Wood Business

Features Health and Safety Sawmilling
New beginning at Lakeland Mills

Dec. 3, 2014, Prince George – The finishing touches may still be in the works, but it is clear a different mill is ready to begin operation at Lakeland Mills.

Nearly three years removed from the tragic explosion at the mill in Prince George, a new mill has risen up designed to learn from the past and move forward with an operation that removes the dangers of its predecessor.

Walking through the mill, there are signs everywhere that owners and workers banded together to create an operation that is among the safest in the country. Peaked roofs are found on the casing of many of the processing operations, including the new Waneshear edger, allowing any dust to slope off the equipment and on to the floor where it can be easily spotted and cleaned. On the sawline, an Allied Blower baghouse system includes pipes installed right over key points where dust is created (including the circular saws); removing the dust immediately to be collected for burning in the boiler or potentially supplied for pellet and bioenergy operations scattered throughout the area. Throughout the mill, shedder plates can be found on formerly flat surfaces, managing dust that collects on high surfaces.

These improvements come in addition to all of the expected dust mitigation and spark detection techniques implemented throughout a standard mill, with extensive camera systems, fire and spark detection, sprinkler systems, and countless fire extinguishers seen throughout the mill.

There are also improvements to what can’t always be seen. Walls have been clad with mineral wool insulations and the steel roof has been replaced by glulam, helping to improve the core structure of the building itself. And underneath it all lays a methane mitigation system; a need recognized following the explosion that will address issues faced underground.

On Monday, the workers on both shifts will come together at Lakeland Mills for the start of operations. The full staff will walk through the facility, carry out an evacuation response plan, and then get to work, together, with two people at each station to fully understand how it all comes together.

Lakeland Mills is ready to process wood once again.

Check out our exclusive video from inside the new Lakeland Mills sawmill: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BbdzDIoayD4&feature=youtu.be.


December 4, 2014
By Andrew Macklin


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