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Producers to set sawmill dust safety standard

Major forest companies are creating a third party-certified dust audit to increase safety at their sawmills in British Columbia after two fatal explosions earlier this year.

October 18, 2012  By  John Tenpenny

According to The Vancouver Sun, the audit standard will be similar to those already in use by the B.C. forest industry to certify forest management practices as sustainable.

The audits would be voluntary and have no force under provincial laws.
Sustainability audits are usually carried out by major accounting firms. At least one such firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers, has expressed an interest in carrying out the dust audits.

The new internal dust safety standard will cover areas such as housekeeping and the equipment used to reduce dust levels.

There are 10 companies spearheading the initiative, including all the major lumber producers in the province: Canfor, West Fraser, Tolko, Interfor and Western Forest Products.


The proactive move by industry’s largest players comes just as the provincial safety bodies are wrapping up their two explosion investigations, which could lead to tighter regulations.

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