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Update: BC Ferries fined over $600K after worker drowns in Richmond

BC Ferries paid the fine using operating budget, after WorkSafeBC identified high-risk violations.
Ferries at Deas Dock in November 2017 (@westcoastferries/Instagram)

WorkSafeBC has imposed a $674,445.92 fine on BC Ferries after a worker fell and drowned in the Fraser River in 2020.

Deborah Marshall, executive director of public affairs at BC Ferries, told the News that the fine was paid out of the company's operating budget.

The man was working on a docked ferry at BC Ferries’ primary ship repair and maintenance location, also known as “Deas Dock,” just west of the George Massey Tunnel.

When he leaned onto a panel of fabric webbing to retrieve a floating item, the panel broke away and he fell into the water.

Richmond RCMP and search and rescue crews were called for an extensive search, and the man’s body was found the next day.

WorkSafeBC’s investigations revealed that the worker did not wear a personal flotation device, and that “the fabric webbing panels were insufficient at controlling the hazard of falling into the water below.”

Findings also revealed that there were no safe work procedures developed for retrieving objects that have fallen into the water.

“The firm failed to ensure the health and safety of all workers at its worksite. The firm also failed to provide its workers with the information, instruction, training, and supervision necessary to ensure their health and safety. These were both high-risk violations,” said WorkSafeBC.

The fine was imposed on May 11, 2022.

With files from Maria Rantanen