Saskatoon Health Region has received the occupational health officer report into the carbon monoxide exposure at St. Mary’s Villa Dust Wing in December 2010. The report was issued by the Ministry of Labour in late December 2011 and staff and management of the Region have been reviewing it since then.

The report from the Department of Labour cites six contraventions of Occupational Health and Safety regulations. Many of the contraventions and the findings of the report have already been addressed by the Region in the days and months following the CO exposure. “We didn’t wait for the report to act,” says Nilesh Kavia, Vice President of Finance and Administration for Saskatoon Health Region. “We immediately began taking steps to address the concerns over ventilation and equipment at St. Mary’s Villa when the incident took place.” Saskatoon Health Region has already begun replacing the boilers and ventilation system at St. Mary’s Villa. The Region has also installed CO detectors at all Region facilities to prevent a similar situation occurring again.

The Region has already completed significant revisions to its “code brown” (hazardous material) procedures and continues to consult with the Department of Labour and others to ensure the revisions are acceptable. There are also revisions being considered for the Region’s “code green” (evacuation) processes. All rural facilities will be completing a CO exercise by March 2012.

“We want to acknowledge that this has been an extremely difficult time for our residents, their families and our staff. We cannot forget the tragedy of that day in December 2010, but we also want to take our learnings and ensure nothing like this ever happens in the future,” says Bonnie Blakley, Vice President, People Strategies.

Read the full report from the Occupational Health Officer at:
http://www.saskatoonhealthregion.ca/documents/011012_OHS_CO_Report.pdf.