Today marks the one year anniversary of the tragic ammonia leak which claimed the lives of 3 men working at the Fernie Memorial Arena.
The incident forced communities to ensure the chiller systems at their rink’s were not in danger of a similar fate.
Technical Safety BC’s director for risk and safety knowledge Jeff Coleman says the tragedy forced them to implement new protocol for such units at arenas and rinks across the province.
“We’ve seen some heightened awareness for aging equipment, and the need to change out some components as they reach the end of their service life, we’ve also seen leaks from chillers being treated as potentially hazardous.”
Coleman adds they’ve since implemented better safety measures to prevent similar incidents from happening.
“Evidence of leaking within curling chillers was not necessarily being treated as a failure of the unit, so we required through a safety order to test and investigate those types of situations and to treat any leaks as a failure of the unit, so that was a good response.”
Technical Safety BC has set forth a number of recommendations and WorkSafe BC has also concluded their investigation.
Fernie Memorial Arena reopened last month after being closed for nearly a year.
– Jeff Coleman – Director for Risk and Safety Knowledge, Technical Safety BC