WorkSafeBC fines Canadian Casino in Lockout Fatality

WorkSafeBC fined Great Canadian Casino 75,000 in relation to a fatal accident in November of 2011 that claimed the life of a worker at River Rock Casino Resort’s show theatre.

According to the most recent WorkSafeBC report detailing administrative penalties for health and safety violations, the worker was part of a team changing a motor on the show theatre’s automated seating system. When the motor was removed, the brake holding the seats in their upright position came off, sending the unsecured seats moving downward, striking the worker who fell through a gap in the floor to the concrete floor some 10 feet below. The employee died of his injuries.

“WorkSafeBC’s investigation found that the firm failed to securely cover or guard an opening in the floor that was a danger to workers. It also failed to secure equipment parts against inadvertent movement, which was a high-risk violation of lockout procedures required by the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation,” the report said.

“This was extremely tragic, extremely traumatic for the people involved,” Great Canadian Casino spokesperson Chuck Keeling said Friday morning. “This was something that was pretty jarring.”

Keeling said Great Canadian has been “fully cooperative with WorkSafeBC in terms of rectifying the oversights that led to this tragic consequence.”

Great Canadian “fully accepts” the report’s findings, Keeling said, and the company has “adopted all of their recommendations.”

According to WorkSafeBC’s report, the violations “show that the firm failed to provide its workers with the information, instruction, training and supervision needed to ensure their safety. This in turn was a repeated violation.”

The $75,000 fine was leveled against Great Canadian on Sept. 3.

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