Friday, April 27, 2012

Understanding the WorkSafeBC Lakeland Mills inspection reports

Recently there has been extensive media coverage on the recently released WorkSafeBC Lakeland Mills inspection reports. Media accounts mention dust levels in the reports but fail to inform the public that the issue of dust was primarily respiratory health hazards of dust and not fire and explosion hazards of dust. There is a big difference. In many instances airborne levels of combustible dust can be indicative of engineering control measures such as local exhaust ventilation is not adequate or insufficient housekeeping.

Excerpts from Lakeland Mill Report


This inspection report focused on the MSI, Noise and Wood dust components of the provincial high risk strategy.

2/3/2009 page 33 Most processing saws and chipping heads are equipped with local exhaust ventilation, which appear to reduce accumulations of fine dust. No recent monitoring of exposure to wood dust has been conducted. Wood dust exposure will be further evaluated during subsequent inspections.  This is an item that should be re-evaluated due to the changes in productivity that has occurred over recent years and the fact the majority of the wood being processed is dry beetle killed pine

SRO/OHO Barry Nakahara and I inspected this worksite as part of the high risk provincial strategy

5/27/2010 page 67 We confirmed that hearing tests are being done regularly. We discussed potential dust exposure and the need for appropriate respiratory protection for workers performing clean up of dusty areas. The employer has recently conducted air monitoring for dust and exposures relating to the end-spraying operation. These results were reviewed and no significant problems were noted.

OSO Darren Beattie and I conducted an inspection of this jobsite on February 6, 2012 to assess compliance with the Workers' Compensation Act and the Occupational Health & Safety Regulation. A separate inspection report will be issued by OSO Beattie summarizing his observations.

2/9/2012 Page 112 We discussed the wood dust observed throughout the mill. At the time of inspection, the airborne concentration appears to be below the exposure limit (Non-allergenic wood dust EL = 2.5 mg/m3) in the work areas visited.  There are accumulations of piles of wood dust in various areas of the mill. We reviewed the requirement to prevent the accumulation of hazardous amounts of wood dust.

Lakeland Mills inspection reports

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