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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nanaimo council issues permit for mixed-use building on Terminal Avenue

29-unit residential building and café restaurant planned at 930 Terminal Ave.

VIU basketball teams winners in first home games of new year

Mariners men and women sweep past Okanagan Coyotes in PacWest action in Nanaimo

Poll: How satisfied were you with snow clearing in Nanaimo?

Several days’ worth of snowfall now melting away

VIU professor’s research helps volunteer firefighters cope with stress

Leigh Blaney developing tools to help emergency responders become resilient to emotional trauma

Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP to observe pipeline protest in northern B.C.

Paul Manly, Green Party of Canada MP, to meet with hereditary chiefs and RCMP

Site of planned Jumbo Valley ski resort to be protected, managed by First Nations

Development rights permanently retired for site of proposed year-round ski resort west of Invermere

Huawei exec’s extradition hearing begins in Canada

China’s foreign ministry complained the United States and Canada were violating Meng’s rights

Prince Harry: ‘Powerful media’ is why he’s stepping away

Prince Harry and Megan have stepped away from their royal commitments

Dog reunited with Tofino owner, months after being taken from beach

Shannon Boothman ‘ecstatic’ at pet’s return after a tip leads to social media search

How to beat Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year

Multiple factors can play a role in seasonal depression, says Fraser Health psychiatrist

B.C. VIEWS: Few clouds on Horgan’s horizon

Horgan’s biggest challenge in the remainder of his term will be to keep the economy humming along

Victoria family focuses on ‘letting go, enjoying time together’ after dad gets dementia

Walter Strauss has developed an interest in music and now takes line dancing classes

B.C. forest industry grasps for hope amid seven-month strike, shutdowns, changes

Some experts say this could be worse for forestry than the 2008 financial crisis

Most Read