WorkSafeBC to release incident investigation report on April 2012 fire and explosion at Prince George sawmill operated by Lakeland Mills; COO says agency will consider whether administrative penalty should be imposed

RICHMOND, British Columbia , April 14, 2014 (press release) – Two years ago the workplace at Lakeland Mill and the community of Prince George were devastated by the fire and explosion on the night of April 23rd, 2012. Two workers lost their lives and many more were seriously injured.

Today, the Criminal Justice Branch has communicated its decision that charges will not be laid in regard to four offences under the Workers Compensation Act (“the Act”) and Occupational Health and Safety Regulation. Crown has concluded there is no substantial likelihood of conviction.

WorkSafeBC will now release the Incident Investigation Report into Lakeland Mills Ltd.

The Incident Investigation Report has been released to families and workers in Prince George. WorkSafeBC Investigators and Family Support staff will remain in the community and meet with families and workers to review the Report and its conclusions.

A summary of findings of the causes and underlying factors that contributed to the incident that night and the full Report are available on WorkSafeBC’s website.

Under Section 196 of the Act WorkSafeBC will now consider whether an administrative penalty should be imposed.

Sawmills and other mills throughout British Columbia will continue to be the focus of ongoing inspections to ensure that the lessons learned from these tragic events are not lost and worker safety and health remains the priority of the industry and all the workplace parties.

WorkSafeBC is an independent provincial statutory agency governed by a Board of Directors that serves 2.2 million workers and more than 215,000 employers. WorkSafeBC was born from the historic compromise between B.C.'s workers and employers in 1917 where workers gave up the right to sue their employers and fellow workers for injuries on the job in return for a no-fault insurance program fully paid for by employers. WorkSafeBC is committed to safe and healthy workplaces and to providing return-to-work rehabilitation and legislated compensation benefits.

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