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Tolko president responds to mill fatality

June 18, 2013, Vernon, B.C. – In the early morning of June 15, Bradley Haslam, an 18-year-old cleanup crew employee at our Lavington Division, became entangled in a conveyer belt at the mill.

He was discovered by the Cleanup Shift Supervisor, who freed him from the equipment, and along with two others, administered emergency first aid until medical services arrived on scene.

Bradley was transported to Vernon Jubilee Hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after arrival, despite the best efforts of everyone involved.

As a company, we are extremely saddened by the loss of Bradley Haslam and extend our sincerest sympathy to his family and loved ones during this difficult time. To know that a family has been forever changed by this tragedy is devastating. No words can convey the pain. The loss is heart wrenching, the impact lasting.

Today, and for many days to come, our hearts will be with the family and friends of this young man as they face the unimaginable.

Our thoughts will also be with our employees at the Lavington Division as they return to work, because the days ahead will be difficult. We will have our Employee Family Assistance Program (EFAP) provider on site to offer support, and I encourage anyone needing help to seek out these services. I especially want to thank those who responded to the accident for their efforts to save this young man’s life. Their efforts are well appreciated.

As an organization, safety is our most important value. This tragedy serves to remind us of the vital importance of safety in our workplace. When something goes terribly wrong, as it did on Saturday morning, we have to step-back, re-evaluate, and move forward with a strong resolve to make sure a tragedy like this doesn’t happen again.

For my part, I renew my commitment to take a leadership role across the organization to ensure everyone understands that safety is at the core of Tolko. This tragedy serves as a personal call to action for all of us to look out for each other and to make sure that everyone is safe.

Brad Thorlakson
President & CEO


June 18, 2013  By Brad Thorlakson

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