Nanaimo Forest Products, parent company of Harmac Pacific, has been fined more than $280,000 following an investigation into the death of an employee that occurred in March 2016. (File photo)

Nanaimo Forest Products fined by WorkSafe B.C. after investigation of 2016 death

Company fined more than $280,000 following investigation into fatality at Harmac Pacific

WorkSafe B.C. has fined Nanaimo Forest Products following an investigation into the death of an employee that occurred at its Harmac Pacific mill in 2016.

Chris Fletcher, a Harmac Pacific employee who was 37 at the time of his accident in March 2016, was fatally injured when a wood chip pile he was standing on gave way underneath him and he fell into a chip bin.

WorkSafe B.C. made public its findings from its investigation in the March/April issue of its trade magazine WorkSafe, stating that Nanaimo Forest Products was fined $284,196 in November.

According to the article, the company had not conducted a risk assessment or developed safe work procedures for the area Fletcher was working in at the time of the accident and that the work area had not been properly guarded or marked to warn of a potential hazard. It also noted the chip bin’s conveyor system operated automatically and there was no method to alert other workers of an emergency and that the chip bin hopper had no method for escape should a worker fall into it.

The article also said the company failed to give its workers the necessary information, instruction and training to ensure workers’ health and safety.

Grant Brebber, Nanaimo Forest Products administration manager, said the company has addressed the issues described in the report.

“All of the safety issues associated with that work activity have been addressed and we’ve added some new technology to even make it safer for workers … That was done very quickly. It wasn’t done last November. It was done in very short order after the actual incident back in 2016,” Brebber said.

He said the company had not received further instruction from WorkSafe regarding anything it might need to do to satisfy WorkSafe B.C. safety requirements that arose from the incident investigation.

“The work activities and the procedures and practices had all been in place for decades and just all these events came together at the wrong time and it resulted in a tragic event there,” Brebber said. “We were shocked and saddened by the whole event … It was devastating to the group here.”



photos@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Missing Nanaimo man found dead in woods at Westwood Lake

RCMP and Nanaimo Search and Rescue had been looking for 65-year-old Lionel Cayer

Charges laid following collisions between pickup and police vehicles

Majore Jackson, 32, and Andrew John Bellwood, 47, from Nanaimo, face numerous charges

Youth in care advocate for change

New youth advisory committee gets to work in Nanaimo

Two cars collide at Enterprise Way intersection

Accident happened Wednesday, April 25, just before 8:15 p.m. on the old Island Highway

UPDATE: Nanaimo RCMP say missing 13-year-old girl found

Police say Marley Warn is safe and sound

Unmarked police SUV with lights and siren on crashes at parkway intersection

Sport-utility vehicle and crossover collide at Aulds Road and Nanaimo Parkway

78 Mexican farmworkers displaced after fire tears through building on B.C. farm

Flames broke out Thursday morning in building that housed up to 80 workers at Abbotsford farm

Cartoonist captures public mood following Toronto, Humboldt tragedies

Cartoonist said he was trying to find a bit of positivity with an image that has garnered attention

Whitecaps host against Real Salt Lake looking to snap 3-game losing streak

Ending their losing streak is all the Whitecaps care about when they host Salt Lake in Vancouver

Montreal Habs goalie Carey Price stops by B.C. hometown for rodeo

Famous goaltender tries to blend in with the crowd at first BCRA-santioned event of the season

B.C. hires 20 more conservation officers

The province announces 12 new locations for conservation officer services this year

City council won’t accept more than a two-per-cent tax increase

Financial plan amendment bylaw fails on first reading in 5-4 vote

B.C. pharmacist pleads guilty to animal cruelty charge

Joelle Mbamy was handed $1k fine, on top of $5k fine already imposed, and 10-year animal prohibition

Most Read