The 2012 explosion at a Burns Lake, B.C., sawmill that killed two workers and wounded 20 others was a "preventable incident" according to a detailed report released Thursday by WorkSafeBC.
A section of the report quoting workers and supervisors sheds light on the conditions:
"The dust in the mill was bad. … When we're running [dust was] in the air, and then it would settle in the basement … the dust was worse down there."
"We have an undersized baghouse."
"Lots of complaints about dust."
"[Bugwood is] a totally different dust than any sawmill dust that I've ever seen … almost looks like a dirt dust."
"The dust [piles] on top of those [disconnect] boxes themselves were probably eight inches deep."
"Those [sawdust] piles [were] just way over my head."
"But the bugwood would create the worst [air]. Sometimes you couldn't see across [the mill floor]."
"You'd have to go into sawdust piles four feet high to go work on something. And you're working in these sawdust piles."
"There were … mountains of broken debris and sawdust everywhere."
"The basement's a different story, it was horrendous."
"You could always see a dusty haze through the whole mill."
"[The sawdust was] really fine. … The stuff … flies around and it gets up there."
"There was a lot of dust in there. … Sometimes we could barely see [across the mill]."
"[The sawdust build-up was] everywhere on beams, handrails, stairs, the floor even."
"All around these debarkers … were the hardest to [walk] around, because there's just so much waste. … In the basement … there's piles over here. Piles over there. … All around here was piles of waste."
From WorkSafeBC's Babine Forest Products Incident Investigation Report, found here.