Ski resort appeals heft penalty

Mt. Washington Alpine Resort fights $66,895 WorksSafeBC fine after worker injured on the job last year

Mt. Washington Alpine Resort is appealing a $66,895 penalty imposed by WorkSafeBC after an employee was injured last year.

The fine, announced Monday, was the ninth highest in the province and levied after a resort worker was seriously injured while de-icing a lift conveyor system.

WorkSafeBC alleges the fixed guards on the conveyor were modified to be easily removable which resulted in inadequate protection when the de-icing occurred. The report added the conveyor should have been shut off during de-icing and the employer failed to properly train and supervise staff.

According Mt. Washington spokesman Brent Curtain, the employee has recovered and is back on the job.

“Safety has and continues to be paramount for both our staff and guests at Mount Washington Alpine Resort,” said spokesman Brent Curtain. “The employee involved…made a full recovery and returned to work a week after the incident. We are in the middle of an appeals process regarding the 2012 penalty decision.”

In 2012, WorkSafeBC imposed 260 penalties, totaling $2.9 million against employers for violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation and the Workers Compensation Act.

The only other local company penalized belonged to Peter John Morro of Black Creek. He received a $5,000 fine for allowing two employees to work on a second-storey sloped roof without proper fall protection.

The fine was not appealed.

Most of the penalties imposed by WorkSafeBC (59 per cent) were related to inadequate fall protection and exposing workers to asbestos (14 per cent).

Penalty amounts vary due to the size of employers penalized – employers with larger payrolls are assessed higher penalties.

– and the seriousness of the violations.

The maximum penalty amount permissible under the Workers Compensation Act is adjusted yearly — in 2012 it was $596,435.35.