Fines upheld for Babine sawmill explosion

By Mark Nielsen
Prince George Citizen
November 15, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A WorkSafeBC review has upheld a decision to impose more than $1 million worth of penalties against Babine Forest Products for a catastrophic explosion and fire at the Burns Lake sawmill. In 2014, WorkSafeBC slapped a $97,500 administrative penalty and claims cost levy of $914,139.62 against the sawmill’s owner, Oregon-based Hampton Affiliates for the January 2012 conflagration which killed two workers and injured more than 20 others. Hampton subsequently requested a series of reviews, the latest being of a December 2015 in a decision by WorkSafeBC’s chief review officer to maintain the penalties. … A WorkSafeBC investigation concluded that wood dust was the major fuel for the explosion and fires. …But it also found little work had been done on the sawmill dust collection system even though the employer’s investigation of a February 2011 explosion and fire identified a “very large fuel load” of dry dust. 

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