For months now, guards at the North Fraser Pretrial Centre in Port Coquitlam have been sounding the alarm bell over working and safety conditions at the provincial jail.
And after more than a year of talks, in the coming year, WorkSafeBC has agreed to inspect all nine provincial jails, including North Fraser Pretrial.
It's a process being welcomed by the union representing jail guards at the prison.
Dean Purdy, chair of corrections and sheriff services for the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union, said the union wants WorkSafeBC to look at a number of issues, including the inmate-to-guard ratio.
He noted the prisoner/guard ratio at the PoCo jail is at 60: 1 compared to 20: 1 10 years ago.
So far this year, the union said, there have been 29 assaults on corrections staff at the pre-trial centre, compared to 40 in all of 2011.
"If those aren't red flags for [WorkSafeBC] to look at, I don't know what is," Purdy told The NOW.
"It's incumbent on the employer to provide a safe work environment for every employee."
The union is also proposing rotational lockups, which essentially limit the number of inmates out in a unit at one time.
Conditions at the jail have come under increased attention after two inmates died at the centre this year in separate incidents.
On July 15, emergency crews were called to the prison after corrections staff found an inmate in his cell in medical distress.
Attempts were made to revive the man, but David William Brodrick, 44, was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team was called in to investigate.
In April, an inmate at the facility reportedly jumped from the third storey of the building to his death.
The union also wants inspectors to look at safety response times when an officer is in trouble and safe routes in the institution if an officer has to evacuate a unit in an emergency.
WorkSafeBC spokeswoman Donna Freeman said the agency's inspectors would be looking at the risk assessments and where there is a potential for violence.
The inspections will also look at plans to deal with whatever risks are identified.
"Our officers will be ensuring that the risk assessments are current and adequate and that they meet the requirements of the occupational health and safety regulations," she said.
Freeman also said WorkSafeBC would assess the results of the inspections and be looking for compliance by the employer to the regulations.
If compliance isn't met, the agency will write orders forcing the employer to take action to come into compliance.
The WorkSafeBC inspections are expected to take up to a year to complete.
There was no specific date indicated when the inspection of the North Fraser Pretrial would take place.
The inspection reports will be made available to the public.