Lakeland Mills Investigation Report & Safety Order

BC Safety Authority (BCSA) has completed its investigation into the April 23, 2012 explosion and fire at Lakeland Mills in Prince George BC. The investigation results are not being released at this time to avoid compromising Crown Counsel’s review of a referral from WorkSafeBC. Based on findings from the two fatal mill explosions which occurred in 2012, BCSA has issued a further Safety Order to improve technical systems safety in the wood processing industry.

BCSA conducted an independent investigation into the incident to assess the installation and operation of regulated technical equipment at the mill. The goal of the investigation was to determine whether equipment or work subject to the Safety Standards Act contributed to the incident.

Recommendations arising from this investigation are consistent with those issued following the conclusion of the Babine Forest Products incident investigation. In summary, these recommendations call for improvements to:

  1. Standards and guidelines associated with the identification of hazardous locations due to combustible wood dust;
  2. Documentation of necessary plans for managing hazardous locations due to combustible wood dust; and
  3. Education materials and professional qualifications for individuals who conduct assessments of hazardous locations.

BCSA is actively promoting these recommendations by issuing the Safety Order: Combustible Dust Hazard in Wood Processing Facilities. This Safety Order establishes comprehensive guidelines for the configuration and operation of technical equipment subject to the Safety Standards Act in relation to hazardous locations due to combustible dust. This is the third Safety Order BCSA has issued to the wood processing industry since the incident occurred.

By working with industry to establish solid practices to manage hazardous locations in relation to regulated equipment, BCSA is promoting enhanced safety in the wood processing industry with the aim of preventing the recurrence of similar incidents in the future.

BC Safety Authority is an independent, self‐funded organization mandated to oversee the safe installation and operation of technical systems and equipment. In addition to issuing permits, licences and certificates we work with industry to reduce safety risks through assessment, education and outreach, enforcement, and research.

Safety Order:

Babine Forest Products recommendations report

Previous Safety Orders:

SO – wood pellet plants – fall 2012

SO – sawmills May 2012

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