The former pulp and paper mill in Campbell River, shown in this Feb. 1 photo, was the site of an incident that exposed a worker to the risk of “serious injury or death,” according to a WorkSafeBC report. Photo by David Gordon Koch/Black Press

Demolition company ‘exposed worker to serious injury or death’ at former Island mill – WorkSafeBC

ABC Recycling failed to employ professional engineer before collapse, says report

Dangerous workplace conditions exposed a worker to “serious injury or death” at a former pulp and paper mill on Vancouver Island last month, according to a WorkSafeBC report obtained by Black Press.

On Jan. 19, the floor of a building collapsed at the former mill in Campbell River. A worker who was trapped by debris walked away unharmed. But the incident raised questions about safety at the site, resulting in a stop work order that’s still in effect.

The Jan. 24 report states that ABC Recycling “failed to employ the services of a professional engineer to prescribe structural support for infrastructures for demolition.”

A building that was in the process of being demolished “was compromised structurally and as a result collapsed with a worker inside, exposing the worker to serious injury or death,” according to a Jan. 22 stop-work order cited in the report.

Provincial workplace safety regulations state that any structure that could be compromised by demolition “must be supported to the extent and in a manner prescribed by a professional engineer.”

READ MORE: No injuries after collapsed floor traps worker at former mill in Campbell River – fire chief

The report says the Workers’ Compensation Board “has reasonable grounds to believe there is a high risk of serious injury, serious illness or death to a worker at this workplace.”

Work can’t resume until demolition procedures have been “established and approved by a professional engineer” and reviewed by occupational safety officer Rod Saunders, who carried out the inspection.

The report says that by Jan. 24, the employer had “engaged the services of a professional engineer” and was “working towards compliance.”

A WorkSafeBC spokesperson confirmed that the work stoppage was still in effect by Friday afternoon, almost two weeks after the building collapse that triggered the inspection.

Dave Miller, a company official named as employer representative in the report, didn’t respond to an interview request on Friday.

Steve Holan, the environmental, health and safety manager at ABC Recycling’s headquarters in Burnaby, said the company is “working towards compliance.”

Asked why the company had been operating without the oversight of a professional engineer, he declined to comment, referring further questions to Miller.

ABC Recycling describes itself on its website as “Western Canada’s largest scrap metal recycling company,” with nine locations in B.C. and Alberta, including one in Campbell River.

READ MORE: Remedial work continues at Elk Falls

WorkSafeBC released the inspection report in response to an inquiry by Black Press.

On Jan. 19, firefighters were dispatched to the old mill following the report of a collapsed building with a person trapped inside, according to Thomas Doherty, chief of the Campbell River Fire Department.

The worker was pinned under debris but was able to self-extricate and no injuries were reported, Doherty said. A WorkSafeBC spokesperson confirmed that the incident caused no injuries.

An interior floor collapsed inside a multi-storey building, but the structure itself was still standing, according to Doherty.

He said the collapse also resulted in the rupture of a 400-pound oxygen tank and a 100-pound propane cylinder, but the gases dissipated without incident.

READ MORE: Quicksilver gets LNG export licence

The site of the former Catalyst mill, which closed permanently in 2010, is owned by Rockyview Resources. The Calgary-based company bought the property in May 2016 following the bankruptcy of the site’s previous owner, Quicksilver Resources Canada.

Rockyview is an oil and gas exploration firm that aims to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility at the site, a project dubbed Discovery LNG.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Martine Rothblatt receives honorary law degree from University of Victoria

The inventor has broken ground in communications, medicine and artificial intelligence

VicPD unable to locate suspect following James Bay ‘stalker alert’

Flyers posted around neighbourhood warn of man being followed and a verbal confrontation

’Tis the season for holiday cheer with a Ken Lavigne Christmas

Enjoy the magic of the season with the region’s largest indoor snowball fight

Free De-Stress Fest at UVic open to students, community

Friday event features performances by spoken word artists, prizes, food and more

Father of murdered Realtor writes letter, pleading for help from Saanich mayor

Lindsay Buziak was stabbed to death on Feb. 2, 2008, her case remains open

B.C. to restrict nicotine content, bring in 20% tax on vaping products

Province will also restrict candy and fruit flavoured vaping products to adult-only stores

POLL: Do you support CUPE workers in their dispute with School District 63?

SD63 schools to remain closed as strike continues Tuesday

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 12

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Port Moody mayor says stayed sex assault charge related to ‘awkward date’

Rob Vagramov said charge was related to a string of dates in 2015

UBC conference faces criticism over speaker from Chinese tech company blacklisted in U.S.

The company that has been blacklisted by the U.S. over links to the repression of China’s Muslim minority

‘City that protects rapists’: Sexual assault survivor slams Kelowna mayor for defending RCMP

Heather Friesen spent the morning handing out flyers around city hall calling out the mayor

Province working with RCMP to address the force’s B.C. budget cuts

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth issues statement following report of RCMP cost-cutting

Use of force deemed justifiable in arrest of suspect after snowy chase near Nanaimo

Independent Investigation Office of B.C. reports on incident from late last winter

B.C. woman sends fight to reduce preventable medical errors to Victoria

Teri McGrath and South Okanagan senior’s centre members presented 150 signature petition to local MLA

Most Read