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BC introduces more legislation to improve workplace safety after mill fires


Victoria – Recommendations from inquests into two sawmill explosions have prompted the British Columbia government to introduce legislation it says will improve safety in the workplace.

The ministry responsible for jobs and labour says Bill 35 will require employers to immediately report all fires and blasts that could seriously injure workers.

Bill 35 adds to workplace-safety legislation introduced earlier this year and calls on employers to specify meaningful participation for worker and employer representatives in accident investigations.

Other changes would allow WorkSafeBC to proactively assist workplace health and safety committees in resolving disagreements over health and safety matters.

Seven recommendations aimed at the government came out of the inquests into the blasts — at the Babine Forests Products Mill in Burns Lake and at the Lakeland Mills sawmill in Prince George.

Both explosions happened within months of each other in 2012, killing four men and injuring dozens of other workers.

(c) 2015 The Canadian Press