Aftermath of fatal April 23 explosion and fire at Lakeland Mills.
Aftermath of fatal April 23 explosion and fire at Lakeland Mills.

RICHMOND, BC — WorkSafeBC has issued orders that include the imposition of an administrative penalty and a claims cost levy against Lakeland Mills Ltd., located in Prince George, BC.

On April 23, 2012, at approximately 9:30 p.m. there was a fire and explosion at the Lakeland Mills sawmill at 1385 River Road. The northeast corner of the sawmill exploded outward; a few seconds later, the mill’s northern bag house erupted in flames. The explosion travelled east to west through the operating level of the mill. The sawmill caught fire as a result of the explosion and was destroyed. Two workers died and many others were injured.

Lakeland Mills Ltd. has been found to be in violation of the Workers Compensation Act (the “Act”) and the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation.

Information regarding violations is contained in an Inspection Report issued to Lakeland Mills Ltd. on May 12, 2014. Two orders for Administrative Penalty and Claims Cost Levy were issued in an Inspection Report to Lakeland Mills Ltd. on July 29, 2014.

Under the authority of Section 196 of the Act an administrative penalty has been imposed against Lakeland Mills Ltd. in the amount of $97,500. Under Section 73(1) of the Act, a claims cost levy has been imposed in the amount of $626,663.28 for a total balance due of $724,163.28.

The dollar value of a penalty or claims cost levy does not and cannot reflect the loss of lives and the pain and suffering of workers and families.

Employers have the right of review and appeal of a penalty and/or a claims cost levy. Others, including a worker, an owner, a supplier, a union or a member of a deceased worker’s family may also request a review and appeal of an administrative penalty or a claims cost levy. Decisions can be appealed within 90 days to the WorkSafeBC Review Division and thereafter, within 30 days, to the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal.

See background information on the administrative penalty and claims cost levy.

In order to protect the integrity of the ongoing legal process and the rights of all parties, WorkSafeBC cannot comment on this matter until the process is concluded.

View the WorkSafeBC Incident Investigation Report online.

Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.