October 17, 2015 - 11:30 AM
KELOWNA - A workplace accident that saw a laundry worker crushed by automated equipment at Kelowna General Hospital resulted in a number of work orders from WorkSafe B.C.
And Alan Davies, regional director of support services, says the Interior Health Authority could eventually face some fines over the infractions that saw the young laundry worker become pinned between an automated laundry shuttle and another piece of equipment, although their concern remains with the injured employee.
“They have not returned to work and are in the recovery phase, we are happy to say, which includes physio. We are expecting them to come back to work,” Davies says.
The health authority has refused to release personal details of the worker due to confidentiality rules.
For now, Davies says the focus has been to comply with the work orders which included a marathon effort the day after the accident on August 21 to install temporary guard rails around the shuttle track and get the health authority’s largest laundry room back into service.
Since then, Davies says all laundry service staff have been put through orientation and training about the shuttle and related equipment. The temporary guardrails remain and are due to be replaced with permanent rails soon.
Davies says there has never been a similar kind of accident with the laundry shuttle and the potential for a problem went unnoticed by laundry workers and during regular safety inspections.
“It was something that came out of left field. We do have regular safety inspections and it never came up since it was installed in 1996.”
Davies says the incident has been a reminder for the health authority to consider risk on a regular basis and look for it even where no incident may have happened before.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015