Brink fined more than $150,000 for safety violations, hazardous dust

WorkSafeBC has levied fines totaling $151,680.49 against Brink Forest Products Ltd.

Of that amount, $137,546.93 was for hazardous accumulations of sawdust in the Prince George lumber manufacturer's chipper room, an enclosed room inside a production building, according to an online posting at the WorkSafeBC website.

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The potentially combustible material was found on almost all horizontal surfaces and fixtures and was in direct contact with potential ignition sources, including on electric motors, electrical junction boxes, and a rotating chipper disc.

It was enough to prompt WorkSafeBC officers to issue a stop work order and have the dust cleaned out. As many as 20 workers were exposed to the possibility of an explosion.

Brink was also fined $14,133.56 after inspectors found violations to safety regulations:

- A shaker drive belt assembly and make-up station feed rolls lacked safeguarding;

- Workers exposed to mobile equipment were not wearing high-visibility apparel;

- Hazardous accumulations of combustible dust were found on and around a motor in the mill.

In September 2014, Brink was fined $68,773.47, also for high accumulations of sawdust.

Brink is appealing the most-recent fines, which were levied in mid December.

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