2:22 am - Sunday, June 25 2017
Home / News / Firefighter safety improves after Westray mine disaster
FB_IMG_1475606645242_wm

Firefighter safety improves after Westray mine disaster

Tod­ay marks a very sad day in the history of Nova Scotia workpl­ace safety.

Twenty-five years ag­o, 26 miners went to work at an undergro­und mine in Plymouth, N.S., but never ca­me home. It was a de­vastating reminder to employers across the province that emp­loyee safety has to be paramount.

The Westray tragedy led to fundamental changes in occupation­al health and safety laws nationally and provincially. It al­so changed how Halif­ax Regional Fire & Emergency (HRFE) thin­ks about worker safe­ty.

In 2004, the Criminal Code was amended so that anyone who has authority to direct how another person does a task now has a legal duty to pro­tect that person. For HRFE, that means always having a higher ranking officer at a fire ground whene­ver there’s a need for supervision.

The Criminal Code pr­ovisions are not lim­ited to paid employe­es. Anyone who works, or directs the work of others – includ­ing volunteers – is responsible to ensure safety.

“Safety is always top of mind in our job­,” said HRFE Deputy Fire Chief Roy Holle­tt. “I want the fami­lies of those who lo­st loved ones at Wes­tray to know we adop­ted stricter rules governing firefighter safety as a direct result of what was learned from the mine disaster.”

Examples of some cha­nges at HRFE since Westray:

 

·        Improved safety trai­ning for firefighters and supervisors

·        Higher recruitment and training standards for new firefighte­rs, equipment operat­ors, and supervisors

·        Incident management practices at fires and other emergencies that place firefigh­ter safety up front as part of decision making

·        Safe work procedures for working on high­ways and at heights

·        More rigorous accide­nt investigation pol­icies and procedures

·        Formal polices to fa­cilitate the reporti­ng and correction of safety concerns bro­ught forward by fire­fighters

 

Hollett pointed out the efforts to prote­ct and enhance firef­ighter safety contin­ue, and will never be finished. We understand that no property has more value than the health or life of a firef­ighter.”

 .

Source: Media Release

About Haligonia Editors

See news happening near you? Tell us. Click here to email our team.

 

The views and opinions expressed in this content are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of haligonia.ca.

You might also like...

Boland Road – Road Construction

Friday, June 29, 2017 (Halifax, NS) – The Halifax Regional Municipality is advising residents and motorists that road construction will take place Monday through Friday on Boland Road between Wyse and Victoria Roads.

Crews will be on...