Prince Rupert’s arena is getting an ammonia ventilation upgrade. (File photo)

Inspection report reveals multiple failures in Prince Rupert ammonia leak

68kg ammonia tank was being stored improperly in a shipping container outside the arena

The inspection report from WorkSafeBC following the July 4 ammonia leak in Prince Rupert reveals multiple failures in how the hazardous material was stored at the recreation complex.

An occupational safety officer investigated the incident a day after the ammonia leak.

He discovered that the 68-kilogram gas cylinder of ammonia was being stored in a 20-foot green metal shipping container outside of the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre. The shipping container didn’t have any ventilation or lighting installed. The gas cylinder hadn’t been secured properly to prevent it from falling.

The report reveals that the inventory was not maintained to identify the 68-kilogram cylinder of ammonia was stored in the container.

City representatives and workers were interviewed following the July 4 ammonia leak that resulted in two people being sent to the hospital.

In the report it states “that no one from the City of Prince Rupert had immediately notified the board of the occurrence” and that “this employer did not conduct an assessment on the risks posed by an accidental release from a 68-kilogram cylinder of ammonia, contained in a 20 foot, green metal shipping container.”

Ammonia is a heavy gas and can travel 300-500 metres depending on how much is released into the environment — that includes the Lester Centre of the Arts, McDonald’s, the Doug Kerr Baseball Field and homes on 9th Avenue West. If the concentration of ammonia in the atmosphere exceeds a certain threshold, it can kill or cause physical harm.

READ MORE: Civic centre ammonia incident one of numerous cases occurring in B.C. since 2007

Failure to comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation or the Workers Compensation Act could result in the city paying a penalty. In response, Veronika Stewart, the communications manager for the City of Prince Rupert, said the city has complied with all orders provided by Worksafe BC as of July 26, 2018.

“The city is also still continuing an investigation into why the ammonia was kept outside of our approved recreation ammonia storage facility, and will be taking appropriate measures. The city has hired a third-party investigator to conduct an incident investigation, which is ongoing.

“Since the incident, we have completed a full inventory of all hazardous chemicals on site, as per WorkSafe’s order, and will be maintaining it in perpetuity. We remain very concerned that this incident occurred, and continue to extend our sincere apologies to those impacted,” Stewart said.

Inspection Report for Prince Rupert's ammoniaLeak (Reviewed) by Shannon on Scribd

Ventilation upgrade

The City of Prince Rupert had issued a tender for an ammonia ventilation upgrade prior to the July 4 leak at the recreation centre.

A tender notice was issued June 19 for services to upgrade the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre Ammonia Plant’s ventilation system as per WorkSafeBC requirements following the leak in Fernie last October.

The city has awarded a contract for engineering work to develop the plans to update the ammonia venting system at the recreation complex, said the city’s communications manager.

“This project was initiated following updates to WorkSafeBC direction on ammonia venting protocols after the Fernie incident. After a December 2017 WorkSafe inspection, the city was directed to take further precaution to ensure that ammonia is fully exhausted from the building and cannot be blown back in. Although the city’s system had passed all previous inspections, this upgrade to the venting system is an added public safety provision,” Stewart said in an email.

KYSU Consulting will do the design planning for $4,250.

“Once the design plan is developed, the scope of work will be sent to tender. It should be noted that this is a planned upgrade to our venting system, and is unrelated to the July ammonia incident at the recreation complex,” Stewart said.

The incident is still under investigation by a third-party investigator hired by the city.

RELATED: Vagueness not an option when lives are on the line



shannon.lough@thenorthernview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Community Living Month celebration will take place at the Long House

Community Living Month was first proclaimed by the province in 2002

Beyond the Blues raises mental health awareness

At TRU last Thursday Beyond the Blues was held, raising awareness about mental health and wellness.

Forest management post wildfires, focus of Federation of BC Woodlot Associations AGM

More than 100 foresters came out of the woods to meet for two days to discuss what needs to change moving forward

Celebrating small business in B.C.

“We care about small businesses and the people who own them, and we are committed to ensuring their viability and success,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology.

Award-winning advocate Kamal Dhillon will be in Williams Lake Saturday for a book signing

Dhillon has been writing and teaching about domestic violence for eight years

Singer k.d. lang receives Alberta’s highest honour

Celebrated singer-songwriter k.d. lang received the Alberta Order of Excellence in Edmonton

Enbridge aims for mid-November to finish B.C. pipeline repair after blast

A natural gas pipeline that ruptured and burned near Prince George caused an explosion and fireball

How to get government cheques if Canada Post staff go on strike

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers said members could go on rotating strikes as early as Monday

Anti-SOGI school trustee files defamation lawsuit against BCTF president

Barry Neufeld says Glen Hansman’s words caused him “indignity,” “personal harassment,” and “anxiety”

Ocean ‘blob’ returns to B.C.’s North Coast

A 2,000 kilometre patch of warm ocean water could signal a warm winter in Prince Rupert

Pot sales down by nearly 70% on Day 2 of legalization in B.C.

Several products on BC Cannabis Store are still sold out

B.C. jury finds man guilty of Japanese exchange student’s murder

Natsumi Kogawa was found at empty heritage mansion shortly after she was reported missing in 2016

B.C. man accused of killing Belgian tourist along Highway 1 appears in court

Sean McKenzie, 27, made second court appearance since his arrest in connection with the murder of Amelie Sakkalis

Colourfully named cannabis products appeal to youth, Tory health critic says

Conservative health critic Marilyn Gladu says the Liberal government needs to do more to ensure cannabis products available online are not enticing to young people

Most Read