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WorkSafeBC hits Kamloops councillor with eight violations

Orders range from orientation procedures to first aid
(via Brendan Kergin)

The owner of Moviemart in Kamloops is facing eight WorkSafeBC violations.

WorkSafeBC paid Coun. Denis Walsh a visit on Jan. 24, days after his store was robbed for the second time in less than two weeks. The first robbery occurred at knifepoint on Jan. 10; the second happened during the afternoon of Jan. 19

According to WorkSafeBC's incident report, areas of non-compliance include:

  • Not carrying out and recording monthly health and safety meetings
  • Failing to cover certain topics in a new worker's orientation and training (i.e. emergency procedures)
  • No first-aid kit on site
  • No written procedure in place for checking the well-being of a worker 
  • No procedures in place to minimize the risk of injury to workers due to violence
  • No procedures in place on how workers identify bullying and harassment in the workplace; no training either
  • Two-step ladder failed inspection (was not clearly marked)

Walsh says he's already remedied the ladder and first-aid kit orders. When it comes to the policies and procedures, the Kamloops councillor says he's always had them in place; they just have never been written down.

"We're a small business. I see all my staff. We talk about these things. ... It's a unique, old-fashioned way of doing things," he tells KamloopsMatters. "(WorkSafeBC) is of the corporate mentality, that everything needs to be documented, everything has to be put on paper."

Walsh notes up until last month, Moviemart hadn't been robbed once in 36 years. Since the robberies, he says he's changed a couple of things about his business. For example, the store carries no more than $50 in the till. 

"We do cash drops now. And, we put a sign in the window to tell people."

Walsh will also be installing a new camera near the front door, one that will be within three to four feet of someone walking in. (He already had cameras around the store.)

"What I did is I got an app on my phone that allows me to dial into my cameras throughout the day, and I can check on the store and make sure the employee is safe," he says.

Walsh also plans to install a special lock on the front door, one that will allow the employee to lock the door during evening business hours. Customers would have to be let in with a buzz. 

The employee on shift (there's only one person working at all times) must check in with Walsh via text, he adds.

Speaking to the WorkSafeBC order about bullying and harassment, Walsh says, "I don't know what they're getting at there." He notes with only one employee behind the counter, the only person who could abuse or harass the employee is a customer.

"We have a policy that if a customer is abusive, they tell the person that if they continue to be abusive then they'll have to leave the store. If they don't leave the store, the policy is to pick up the phone and call the RCMP."

Walsh adds he's working on putting all the procedures and policies in a manual.


Tereza Verenca

About the Author: Tereza Verenca

Tereza Verenca is a multimedia journalist who covers all things Kamloops!
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