LETTER: Fines prove a point that laws exist for a reason

In response to Jim Bodkin’s letter of Oct. 15 with regards to School District 22 (Vernon) being fined by WorkSafe BC, some background information is necessary to make an informed decision.

An investigation was initiated by a group of SD 22 maintenance staff in 2015 over repeated asbestos exposure. WorkSafe BC did an in-depth investigation over the allegations and found:

1) SD 22 failed to take sufficient precautions for prevention of work-related injuries and illness

2) had not complied with sections of the WorkSafe regulations

3) had not maintained a safe workplace or safe working conditions

4) did not exercise due diligence to prevent these circumstances

As a result of this investigation, WorkSafe BC fined SD 22 $75,000 (maximum first-time fine) in 2016. WorkSafe monitored SD 22 until such time as a safety manager was hired.

In June 2016, WorkSafe responds to a new violation with investigation leading to SD 22 being at fault. SD 22 is fined $628,000 based on a workforce of 85 employees.

Rules, regulations and laws are to protect citizens’ health and safety. Government institutions should be held to the same standards as private companies, as their employees are entitled to the same safety policies. Allowing regulations to be disregarded leads to more abuses until the rules no longer seem to apply. Mr. Bodkin may be correct in stating that the management responsible should be dealt with personally for their oversights and/or criminal action.

It appears WorkSafe BC was sending a message to SD 22, other employers and the public that if SD 22 workforce was endangered how possibly could the students not have been. These fines bring attention and public awareness to the workings of this institution and remind other government institutions that they are not above the law.

Kelly Pollock


Just Posted

Clouds Sunday, sunshine and heat Monday

Weather forecast for the Okanagan, Shuswap and Similkameen looks spectacular

B.C. Green MLA makes Vernon appearance

Olsen spoke in Cenotaph Park just after 12 p.m. in front of a gathering of about 20 supporters

IPE Parade draws near

Armstrong’s 120th Interior Provincial Exhibition starts next Wednesday, Aug. 28

Meet Vernon’s newest homeless outreach team

The Vernon Homeless Outreach Team makes its first formal appearance Aug. 28 at Upper Room Mission

Vernon Pizza Huts raise dough for diabetes research

Vernon Pizza Hut locations raised more than $3,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. Lions fall to 1-9 after 13-10 loss to Ticats

Lowly Leos have dropped six straight CFL contests

Man shot near Coalmont airlifted to hospital

A man was shot near Coalmont B.C. Saturday afternoon. The victim was… Continue reading

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Okanagan Nation bringing overdose awareness to Syilx Okanagan communities

The Purple Ribbon Campaign for International Overdose Awareness Day is Aug. 28

Most Read