Labour group wants tougher penalties
- By Walter Cordery, nanaimodailynews.com
WorkSafe B.C. puts too cheap a price on life and its penalties are looked upon as the price of doing business, says Jim Sinclair, president of the B.C. Federation of Labour.
Twenty-two of the 152 penalties imposed by WorkSafe B.C. in 2008 for safety violations were issued to organizations on Vancouver Island.
The fines were levied because of infractions to B.C.'s Occupational Health and Safety Regulations and the Workers Compensation Act. Fines levied by WorkSafe B.C. ranged from $1,000 to $150,000. Fatal accidents or incidents that resulted in serious injuries were common among organizations penalized.
Many of the organizations receiving these penalties were repeat offenders, according to the report.
WorkSafe B.C. 'can levy fines of up to $519,000 but their fines have never come close to that amount,' said Sinclair. 'In order to protect workers these fines have to be a real deterrent, not a minor line item that is barely noticed by employers.'