The bus crash on Aug. 31 carrying 36 agricultural workers left 9 injured. (Patrick Penner photo.)

Decreasing safety standards for vehicles transporting farm workers, says B.C. regulatory report

Second-quarter report shows 28 per cent of vehicles failed inspection

An inter-agency B.C. regulatory body formed to ensure the safety conditions of farm workers has released a report showing the vehicles transporting these workers have seen a decrease in safety standards.

The Farm Workers’ Inter-Agency Compliance Committee was set up following the 2007 bus crash which left three people dead in Abbotsford.

Over Labour Day Weekend, an Abbotsford bus carrying 36 agricultural workers ran into a ditch leaving nine injured with three taken to the hospital on stretchers. The Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement agency and WorksafeBC continue to investigate the crash.

The regulatory committee’s second-quarter inspections ended on June 30 and found 28 per cent of the 49 vehicles looked at failed to meet proper standards. In comparison, only one of 30 vehicles failed inspections during this period last year.

Mechanical issues were the most common infraction and a total of $61,500 in fines were handed out.

Violations of employee standards regulations fell from 12 to six during the time-frame. But WorksafeBC compliance orders nearly doubled to 81 compared to 43 last year.

RELATED: Several taken to hospital in Abbotsford bus crash with minor injuries

RELATED: Candlelight vigil held for 3 female farmworkers killed in 2007 crash

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