Conifex fined $75,000 for wood dust

A Fort St. James sawmill has been fined $75,000 for hazardous accumulations of wood dust.

WorkSafeBC levied the penalty against Conifex in October after potentially combustible dust was found around the main conveyor belt, under the sorters, and behind the sawmill chipper.

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How much was found was not provided in an online posting on the matter, but the agency did issue a stop-work order to have the areas cleaned up.

"Although the firm has a written combustible dust control program that includes daily dust audits of the sawmill, WorkSafeBC's inspection found that its inspections and cleanup activities were inadequate, as was its instruction of workers responsible for cleanup," WorkSafeBC said.

Up to 30 workers are on each shift at the mill.

Conifex has appealed the decision.

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