An industrial camp operator has been fined over $200,000 for failing to implement COVID-19 safety measures after a worker died of the virus in their Dawson Creek, B.C., room. 

The WorkSafeBC fine, handed down in September 2023 but released to the public last week, penalizes Horizon North Camp & Catering & Dexterra Group Inc. $206,346.90 for failing to implement a number of procedures. 

Those include failing to enforce physical distancing, temperature checks, reporting symptoms, isolating workers and seeking medical attention.

The company “failed to implement an exposure control plan” and “failed to provide its new workers with health and safety training,” wrote WorkSafeBC in a summary of their findings. 

“These were all high-risk violations.”

Industrial work camps, such as those occupied by workers building BC Hydro’s Site C dam and Coastal GasLink’s pipeline project, have been the site of a number of COVID-19 outbreaks since the start of the pandemic in 2020. In December of that year, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry issued orders meant to stem the spread of the virus.

By the spring of 2022, B.C.’s Northern Health Authority said it did not track COVID-19 cases as they left work camps in northern B.C., according to documents first obtained by The Tyee.

 

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