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BC Hydro facing $710K fine for damaged ventilation equipment at Site C Dam

There were also deficiencies with steps to address welding fume hazards: WorkSafeBC
WorkSafeBC has fined BC Hydro more than $700,000, stemming from a July 2022 inspection at a Site C dam powerhouse in Fort St. John. (BC Hydro/Screencap)

WorkSafeBC has fined BC Hydro more than $700,000, stemming from a July 2022 inspection at a Site C dam powerhouse in northeastern B.C.

The penalty was summarized in WorkSafeBC’s winter 2023 magazine released in December. WorkSafeBC first inspected BC Hydro’s powerhouse for a hydroelectric dam construction in Fort St. John in July of 2022.

WorkSafeBC issued the penalty, $710,488, on Sept. 12, 2023.

READ MORE: B.C. to appeal $710K WorkSafeBC penalty on ‘unsafe’ wildfire practices

It was during the first inspection that WorkSafeBC found damaged ventilation equipment and deficiencies with the employer’s practices to address welding fume hazards. As well, the sub-contracted firm doing the welding work didn’t have an adequate exposure control plan in place for welding fumes.

“As prime contractor of a multiple-employer workplace, the employer failed to establish and maintain a system of regulatory compliance, a high-risk violation.”

WorkSafeBC added BC Hydro also failed to keep up-to-date written procedures for providing first aid at the worksite.

These were repeated violations.

BC Hydro told Black Press Media in an emailed statement Thursday (Jan. 4) that the project took immediate steps to ensure full compliance with the orders.

“It is a project requirement for contractors to submit compliant ventilation plans for approval and we verify that contractors are implementing those plans. Following the orders we received, we have increased field verifications of compliance to the ventilation plans.”

There were no injuries or health concerns related to the order, BC Hydro said.

BC Hydro added it is seeking to get the penalty reviewed by WorkSafeBC to have it either retracted or reduced.

READ MORE: Company fined $200K after worker found dead of COVID-19 at B.C. work camp

Lauren Collins

About the Author: Lauren Collins

I'm a provincial reporter for Black Press Media's national team, after my journalism career took me across B.C. since I was 19 years old.
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