OH&S) requirements can be complicated. Businesses should have a solid grounding in the expectations these areas of law hold for them. Employment counsel can assist by clarifying obligations for businesses and helping them put in place appropriate safeguards, in turn helping to mitigate the chances of workplace safety issues arising.