WorkSafe BC has issued four violations to the Town of Creston Fire Hall, three from Occupational Safety Regulations and one for a violation of the Workers Compensation Act.
Ernie Polsom with FireWise Consulting presented the report to the Fire Hall Advisory Select Committee along with his final report. He says the town’s next steps are to complete a Notice of Compliance.
He says the WorkSafe violations and the Risk Management Plan from his Interim Measures Report presented last month address similar issues.
The three Occupational Safety Regulation citations are:
- The existing fire hall has one male designated washroom with one toilet, a sink, and a small single person shower as well as a single female designated washroom with one toilet and sink
- WorkSafe BC requires the number of facilities should be based on the largest number of workers on any shift at the workplace at one time
- The employer (TOC) has failed to provide adequate washroom facilities for the firefighters at the workplace.
- The contaminants that the firefighters are, or may be exposed to cannot always be determined
- The contaminates could be the unknown by-products of combustion at a structure fire or contaminates at a motor vehicle incident.
- The employer (TOC) has failed to provide adequate wash facilities in the fire hall to allow firefighters to remove any contaminates they have or may have been exposed to.
- Firefighters are required to change into and out of their personal protective equipment (PPE) before leaving the fire hall
- The employer stores the required PPE in racks that are in close proximity to the parked fire apparatus
- The employer (TOC) has failed to provide firefighters with adequate change areas, if the employer requires the worker to change into PPE at the work place they must ensure that adequate change areas are provided.
The fourth citation for the Workers Compensation Act is in regards to a joint health and safety committee. An employer must establish and maintain a joint health and safety committee in each workplace where 20 or more workers are regularly employed. A joint committee has been in place in the fire department but the last meeting was held in September of 2017.
Mayor Toyota says it’ll take time for the shock to wear off from receiving an official notice from WorkSafe BC but the town has been aware of most of these issues since researching the decision to build a new fire hall.
He says, ‘Some of the [issues] are going to be longer term, we’ve already taken our full time staff out of the fire hall, we’re working on some of them but other ones are not going to be resolved until we get a new firehall.’
The town is now required to prepare and submit a Notice of Compliance setting out what corrective actions will be taken to address the violations. It’s due on or before June 4th.