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Does WorkSafeBC need more clout to address combustible dust?

October 21, 2014, Victoria, B.C. – On the heels of the latest explosion in the B.C. wood products industry, it has been suggested that perhaps WorkSafeBC needs to have more clout in order to get compliance from the industry.

According to an opinion piece by Globe and Mail political reporter Justine Hunter, failed inspections at wood products facilities across B.C. have been met with little penalty based on the regulations currently in place.

Gord Macatee had been brought in to WorkSafeBC to repair the agency’s reputation after the explosions in Burns Lake and Prince George in 2012 were seen as preventable. Macatee presented a report that included 43 recommendations back in June, including the fact that the agency needs more clout to get industry compliance.

In recent months, the Wood Pellet Association of Canada has worked vigorously in conjunction with WorkSafeBC to try and mitigate combustible dust concerns. However, the latest explosion at Pinnacle’s pellet mill in Burns Lake has brought the issue back to the forefront.

Macatee’s recommendations could result in new legislation this fall. However, the current workload in overseeing the combustible dust issue has stretched WorkSafeBC’s resources, and continued increased attention would only diminish time and resources available for other important projects.

To read Hunter’s full opinion piece, CLICK HERE

October 21, 2014  By  Andrew Macklin

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