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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie Willy View Post
    I think regardless of her employment status, the rink has a duty of care to anyone who sets foot on their premises to provide a safe environment, whether they are an employee or not or whether they are working at the time or not.
    True, but when I was on my skating club's board, we were told that the club as the employer was responsible for ensuring a safe work environment for its employees (the coaches). So the club was expected to liaise with the owners of the facility the club uses (the local civic government who owns/operates the ice rink) about any potential safety problems. So if something went wrong at the facility, the club was ultimately responsible.

    But Karen's situation might be different because the rink is owned by a private club, not by the city/municipality.
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

  2. #22

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    Scary and awful!
    Nubka - Unpaid Slave Laborer...

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by overedge View Post
    True, but when I was on my skating club's board, we were told that the club as the employer was responsible for ensuring a safe work environment for its employees (the coaches). So the club was expected to liaise with the owners of the facility the club uses (the local civic government who owns/operates the ice rink) about any potential safety problems. So if something went wrong at the facility, the club was ultimately responsible.

    But Karen's situation might be different because the rink is owned by a private club, not by the city/municipality.
    A club would have an obligation to report problems as that is their duty of care. Put my safety hat on, Safety is the responsibility of everyone. But ultimately it would fall back on the owners of the facility to make sure that things were safe. For example, if the club smelt the ammonia but did nothing about it, then they would have some degree of responsibility. But at the end of the day it would be the facility managers themselves who should have made sure the club would never have had to smell the ammonia in the first place, by ensuring the equipment was kept in good working order.

    Also it is very easy for owners of facilities to try and pin the responsibility on anyone but themselves. It is like rinks saying "skate at your own risk" and they always put a disclaimer on the entrance and treating that your payment for the session is a part of terms of accepting that understanding. But that really is bullsh*t.

    For example a rink here was allowing a rubber ball on the ice during a public session, even though they put a list of rules on their big screen saying "no pucks, toys, etc on the ice". I ended up complaining because I did not want to get injured because of a ball that the rink allowed on the ice against their own rules. Imagine taking that one to court! It did happen to me years ago at another rink where I did get hit on the head by a ball that the rink themselves allowed to be kicked around by the public. I didn't get injured but I sure as hell told them what idiots they were.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

  4. #24

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    How old is Karen? It must be even harder to recover from an injury at an advanced age. Best wishes to her for a full recovery.

  5. #25

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    She was born April 4, 1952.

    New article with more details about Karen's injuries from the exposure; and the safety citations previously received by the club:

    http://www.vancouversun.com/business...591/story.html

  6. #26

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    images on ice - Figure Skating Photography

  7. #27
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    ^
    What a shame. I hope that she is able to recover with time.

  8. #28
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    I nearly cried when I read that this might be the end of her coaching career. As a skater her joy and passion for the sport was incredibly motivating and truly inspired me in a way that no other coach ever did. She is one of the most positive people I have ever met. I'm sure that this is devastating for her.
    "Beautiful things don't ask for attention." -The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

  9. #29
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    Years ago, witnessed a freestyle session where a coach brought a bag of toys which she dumped on the ice to entice the tot she was teaching to skate toward them. Must have been an accepted practice at this rink, because noone said a word or even seemed bothered by it!

  10. #30

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    There aren't enough words to describe how awful I feel for Karen.

  11. #31

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    Oh no, that is horrendous! I am so sorry for Karen to be dealing with this.
    I hope Karen beats the odds and makes a complete recovery ASAP.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheylana View Post
    Oh no, that is horrendous! I am so sorry for Karen to be dealing with this.
    I hope Karen beats the odds and makes a complete recovery ASAP.
    I hope so also. The article doesn't really provide much info. I was wondering (hoping, really) if this is something that may gradually improve over time. They don't sound too optimistic.

  13. #33

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    Ammonia has been used as a "weapon of mass destruction" in trench warfare.
    I've been very concerned for Karen since I first heard about the incident.

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by skatesindreams View Post
    Ammonia has been used as a "weapon of mass destruction" in trench warfare.
    I've been very concerned for Karen since I first heard about the incident.
    As have I. I was wondering just the other day how she was doing. Wish it was much better news.

  15. #35
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    This is a really sad story. I didn’t know how dangerous an ice rink might be if safety standards are not complied with. I hope that despite the pessimistic outlook, Karen Magnussen’s condition might improve tough in future and she will recover.

    What made me most sad is that according to the article she seems to have problems with her insurance – now if even “prominent” insured persons having been harmed in a well-known, confirmed accidents have problems to get proper compensation, what problems might face the ordinary men on the street face with such insurance companies?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie Willy View Post
    I think regardless of her employment status, the rink has a duty of care to anyone who sets foot on their premises to provide a safe environment, whether they are an employee or not or whether they are working at the time or not.
    I am not sure what the laws are in Canada, but here if anyone is injured on a property, they are entitled to compensation. Even visitors to our workplace are still protected under OH&S legislation. In this case the investigation will probably find it will come back onto rink management who didn't do proper maintenance on the equipment, that is how it usually pans out in these cases. So anyone who is affected will be entitled to compensation.
    I was wondering about the same. If you open a space to public, you are liable to keep some basic safety standards so that no one gets injured. Obviously law really differs in different countries quite a lot.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie Willy View Post
    Also it is very easy for owners of facilities to try and pin the responsibility on anyone but themselves. It is like rinks saying "skate at your own risk" and they always put a disclaimer on the entrance and treating that your payment for the session is a part of terms of accepting that understanding. But that really is bullsh*t.
    However, I assume such a disclaimer shall not relieve you from liability in case of gross negligence, i.e. if you know that there is a very serious breach of basic safety regulations and you still keep going on? (It seems that this rink had a lot of safety violations) Just curious, cause it wouldn't work out e.g. in Austria, but if such a disclaimer would be valid in Canada, I'd be scared to skate at such a rink.

  16. #36

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    Work safe BC has some very clear guidelines about compensation. I suspect the problem is that they assume ( or at least they used to assume - I've been out for a while) retirement at 65. I do feel badly for Karen, but these articles also look like some serious PR. It doesn't matter that she was planning on coaching until she was 80. If that was her plan she should have purchased private insurance. She will get exactly what she is supposed to get from WCB. It is very good program from a worker's perspective and definitely errs on the side of the worker. There are some huge issues with the way skating coaches deal with their income - independent contractors versus employees. What is beneficial when you are healthy is not necessarily beneficial when you get hurt. I don't know her circumstances but I would take everything you read with a grain of salt. The program at the NSWC has been in decline for years. There is no guarantee that program will/would have lasted for 5 years let alone 20 years.
    A good rant is cathartic. Ranting is what keeps me sane. They always come from a different place. Take the prime minister, for example. Sometimes when I rant about him, I am angry; other times, I am just severely annoyed - it's an important distinction. - Rick Mercer

  17. #37
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    I thought modern refrigeration systems were freon based, not ammonia based. It looks like governments are trying to phase out freon because of its environmental impact. So what's wrong with a hole in the ozone anyway?

  18. #38

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    The NSWC is not what I would call "modern." I'm sure the system has been in place since the original structure was built.
    A good rant is cathartic. Ranting is what keeps me sane. They always come from a different place. Take the prime minister, for example. Sometimes when I rant about him, I am angry; other times, I am just severely annoyed - it's an important distinction. - Rick Mercer

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by mag View Post
    The NSWC is not what I would call "modern." I'm sure the system has been in place since the original structure was built.
    The Lake Placid 1932 rink used to spring ammonia leaks back in the 70's when people picked too hard on toe jumps. It would look like someone had just struck oil.

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny_Fever View Post
    It looks like governments are trying to phase out freon because of its environmental impact. So what's wrong with a hole in the ozone anyway?
    You're kidding, right?
    3539 and counting.

    Slightly Wounding Banana list cont: MacMadame.

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