Hazardous materials spill sends an Osoyoos Landfill worker to hospital

An employee of a contractor that operates the Osoyoos Landfill was taken to hospital Tuesday morning, after coming in contact with a hazardous material.

The incident happened at 10:20 a.m. when the employee, who was compacting freshly dumped waste, drove over a container of solid chlorine pucks that were improperly disposed of.

He immediately suffered a medical emergency after inhaling some of the chlorine dust.

He was able to get out of the area, and call for help.

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The BC Ministry of Environment was called in to assess the situation and isolate the area.

WorkSafe BC inspected the site to determine how the spill occurred and ensure compliance with occupational health and safety requirements.

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The Town of Osoyoos contacted an environmental agency to clean up the spill and properly dispose of the chlorine.

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It is clear this spill was caused by someone improperly disposing of a pail of solid chlorine pucks into the Town’s waste system, Osoyoos RCMP Commander, Sgt. Jason Bayda said in a news release. This should be a reminder to all that disposing of hazardous materials into a waste container can cause serious injury or death to those working with the garbage down the line. Hazardous materials need to be disposed through the proper disposal/recycling process.

Information and regulations related to the Osoyoos Landfill can be found on the Town of Osoyoos’ website.

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