Vanderhoof Specialty Wood Products’ finger joint plant is fined $48,401.84 by WorkSafeBC for dust accumulation.
On October 16, 2015, an order for work to stop was issued to the subsidiary of the BID Group of Companies until dust accumulations can be removed safely.
During inspection, WorkSafeBC observed hazardous dust accumulation in two areas.
In the chipper room, dust accumulations from 2.5 to 7.6 centimetres deep covered more than five percent of the room’s area
In the old boiler room, which workers entered infrequently, 2.5 to 7.6 centimetres of dust coated a gear motor, reducer, foundation ledge, roof beams, wall purlins, and the boiler.
WorkSafeBC also found 0.3 cm of dust in direct contact with electrical disconnect panels.
“The firm’s dust inspection program for the plant was informal and unwritten, and the firm did not shut down the chipper frequently enough in order to clean adequately around it,” WorkSafeBC stated in its penalty.
“As many as 27 workers (an average shift at the mill) were exposed to a risk of serious injury or death should the dust have ignited and caused a fire or explosion.
“The firm’s failure to control and remove hazardous accumulations of combustible dust was a repeated and high-risk violation.”
The company has appealed the decision.