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BC Place heads knew about worker's death but didn't report it

Management at Vancouver's Olympic stadium knew about the Nov. 13, 2006 death of a female janitor but did not report the incident to WorkSafeBC, according to documents obtained by 24 hours.

A worker with contractor Modern Cleaners "felt ill (head hurting) during her shift" said the Nov. 20, 2006 incident report by B.C. Place security supervisor Eric Borglund.

"An ambulance was called and the victim was transported to VGH. Victim passed away." Borglund listed the time as "approx 0200."

Modern, but not B.C. Place, was found in violation of the Workers' Compensation Act, which states serious injuries or deaths of workers must be reported immediately. A WSBC notice of incident report said it was notified Oct. 6, 2008 by a worker.

Borglund's report said Modern supervisor Rani Bains told him, in the presence of B.C. Place's Tom Jackson, that the victim arrived for her shift "just after" the CFL West final and "everything appeared normal."

The victim was cleaning the men's washroom and called Bains to complain of a headache. Bains called another supervisor and an ambulance was called.

"There was reportedly a first aid person on site, but she (Sonja) was not called by Rani," Borglund wrote.

A source said there was no first aid attendant in the stadium and the victim's name was Pritam Kaur Sandhu.

B.C. Pavilion Corporation freedom of information director Steve Lingenfelter's Aug. 28 letter to 24 hours said B.C. Place "does not have any records" of correspondence about the incident with Modern or its parent Omni Facility Services.

Minutes of the stadium's December 2006 joint health and safety committee meeting don't mention the death.

Minutes of the Nov. 28, 2008 meeting said the incident was "accidentally omitted from the minutes." B.C. Place safety officer John Marshall denied Feb. 4, 2009 to WSBC officer Alison Camplejohn that the minutes were purposely edited.

"They did not believe it was work related and therefore did not put on the committee minutes," Camplejohn wrote.

Neither Pavco CEO Warren Buckley, B.C. Place general manager Howard Crosley nor Omni national safety manager Rennie Kissoonsingh responded to repeated interview requests.

Bob Mackin reports for Vancouver 24 hours.

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