B.C. government, cops sign MOU to enforce OHS criminal charges

Agreement maps out steps to take post-incident at mine sites
By Melissa Campeau
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 09/23/2016

By Melissa Campeau

This past April, the British Columbia’s Ministry of Energy and Mines and the B.C. police agencies signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU), locking in a protocol to ensure investigation by police in the case of fatalities and bodily harm at mine sites. While new, the MOU has a history that dates back at least a quarter of a century. 

On May 9, 1992, inside the Westray coal mine in Plymouth, N.S., a methane gas explosion killed 26 men trapped inside. No one was ever prosecuted for the disaster, although Justice Peter Richard, who investigated the event, noted in his report, “The Westray story is a complex mosaic of actions, omissions, mistakes, incompetence, apathy, cynicism, stupidity and neglect.”