B.C. Tree Fruits gets $220,000 WorkSafe fine

A WorkSafeBC inspector noted a series of issues at the B.C. Tree Fruits Oliver packing plant in 2016

The B.C. Tree Fruits Co-operative says it is fighting a nearly $220,000 fine levied against it by WorkSafeBC last month over a pair of May 2016 incidents.

WorkSafeBC inspected the B.C. Tree Fruits on May 20 and 24, 2016 and in the first inspection the work safety regulators found two issues, and an additional six additional issues at the plant in Oliver.

On May 20, inspector Steve McCollum observed a pair of workers “exposed to a fall of between 13 and 14 feet to the roof below,” which had piping and guardrails that added to the risk of injury in the case of a fall.

“Only one worker had received any fall protection training from their employer, the second worker was new to this trade and had not received any fall protection training,” McCollum wrote. “No one in a supervisory capacity was aware of this work taking place and no safe work procedures were in place to control the hazards.”

That violated a pair of WorkSafeBC rules — first, a lack of safe work procedures for work at an elevation; and second, a lack of fall protection training for one of the two employees. WorkSafeBC wrote in its final decision on April 4 that the lack of training was a high-risk violation.

That issue had been corrected by a Sept. 21, 2016 follow-up inspection.

During the May 24 inspection, McCollum wrote that he observed four large machines without proper safety guards on them, a lack of a curb to protect machines like scissor lifts driving off the edge of a loading dock and a lack of an eyewash station.

The issue with the safety guards, WorkSafeBC wrote in its final decision on April 4 this year, were repeat violations from other worksites run by B.C. Tree Fruits.

By the Oct. 5, 2016 follow-up inspection, those issues had also been corrected.

B.C. Tree Fruits had little to say in a response, due to the ongoing nature of the matter.

“B.C. Tree Fruits Cooperative continues to place worker safety as one of our top priorities. As a daily practice, we endeavour to comply with all WorkSafeBC regulations and continue to improve awareness of established safety procedures with all our staff.”

Report a typo or send us your tips, photos and video.

Dustin Godfrey | Reporter

@dustinrgodfrey

Send Dustin an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

FEATURE FRIDAY: Preserving Kelowna’s history, one tombstone at a time

The Kelowna Museum Society to host a workshop to clean headstones

Record cherry crop anticipated

BC Tree Fruit growers expecting crop of 12 million pounds due to ideal conditions

Declining mule deer tracked in new study

Wildlife research collaborators join forces on research initiative

B.C. Interior flood risk diminishing

Snowmelt receding but rainfall impact remains a concern

Plea to help find missing dog in Kelowna

Willow has been missing since Sunday near Dee Lake Resort

Black Press Media to launch Pipeline Full of Controversy series

Series covers Trans Mountain’s history, science, Indigenous reaction, politics and economics

Abbotsford high school teacher charged with sexual offences involving two youths

Henry Kang, 50, charged with two counts each sex assault and sexual exploitation

Toronto Raptors star to hold basketball camp in B.C.

DeMar DeRozan is hosting a four-day camp for players aged 6-16 at the University of Victoria

More boat launches shut down as Shuswap Lake rises

Municipalities warn other boat launches could be closed down with little advance warning

Military college students accused of violating Qur’an with bacon

Alleged acts by four cadets from the Royal Military College in Quebec caught on video

Canucks sign top prospect Elias Pettersson to entry-level deal

Slick centre drafted No. 5 overall in 2017 NHL draft

Wildfire northwest of Kamloops jumps to 1,600 hectares overnight

Ground crews and aircraft are responding to an estimated 1,600 hectare wildfire approximately 55 kilometers northwest of Kamloops, near the Deadman Vidette Road.

Former B.C. police chief dies in ATV accident

Ex-Nelson top cop began his career in Vancouver

Referendum in Ireland would repeal strict ban on abortion

Voters throughout Ireland have begun casting votes in a referendum that may lead to a loosening of the country’s strict ban on most abortions.

Most Read