Why a truly independent investigation is needed into the Babine Forest Products tragic explosion – courtesy of Blog Borg Collective.


Documents available in the public, BC legislative library today, as revealed by Blog Borg Collective, show details of the Babine Lake mills explosion accident investigation – bringing even greater questions and increasing the need for a fully independent investigation into the lack of charges in this horrific tragedy.

The Investigator asks: Was this a preventable incident and states that it was, in that:

-There was knowledge that the dust collection system was under-sized

-An electrical upgrade to accommodate this was challenging to Babine but there were no reductions in production while an upgrade was planned and production increased

-Four of the components required for a wood dust explosion were not controlled —containment, ignition, dust as fuel and dispersion of dust. (The fifth component is oxygen.)

-There was considerable investment in upgrading production capability and improving the dust management system by opening floors, pressurizing the MCC panels and improving the waste conveyor system

-Some work had been done on the sawmill dust collection system and extra cleanup efforts were made following the February 23rd, 2011 explosion and fire

-Moving the collection ducting from trim saws and edgers to the bandsaw and debarkers meant some areas had no dust collection

-No adequate actions were taken to reduce or control the levels of airborne wood dust even though this was the root cause of the violation cited in December 2011

-Effective action should have been taken to control airborne dispersion of dust and excessive accumulation on floors and surfaces

IIR Conclusions

: The report concludes that all of the elements for a wood dust explosion were present and addresses:

-The concentration of dispersed wood dust in the air

-Friction within the motor-reducer V-belt guard as an ignition source

-Ineffective wood dust control measures

-Ineffective inspection and maintenance of a solid guard at the motor reducer assembly’s location

– Conditions of the wood and the effect of weather

-Waste conveyor configurations that increased airborne wood dust; and a volume of coarser wood dust and debris that exceeded the capacity of the waste conveyor system

-Inadequate supervision of clean-up and maintenance staff



2 thoughts on “Why a truly independent investigation is needed into the Babine Forest Products tragic explosion – courtesy of Blog Borg Collective.

  1. There will not be an independent investigation by the government or any government related entity. They know what the results would be and they don’t want to deal with those. it would involve charging the owners of the mill and that in the lieberals minds would send “the wrong message” to corporations. the lieberals are attempting to bring all sorts of resource extraction into province. Much of this will be off shore money/corporations. They have different standards when it comes to worker safety and the lieberals don’t want to “scare them off”.

    This government doesn’t care about workers, except for having them to vote them into office. Workers are expendable, just as children are and those on disability pensions.

    Employers are interested in making profits, not safe working conditions. Work Safe B.C. needs to get with the agenda and start ensuring safe work places. If employers don’t comply, don’t fine them. That is just the cost of doing business. PUT THEM IN JAIL. that will get their attention. Will that ever happen? Not in the current political climate.


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