Vancouver lawyer Lisa Helps has been contracted by the Province to assess how WorkSafeBC implemented worker safety recommendations following the two sawmill explosions at Babine Forest Products and Lakeland Mills.
Helps will also provide advice on potential legislative changes to improve safety for B.C. workers.
Coroner’s inquests were conducted into the deaths of four individuals who died in the Jan. 20, 2012, Babine Forest Products sawmill explosion and the April 24, 2012, Lakeland Mills explosion. Government commissioned two other reports in 2014 — the Dyble Report and Macatee Report. Together, these reports and the 2015 coroner’s verdicts that followed included recommendations directed at government and other agencies.
Helps will seek input from relevant stakeholders and staff in WorkSafeBC and the ministries of Attorney General, Public Safety and Solicitor General, and Labour. She will also invite workers affected by the explosions, and their families, to share their perspectives on the issues under review.
A report, including recommendations, will be delivered to the attorney general by mid-July 2019. After review, the attorney general will make public any recommendations related to improving processes or legislation.
Government is stepping up to provide important and overdue answers to the families and victims and to ensure that resources are in place to prevent similar tragedies from happening again.