B.C. paper and pulp mill worker electrocuted in the workplace

Worker dies 12 days after incident

B.C. paper and pulp mill worker electrocuted in the workplace

One worker died 12 days after he was electrocuted at the Canfor Intercontinental paper and pulp mill in British Columbia, according to a report.

The incident happened in Prince George on Jan. 31. On that day, 45-year-old Gary Lefebvre was operating an electric hoist attached to an overhead monorail, CKPG News reported, citing details from WorkSafeBC.

The worker was holding the control pendant and leaning on a metal guardrail to view the area of the lift when they collapsed. 

“An exposed 347-volt conductor was subsequently found on the electric hoist power cable in close proximity to where the worker had been,” according to WorkSafeBC.

Lefebvre died on Feb. 11, according to the CKPG News report.

One source told TriCity News that the electric shock stopped Lefevre’s heart, but he was given cardiopulmonary resuscitation at the scene, which revived him before he was transported to University Hospital of Northern British Columbia (UHNBC). Lefevre spent four days in hospital before being sent home. He was at home with his wife and their six-year-old son when he died on Feb. 11.

“He was in hospital for four days and was cleared by three cardiologists, including an electrical specialist (from) Vancouver, and six days after he got home he died,” the source said in the report. “He was a healthy man, there’s no way it wasn’t related to the electrocution.”

Canfor will support Lefebvre’s family

Canfor, meanwhile, said it will provide support to Lefebvre’s family.

“We are working cooperatively with authorities, including Worksafe BC and Technical Safety BC, to complete a thorough investigation that will help us understand the root cause of his death and to learn everything we can from this tragedy,” said the company in a statement, according to CKPG News.

“Until that time, our focus is on supporting Gary’s family and colleagues during this very sad time.”

Meanwhile, WorkSafeBC is investigating the incident.

“I can confirm that WorkSafeBC is investigating a serious incident that occurred in Prince George on Jan. 31, 2024,” said WorkSafeBC spokesperson Ashley Gregerson in the report from TriCity News.

“The purpose of our investigation is to identify the cause of the incident, including any contributing factors, so that similar incidents can be prevented from happening in the future. We are not able to provide any additional details while the investigation is underway.”