Kamloops councillor handed eight safety violations after stores robbed | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops councillor handed eight safety violations after stores robbed

Denis Walsh.
Image Credit: Facebook
February 08, 2019 - 4:30 PM

KAMLOOPS — A Kamloops business owner and city councillor is still picking up the pieces after two robberies at his downtown movie rental store last month and now he's also been handed eight safety violations from WorkSafe B.C.

MovieMart was inspected by WorkSafe B.C. on Jan. 24, shortly after the second robbery Jan. 20. The business and owner Coun. Denis Walsh were cited for various violations including not having monthly health and safety meetings, new and young worker training orientations, violence prevention policies and procedures on bullying and harassment and a First Aid kit was not available on site.

Walsh says he wasn't aware they were even violations.

“Although it came as a shock… the findings were all fine,” he says. “The problem is I’ve been in business for 36 years and I’ve never seen anybody from WorkSafe B.C. except for when I’m building a business or renovating.”

Walsh says he has approximately five employees and he is constantly in the store talking to his employees and training them verbally.

“I talk to them [the employees] all the time, we just don’t have things written down,” he says. “We have a lot of store policies and procedures but it wasn’t written down.”

He says his biggest concern is the missing educational component from WorkSafe B.C. for small business owners.

“The problem with WorkSafe is that they deal with corporate structures where the owner doesn’t necessarily know the names of the employees,” he says. “I think every owner, small business owner wants their staff to be as secure as possible, so I’m not fighting WorkSafe B.C. I’m just surprised by some of these regulations I had no idea about.”

Walsh says one of the regulations was for employees who work alone.

“How many [business owners] know that WorkSafe B.C. demand or require that you check in with your employees anywhere from one to three hours a day when they are working alone in the daytime?” he says, adding that in all the years he has been operating this was the first time he was made aware of this.

“I understand in the nighttime you want two employees, but a daylight business on a busy street, I found it surprising they have an issue with lone workers,” he says.

Walsh says he has stepped up security measures in his business by lowering the amount of money they keep in the cash register and adding another camera. During the evening, employees will also be able to lock the door and customers will have to use a buzzer to enter the store.

The councillor says he has not been made aware if he will be facing a monetary penalty. WorkSafe B.C. asseses an employer’s payroll, the nature of the violation, and an employer's history of violation to determine a penalty amount.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Karen Edwards or call (250) 819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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