Fire at Westminster Pier Park and your health & safety
To: All Members who live or work in the Lower Mainland
By now many of you are aware of the massive fire at Westminster Pier Park in New Westminster. Although the fire is considered contained, we are very concerned about the health and safety of our members who are working in, or have to pass by, the area of this fire and may be exposed to the toxic smoke from burning creosote.
Feeling sick from the creosote smoke
If you were working today around or near the vicinity of the fire and felt any ill effects from the smoke, you must report it to your first aid attendant, advise your manager, and complete a report to WorkSafe BC. This is critical for your protection now, and into the future.
WorkSafe BC Exposure Registry
You may have been on the job and not noticed any ill effects. However, that does not mean you were not exposed to the toxic chemicals from the burning creosote. As a precaution, and for your long-term protection, we encourage every staff member to complete an Exposure Registry form and submit it to WorkSafe BC.
We can’t stress enough how critical this is for you to do right away. As the fire will continue to be an ongoing concern for the next several days, please monitor your situation and report any ill effects as soon as you experience them.
Should you have any questions or concerns please contact a job steward in your area, or Niki Schnurr, MoveUP’s WCB Appeals Officer and OH&S Liaison, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other smoke and air quality issues
Poor air quality has been a concern across the province of B.C. as a result of the smoke emanating from the wildfires in the United States.
For those of you who regularly work outdoors or have to travel as part your work, if you are feeling any ill effects as a result of the poor air quality, it is important that you report this as well.
If you are a member of your joint OH&S Committee, please make sure that an investigation is completed regarding the issue of exposure to creosote smoke. Make sure to include this in your next meeting and consider developing written recommendations for the future that would protect workers from exposure.
Rysa Kronebusch, Vice-President, Utilities Unit
Christy Slusarenko, Vice-President, Combined Units
Annette Toth, Vice-President, ICBC Unit