Orica’s Tappen branch was fined $71,500by WorksafeBC following a May 2016 workplace accident. -Jim Elliot/Salmon Arm Observer

WorkSafeBC fines Tappen business

Employee suffered broken leg while working in trench

A local explosives manufacturing facility has implemented policies to improve safety after being fined $71,500 by WorkSafeBC in response to a workplace injury.

Orica Canada Inc. spokesperson Jennifer Dunne confirmed the fine is related to an incident that occurred at the Orica Tappen site in May 2016. In an email, Dunne explained an employee suffered a broken leg while working in a 2.4-metre trench at Orica’s Tappen location.

“Soil and clay from the excavation site slumped into the trench after proper Orica excavation procedures were not followed,” said Dunne.

A WorkSafeBC report states the worker was in the eight-foot- deep trench repairing some wiring, when a section of the of the excavation collapsed, resulting in injury.

“WorkSafeBC’s inspection found that the excavation had not been sloped, benched or shored,” says the WorkSafeBC report. “Written procedures for excavation work had been prepared by a qualified professional but the firm had not implemented these procedures prior to conducting the work.”

Dunne said Orica has implemented and revised several policies since the incident that focus on improving safety, and that employees and management at the Tappen site have been actively engaged in ongoing related programs which include: review of training for employees and all contractors on Orica’s risk and safety management systems, including input from independent experts to ensure the planning and safe execution of all future excavation work; observance of a “Stop and Think Day” where all employees paused from their regular activities on- site to review potential safety issues, and the controls in place to mitigate them; implementation of new standards around the global permit to work process, which requires all risks to be reviewed, controls listed, and a subject matter expert to sign off on the permit prior to any work starting; new safety and training requirements for any onsite contractors at all Orica locations.

“Workplace safety is the key value of Orica’s commitment to be a responsible corporate citizen for our employees, our customers, and the communities in which we operate,”said Dunne. “

We are committed to a culture in which we all understand and fully commit to doing everything in our power to keep ourselves and each other safe.”