S & S Seafood Canada of Tofino, B.C. has been fined $66,958 for the death of three workers.
According to WorkSafeBC’s investigation, a four-member crew had been hake fishing on a commercial fish trawler. At the time of the incident, which occurred while the crew was retrieving the trawl, the vessel was nearly at its capacity. The retrieved trawl net was hauled onto the aft (rear) deck, which affected the trawler's stability and ability to right itself. The trawler heeled and capsized, and later sank.
One of the four crew members survived and was rescued.
WorkSafeBC found that the vessel had not been correctly loaded to maintain stability.
The firm failed to ensure major modifications to the vessel did not adversely affect its stability, and failed to ensure the vessel was maintained in seaworthy condition. Further, the firm failed to ensure all four of the crew, who were new to their roles and/or to working on the vessel, received a health and safety orientation prior to beginning work.
It also failed to provide to the crew readily accessible documentation as it pertained to vessel instability. The firm also failed to provide its workers with the information, instruction, training and supervision necessary to ensure their health and safety. These were high-risk violations.