No fire drill at Olympic stadium

By BOB MACKIN, QMI Agency



VANCOUVER - B.C Place Stadium workers were ill-prepared if the Olympic flame went out of control, QMI has learned.

March 5 minutes of the stadium’s Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee said there was no fire drill held before or during the Winter Olympics.

“No drill has been conducted for over 2 years. VANOC did a full bell test but there was no evacuation drill. Only a test of the fire alarm system,” said the document, obtained via Freedom of Information.

“This test needs to be conducted. Senior management please read this and proceed with scheduling the annual evacuation drill. The employer is in violation.”

B.C. Occupational Health and Safety Regulation 4.14 states: “At least once each year emergency drills must be held to ensure awareness and effectiveness of emergency exit routes and procedures, and a record of the drills must be kept.”

The latest revelations offer more evidence of apparent corner-cutting to meet Olympic deadlines.

After rejecting the first engineering certification, WorkSafeBC accepted, but didn’t endorse, a Geiger Engineers report on B.C. Place’s aging fabric roof and the indoor Olympic cauldron just three days before the Feb. 12 opening ceremony.

VANOC spent $150,000 for Paralympic opening ceremony ramps because the Olympic staging violated the building code.

Vancouver city council fired chief electrician Ark Tsisserev Jan. 21 to cut costs. Tsisserev had complained that electrical inspectors were denied accreditation to examine Olympic venues.

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