B.C. signs MOU with province's police agencies: Union

Meant to enshrine protocol for investigating mine-site fatalities

The B.C. Ministry of Energy and Mines has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the province's police agencies enshrining a protocol for the investigation of mine-site fatalities and bodily harm, according to the United Steelworkers (USW), which had lobbied for enforcement of the Westray Law in cases of employer negligence causing workplace deaths.

The memorandum said its purpose is to "ensure the investigation of any work-related death or bodily harm is conducted in a thorough, timely and effective manner with a view to the broader public as reflected in the respective legislative mandates of the participants."

"Our union's first priority is to ensure the health and safety of all workers, but if tragedy strikes, we also want to ensure that employers are held accountable,” said USW District 3 director Stephen Hunt.

“There are far too many examples of workers dying and employers getting off the hook. Through this MOU with police agencies, a clear message is being sent to mining companies that if they are negligent in a case of workplace death, they will be criminally investigated and held accountable.”

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