Health and Safety
WorkSafeBC updates numbers on combustible dust initiative
June 18, 2018 - In 2017, WorkSafeBC continued its focus on combustible dust and undertook formal inspection initiatives to verify compliance with combustible dust requirements and to ensure the presence of effective combustible dust management programs in all operating British Columbia sawmills.
• In total, 156 combustible dust inspections were conducted at 115 sawmill locations, resulting in six combustible-dust orders at four locations. This translated into a compliance rate of 97 per cent.
• In terms of the four locations that were issued combustible-dust orders, the circumstances did not present a high risk of serious injury to workers and all combustible-dust program deficiencies were confirmed as remedied during follow-up inspections.
• No Warning Letters or Stop Work Orders were issued — meaning officers did not encounter situations that presented a risk of serious injury or risk of a catastrophic event.
• No penalties were imposed.
All operating sawmills and pellet mills in B.C. have implemented combustible-dust control programs. WorkSafeBC recognizes that a number of owners and employers have made significant capital investments and that many in industry have adopted engineering controls to improve dust conveyance, collection and ventilation systems.
WorkSafeBC’s Combustible Dust Sawmill Inspection Initiative will continue in 2018 combined with inspections focused on two other main risks: guarding and lock-out.
Learn more about combustible dust and how to reduce risks.