WorkSafeBC begins next round of sawmill inspections focusing on sustainable compliance

On Nov. 1, WorkSafeBC officers began another round of inspections across British Columbia as part of the ongoing, comprehensive combustible dust initiative to focus sawmills and other wood processors in keeping work sites safe.
During the upcoming inspections, WorkSafeBC officers will focus on:
• dust accumulation
• ventilation and dust collection systems
• inspections and preventative maintenance of machinery and equipment with potential points of ignition
• ensuring that operating locations have a plan to achieve effective and sustainable compliance going forward.

WorkSafeBC has designated a core team of 10 officers who will re-inspect approximately 150 sawmill operations between Nov. 1, 2013 and Jan. 31, 2014. WorkSafeBC officers have conducted more than 1,100 inspections of sawmill and other wood processing operations as part of the combustible dust safety initiative.

The combustible dust inspections began in late April 2012 following a directive order to all B.C. sawmills to conduct a risk assessment for combustible wood dust and implement a combustible dust control program. All operational sawmills inspected in the first phase complied with the directive order. In July 2012, inspections were expanded to include other wood manufacturing operations that could produce combustible dust. In fall 2012, WorkSafeBC officers re-inspected all sawmills to further evaluate industry’s ongoing efforts to manage combustible dust.

WorkSafeBC continues to work closely with industry, other regulators, and stakeholders to share important safety information to support the continued safety of sawmill workers. The information shared with industry is available on for all stakeholders and other interested parties to view.