WorkSafeBC has imposed a $637,415.60 fine on West Fraser Mills Ltd. for what it is calling “high-risk violations.” File photo

WorkSafeBC imposes $637,415.60 fine on West Fraser Mills Ltd. for “high-risk violations”

West Fraser says they have made safety training improvements since the 2017 incident in Quesnel

WorkSafeBC has imposed a $637,415.60 fine on West Fraser Mills Ltd. after reviewing a workplace at the company’s Quesnel fibreboard plant.

The fine was imposed March 6.

“We received the rationale from WorksafeBC,” Brian Balkwill, West Fraser’s vice-president of Canadian Wood Products, said in an e-mail statement Monday, April 8. “In response to the incident in 2017, we have made enhancements to our site and corporate safety training, audit process, documentation activities and internal communication. The maintenance of a safe workplace is a core priority for West Fraser.”

In its report, WorkSafeBC states a worker from a subcontractor’s firm was vacuuming ash from a hatch midway up a multi-cone hopper when compacted hot ash in the multi-cone broke free. The ash rushed out of the hatch onto the worker, causing serious injuries.

“WorkSafeBC’s investigation determined that the prime contractor had not conducted an adequate assessment of the risks associated with accumulated hot ash,” the report states. “Safe work procedures had not been communicated to the subcontractor firm, and the subcontractor’s workers had not been trained in the work task. As owner, the firm failed to provide the information necessary to identify and control hazards to the health and safety of workers, a repeated violation. The firm also failed to instruct workers in safe work procedures and provide adequate personal protective equipment for work around extreme temperature sources. In addition, the firm failed to provide the information, instruction, training and supervision necessary to ensure workers’ health and safety. These were all high-risk violations.”

WorkSafe BC has received a request for a review from West Fraser.

Subcontractor Envirosystems Incorporated has also been fined by WorkSafeBC in relation to the incident. WorkSafeBC imposed an $8,026.98 fine on the firm Feb. 28.

“WorkSafeBC’s investigation determined that the worker had not been trained in this work task, and the firm’s supervisor had not identified or communicated the hot ash hazards to workers,” the WorkSafeBC report states. “In addition, the worker had not been provided with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). The firm failed to establish safe work procedures and provide PPE for work around extreme temperature sources. The firm also failed to provide its workers with the information, instruction, training and supervision necessary to ensure their health and safety. These were both high-risk violations.”

READ MORE: West Fraser gives Quesnel council a glimpse of the future



editor@quesnelobserver.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Quesnel is getting a new junior school

Education Minister Rob Fleming announced a new school will be built on the Maple Drive site

Cariboo Regional District receives $100K grant for community wildfire planning

Funds will support a Community Wildfire Protection Plan for 100 Mile House fringe areas

Quesnel council recommends a fifth application for a cannabis retail store

Hive Cannabis Inc. has applied for a non-medical cannabis retail store licence in downtown core

Tickets now on sale in Quesnel for SkyFest raffle

The first prize is a trip for two on the Rocky Mountaineer valued at $5,500

Four Quesnel girls help Prince George Thunderbirds win silver at provincials

The second-place finish qualifies the team for 2019 Western Canadian Championships in Saskatchewan

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

UPDATE: West Kelowna fawn euthanized, not claimed by sanctuary

Gilbert the deer has been euthanized after a suitable home was not found in time

BC Wildfire Service warns wet weather no reason to be complacent

Fire risk currently low for much of B.C. compared to same time over last two years.

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

B.C. man pleads guilty in snake venom death of toddler

Plea comes more than five years after the incident in North Vancouver

Trudeau says Ottawa open to proposals for B.C. refinery as gas prices soar

Prime minister says he knows B.C. residents are struggling and the federal government is open to ideas

Clock’s ticking to share how you feel about Daylight Saving Time in B.C.

Provincial public survey ends at 4 p.m. on Friday

Most Read