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

Editorial: Be a fan of our unofficial civic sport, bathtubbing

Nanaimo’ Bathtub Weekend starts today, July 20, and culminates with the great race Sunday, July 22

Accident in Nanaimo after artillery gun rolls down hill and damages taxi

Accident happened in Comox Road and Terminal Avenue area Saturday afternoon

Lantzville politicians deny claims made against them in lawsuit

Civil lawsuit involves an accounting business sold by Colin and Denise Haime

Lantzville teen breaks BC Summer Games race walking record

Zone 6 athlete Olivia Lundman crossed finish line with ease, to loud cheers in Cowichan

Closing arguments complete in trial of Nanaimo man representing self in fatal crash case

Judge expected to render decision Monday, July 23 at B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo

All-Indigenous teams break new ground, making BC Games history

This is the first time there have been dedicated Indigenous teams at the BC Summer Games

Beefs & Bouquets, July 19

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

Sr. A Timbermen can clinch a berth in WLA playoffs

A Burnaby loss tonight or a Nanaimo win on Sunday would put the T-men in the post-season

Final arguments made at tent city hearing, court won’t rule immediately

Lawyer says City of Nanaimo is concerned occupants would consume hand sanitizer

Recovery high schools could help teens before addiction takes hold: B.C. parents

Schools could provide mental health supports and let parents discuss their children’s drug use openly

Haida Gwaii village faces housing crisis, targets short-term rentals

Housing is tight and the village is pretty close to zero vacancy

Evacuation numbers remain at nearly 1,000 as B.C. wildfires rage on

200 firefighters and 18 helicopters were working to increase the containment of the fires

B.C. VIEWS: Unions regain control of public construction

B.C.’s 40-year battle swings back to international big labour

Brush fire breaks out west of Port Alberni

Fire forces partial closure of Highway 4 heading to Ucluelet and Tofino

Most Read