WorkSafeBC launches investigation into incident at Ardew Wood Products sawmill in Merritt in which employee was seriously injured when pulled into conveyor belt
VICTORIA, British Columbia
April 11, 2012
– At approximately 11 p.m. Wednesday, a man was pulled into a conveyor belt at Ardew Wood Products and sustained serious injuries.
WorkSafe BC is investigating the case and was able to confirm that the man’s arm is in critical condition.
“This is being classified as a fatal or serious injury,” said Megan Johnston, communications officer for WorkSafe BC. “We understand that the worker was caught in the machinery.”
Other reports suggested the man was 19 years old, but that isn’t confirmed.
Merritt RCMP responded to the call but left the investigation to WorkSafe BC shortly after, said Sgt. Norm Flemming.
“We assisted with the ambulance that was there,” he said. “We saw that it was a conveyor belt injury and his arm will need some work.”
A spokesperson from BC Ambulance Services said the man was taken to Interior Health in Merritt and then transfered to Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops.
Workplace BC investigated 146 work-related injuries or deaths in 2011 and 142 people died that year from injuries sustained on the job. Many of those deaths were lingering, due to the long-term effects of asbestus and other occupational diseases.
An Ardew spokesperson wasn’t available for comment by press time and the injured man’s name hasn’t been released.