VAVENBY, B.C. - Canadian lumber products leader Canfor has been fined nearly $130,000 after one of its British Columbia sawmill workers was seriously injured while using a planer.
 
Worksafe B.C., British Columbia's version of OSHA, says the employee came into contact with the planer's rotating top head. The employee reportedly used a stick to unjam the planer.
 
It fined the company $129,460 for failing to ensure the planer was equipped with brakes on all heads, that no work was done on machinery until hazards were eliminated, and that no machinery was capable of safely performing its function and of being properly operated in accordance. All are high-risk violations, said Worksafe.
 
The fine comes at a rough time for Canfor. The lumber giant recently curtailed production at three of its B.C. mills (including the mill where the accident occurred), citing log supply constraints, log costs, and current market conditions. 
 
Other Canadian lumber leaders have curtailed production. West Fraser and Conifex both restricted production, citing high log costs, log supply constraints, falling lumber prices, and U.S. import tariffs as factors.
 
Canfor has 13 sawmills in Canada, with total annual capacity of approximately 3.8 billion board feet.

 

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