WorkSafe B.C. imposed almost $300,000 in fines against Burnaby construction companies in 2012.
In total, 21 local employers were among the 225 in British Columbia fined for work-related safety issues, according to the agency's 2012 enforcement report.
The highest penalty levied in Burnaby was against Lexspan Limited Partnership, for $58,820.
The company was fined because one of the company's workers died after being injured on the job.
"This firm's worker suffered fatal crushing injuries when a large component of the lowbed trailer he was working on suddenly dropped after being repositioned by another worker who was operating the trailer's hydraulic controls," the report states. "The firm failed to conduct adequate health and safety planning for this job, which involved both its own workers and another firm's workers, as well as unfamiliar equipment and work practices."
The report also stated the company failed to adequately inform and instruct its workers in how to safely operate the trailer.
"Penalties are imposed to motivate employers to comply with health and safety laws," said Al Johnson, vice-president of prevention services for WorkSafe B.C., in a press release. "While WorkSafe B.C. works with employers to ensure they understand their legal responsibilities to provide safe and healthy workplaces, our officers will impose a penalty or pursue court processes against employers who repeatedly fail to comply with the law," he said.
WorkSafe B.C. also levied a fine of $33,794 against Wallmark Homes for infractions in Burnaby. The enforcement report said Wallmark failed to ensure the worksite excavation area was safely supported, as required. A worker's pelvis was broken when an unstable soil bank and concrete retaining wall collapsed, landing on his back. Further, the firm failed to ensure that a professional engineer had approved the excavation area as safe for workers to enter, the report states.
Other Burnaby companies received fines in 2012 that ranged from $1,000 to $30,000, for violations related to failure to provide adequate safety measures to prevent falls, protect against asbestos exposure, knowingly providing false information or withholding information from WorkSafe B.C., and failing to ensure workers were given full instruction on safety requirements at the worksite.
Penalty amounts vary due to the size of employers penalized (employers with larger payrolls are assessed higher penalties) and the seriousness of the violations. Penalties imposed may be appealed.