Sawmill Dust: Comprehensive Risk Assessments Required

WorkSafeBC Directive Order Sent to Sawmill Employers

A WorkSafeBC Directive Order to Sawmill Employers has been sent which states that they are required to undertake a comprehensive risk assessment with respect to hazards created by combustible dusts, the assessment must include a thorough inspection of the employer’s facility, and develop and implement an effective combustible dust control program based on risk assessment.

WorkSafeBC investigators flagged the issue of dust accumulation at Lakeland Mills in February, shortly after a mill explosion in Burns Lake where public speculation pointed at dust as a possible cause.

WorkSafeBC has given Sawmills a tight timeline to complete these dust inspections/assessments and Officers will be conducting follow up inspections no later than May 9, 2012.

Kennedy Forest & Safety Consultants has been in contact with WorkSafeBC and has reviewed with them how employers can reasonably develop and implement an effective combustible dust control program based on the risk assessment.  What does the risk assessment and subsequent inspection forms look like? Please contact me to discuss your needs, inspections and risk assessments and how I can help to mitigate your sawmill’s risk.