WorkSafeBC will refer its findings of workplace violations in two deadly sawmill explosions to Crown counsel for possible charges, opening up the possibility of fines or jail time.
If the Crown decides to go forward with charges, they would fall under workplace safety regulations, not criminal law.
It’s rare for jail time to be handed out for workplace accidents. The last time a WorkSafeBC investigation resulted in charges was in connection to the 2008 Langley mushroom farm incident that killed three workers and left two men with irreparable brain damage.
A Provincial Court judge imposed a fine of $350,000 on two companies and three individuals.
The province’s chief workplace safety agency made the unusual move to refer the cases to the Crown following the completion of its two separate investigation because of the seriousness of the two incidents earlier this year, said Roberta Ellis, senior vice-president of WorkSafeBC.