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

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Evacuation alert issued for three properties on Garvin Road, southeast of Quesnel

The Cariboo Regional District has issued the alert due to “potential danger to life and health”

Feds committed to protecting, restoring declining Fraser River chinook stocks says Fisheries Minister

Populations have been declining for a number of years due to habitat loss and climate change

UPDATE: Nazko Road has reopened to traffic

Nazko Road had been closed in both directions due to a washout at the Udy Creek bridge

Barkerville getting back to business

The Historic Town and Park has extended operating hours, altered public programming beginning July 3

13 new B.C. COVID-19 cases, Langley Lodge outbreak ends

Health care outbreaks down to four, 162 cases active

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

White-throated sparrows have changed their tune, B.C. study unveils

Study marks an unprecedented development scientists say has caused them to sit up and take note

Alberta health minister orders review into response after noose found in hospital in 2016

A piece of rope tied into a noose was found taped to the door of an operating room at the Grande Prairie Hospital in 2016

B.C.’s major rivers surge, sparking flood warnings

A persistent low pressure system over Alberta has led to several days of heavy rain

B.C.’s Indigenous rights law faces 2020 implementation deadline

Pipeline projects carry on as B.C. works on UN goals

‘Mind boggling’: B.C. man $1 million richer after winning Lotto 6/49 a second time

David O’Brien hopes to use his winnings to travel and of course keep playing the lottery

Homicide investigation underway in Prince George

A 26-year-old woman has died as a result of stabbing.

Most Read