QUESNEL, B.C. - Canadian lumber manufacturer West Fraser has been fined $637,415 after an employee was critically injured while on the job.
 
WorkSafeBC said the worker, who works for a subcontractor, was vacuuming ash from a hatch midway up a multi-cone hopper when the compacted hot ash broke free, pouring out of the hatch onto the worker. The worker was seriously injured, it said.
 
"WorkSafeBC's investigation determined that (West Fraser Mills) had not conducted an adequate assessment of the risks associated with accumulated hot ash," the penalty stated. "Safe work procedures had not been communicated to the subcontractor firm, and the subcontractor's workers had not been trained in the work task."
 
WorkSafeBC imposed a $637,415 fine on March 6 against the West Fraser mill, claiming the company didn't provide the necessary info to identify and control hazards to workers. It was a repeated violation. A review has been requested.
 
"In addition, the firm failed to provide the information, instruction, training, and supervision necessary to ensure workers' health and safety. These were all high-risk violations."
 
The name of the subcontractor wasn't mentioned in the decision.

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