Blog Post #324 – Firefighters Opt to Walk

Excerpt from the OH&S Canada Magazine

Alberta’s Bonnyville Regional Fire Authority was recently issued 15 compliance orders following provincial inspections of workplace facilities and a walkout by firefighters.

The orders were issued in the wake of inspections at the Bonnyville fire hall and six other area fire facilities in early December, notes the AEI’s Sorcha Thomas.

Thomas reports that the occupational health and safety directives relate to personal protective equipment, respiratory gear, hazard assessment and vehicle inspections. Safety issues were raised as far back as November 25, she says, when AEI’s Workplace Health and Safety Contact Centre received a call “from someone who was concerned about general work site health and safety.”

On December 1, about 14 volunteer firefighters from the Bonnyville fire hall walked off the job, regional fire Chief Brian McEvoy says in a statement. By the next day, former volunteer firefighters had signed up and the fire authority had re-aligned coverage to ensure there were no areas without protection.

On December 3, however, the chief at one fire hall made a decision to close the facility in support of the walkout. The authority reports it will complete a full inventory of all fire halls to ensure compliance with occupational health and safety requirements.

My opinion

It was sad to see that a fire hall was in dire straits with occupational health and safety violations. The violations had to have been severe enough for the government of Alberta to act and write them up.

Things may be looking up. Who knows?

It is my sincere wish that all provinces take up a fully in-depth health and safety stance in the workplace. There are still too many accidents happening out in the workplace and we need to fix as many of them as possible.

Remember — In Canada, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Due Diligence’ and ‘Standard Operating Procedures’. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.

We can also be reached at 

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

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