WorkSafe BC has completed its investigation report of last October’s tragic ammonia spill at the Fernie Memorial Arena.
The tragedy claimed the lives of three people working at the arena.
It says the incident was caused by a pinhole which developed in the refrigeration system which allowed a mix of brine and ammonia, compromising the equipment.
The equipment failed when it was put into service and exposed the ammonia to the three workers.
The report also says occupational health and safety systems did not mitigate risks to workers, incident response measures weren’t present and the manufacturing process of the chiller tubes fostered corrosion.
The report also says the curling rink chiller was past it’s life expectancy as is was in operation for about 30 years.
WorkSafe BC has also identified current prevention initiatives which include 3 phases.
The first took place between November 2017 and January 2018 which mandated an inspection of all of the province’s 223 arenas, 181 of which were using ammonia-based refrigeration systems.
Phase two included an inspection focused on the activities of refrigeration contractors installing units, maintenance and more activities involving ammonia systems.
Phase three is underway and focuses on other industry sectors which use ammonia.
WorkSafe BC says it is considering the report’s findings to determine enforcement action.
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WorkSafe BC has also provided a video which details the incident.
Technical Safety BC released a report on the incident in June which can be viewed here.
– Files from WorkSafe BC