Wood Business

Features Mills Sawmilling
Crown to look at explosions?

It now seems more likely that the Crown will get involved in two sawmill explosions in the BC Interior.


November 29, 2012
By Scott Jamieson


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WorkSafeBC has completed its investigations into the explosion on January 20, 2012 at the Babine Forest Products Company in Burns Lake and the explosion on April 23, 2012 at Lakeland Mills Ltd. in Prince George. Two workers were killed and 20 injured in the Babine mill explosion. Two workers were killed and 22 injured in the Lakeland mill explosion.

Pursuant to Division 15 of the Workers Compensation Act (“Act”) WorkSafeBC has made the decision to refer these matters to Crown Counsel; to that end material is now being prepared. The process for referring a file to the Crown Counsel are set out as:

“All occupational health and safety enforcement proceedings such as administrative penalties, prosecutions and claims cost levies are initiated through the Investigations Division with the assistance of the Division’s legal personnel. Where the circumstances of a violation suggest a prosecution may be warranted, the file is referred to the Director of Investigations for consideration. The Director of Investigations determines whether the case warrants referral to the Crown.”

WorkSafeBC has released safety information as it became known during the course of these investigations. This information has been shared with industry and is posted on the website at www.WorkSafeBC.com. A PDF describing the likely cause of both explosions and actions taken to prevent similar tragedies can be found here.

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Click here to read a statement issued by Lakeland Mills Ltd.