The BC Government tabled new legislation Thursday that responds in part to the Lakeland Mills and Babine Forest Products Inquests.
“Today is a chance to say to the families and those who have been injured, that we heard the inquest’s recommendations, we took them seriously.” Labour Minister Shirley Bond said “These are the legislative pieces and we are going to continue to tackle those recommendations one at a time.”
Bond says these recommendations are the only ones that require legislation.
“I was very moved to be able to take into the house, a direct response to the coroner’s recommendations. I think that is absolutely critical for families to know that we took those recommendations seriously and they will become law.”
Changes under Bill 35 will strengthen accident reporting requirements while empowering WorkSafe BC and workplace safety committees.
Specifically, they include;
* Require employers to immediately report to WorkSafeBC all workplace fires or explosions that had the potential to cause serious injury to a worker
* Require employer investigation reports be provided to the workplace health and safety committee or worker health and safety representative, or be posted at the worksite
* Specify meaningful participation for worker and employer representatives in employer accident investigations
* Specify a role for workplace health and safety committees to provide advice to the employer on significant proposed equipment and machinery changes that may affect worker health and safety
* Allow WorkSafeBC to proactively assist workplace health and safety committees in resolving disagreements over health and safety matters.