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Workers hit with heat exhaustion on Langley movie set

WorkSafe report shows up to a dozen crew members needed first aid
WorkSafe BC’s Richmond headquarters. (Google Maps)

Film crew members on a Langley set were hit by heat stress during a mid-August shoot, and at least one suffered from heat exhaustion, according to a WorkSafe BC report on the incident and its follow up.

Although parts of the follow-up inspection report are blanked out, the original order showed that on Aug. 18, “several workers, possibly more than 10 were treated for heat exposure” on a Lights Camera Christmas Productions set.

“The ambient temperature was 33 degrees [Celsius] when I arrived at the workplace at approximately 17:00 hours,” the report says.

The report says that two workers received first aid due to heat exposure, and several, possibly up to ten, got first aid for possible heat stress.

There had not been a heat stress assessment, and workers on the site were doing moderate to heavy work, depending on their job, which the report says was a violation of Occupational Health and Safety Regulations.

The report also said that a first aid record was not filled out for the workers who were treated, and only one first aid record was available at the time of the WorkSafe inspection.

“The employer must maintain at the workplace… a record of all injuries…” the report notes.

There were about 96 workers on the crew at the time.

The follow-up report also notes that on Aug. 21, the employer sent a plan to address heat stress on the job site. After the WorkSafe report, the employer complied with all three orders or action items that were handed out after the inspection.

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The Langley Advance Times has reached out to the film company, as well as to the union local representing its workers, for more information about the incident.

Heat stress issues at work have been rising in recent years. Last year, which included the brutal heat dome incident in June and early July, there were 115 claims to WorkSafe about heat stress, a 180 per cent increase from the previous three years.

On July 25 of this year, WorkSafe sent out a news release reminding employers to keep workers safe from heat stress.

Langley is one of the most popular filming locations in the province, thanks in part to additional tax credits that kick in for Langley and communities east of here.

Rural locations and parts of Fort Langley are particularly popular for filming romantic Christmas TV movies for Hallmark and Lifetime channels. Those movies are often made months in advance, with fake snow sometimes being deployed in mid-summer.

Langley is also popular with shoots ranging from science fiction and thriller series to historical dramas, and plays host to a large indoor film studio in Walnut Grove, with plans to build another one in Willoughby near the 216th Street interchange.

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Matthew Claxton

About the Author: Matthew Claxton

Raised in Langley, as a journalist today I focus on local politics, crime and homelessness.
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