An interagency committee set up in 2007 to ensure farm vehicle safety following a horrific crash in Abbotsford that killed three people has been busy this summer.
Known as the Farm Workers’ Inter-Agency Compliance Committee, the body oversees the inspection of vehicles used to transport farm workers, such as the bus that hit a ditch in Abbotsford this past weekend, injuring nine of the 36 workers aboard.
While the first quarter of the year was quiet, member organizations of the inter-agency committee stepped up activity in the second quarter. The three months ended June 30 saw 49 vehicles inspected by the Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement (CVSE), up from 30 last year, including five roadside inspections.
While more than 70% of vehicles passed CVSE’s inspection, the number of vehicles that didn’t measure up totalled 14. This compares to just one of 30 vehicles receiving a failing grade in the same period last year.
On the other hand, contraventions under Employment Standards Branch regulations fell by half, from 12 to six in the second quarter versus the same period last year.
WorksafeBC compliance orders nearly doubled in the period, however, rising to 81 in the second quarter from just 43 a year ago. A total of 51 vehicles were inspected, compared to 25 last year. Mechanical deficiencies were the most common issue, with penalties totalling nearly $61,500 imposed.
CVSE and WorksafeBC are investigating the latest crash in Abbotsford.