Workplace Safety Needs Improving, Says Labour Group

The BC Federation of Labour is calling for improved workplace safety after on-the-job fatalities in Kelowna and Lumby.

On Friday, a worker at a log-sorting facility in Lumby was killed. Also, a Tolko tugboat operator died Monday night when his boat sank.


“All workers must enjoy the basic right to be safe on the job and to come home safely to their families at the end of their shift,” said BC Federation of Labour president Irene Lanzinger in a news release. “But these two deaths — along with a third involving a Victoria construction worker two weeks ago — are a sign that more needs to be done to protect workers.

“Our view is that government and employers aren’t doing enough to keep workers safe on the job. Health and safety protections are weak and not always rigorously enforced.

“Worker safety is being compromised. Injured workers aren’t fairly compensated, and employers whose negligence kills or seriously injures workers are let off with a slap on the wrist.”

Lanzinger says the BC Fed will continue to press the provincial government and Opposition NDP for more stringent laws and rules, more workplace safety inspections, tougher enforcement and more stringent penalties for employers who commit violations.

In another development Wednesday, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada said it is deploying a team of investigators to to investigate the tugboat’s sinking.

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