A workplace injury in January 2022 has landed Parallel Wood Products Ltd. in Williams Lake a $30,171 WorkSafeBC fine.
WorkSafe BC issued the administrative penalty on April 14, 2022 after investigating an incident where a worker was seriously injured while attempting to clear a jammed board at the infeed roll section of a planer machine.
It was determined it was routine practice at the workplace for workers to stop infeed rolls using control switches on the operator’s console, which does not physically disconnect or isolate the energy source for infeed roles, stated WorkSafeBC in a news release, noting there was no written safe work procedure requiring “de-energization and lockout of machinery prior to clearing jams,” which is considered a high-risk violation.
WorkSafe BC determined “the firm also failed to provide its workers with the information, instruction, training, and supervision necessary to ensure the health and safety of their workers. This was a repeated violation.”
When contacted by the Tribune, plant manager Mike Deausy declined comment.
Yesenia Dhott, officer with government and media relations for WorkSafeBC, said the maximum penalty that can be given in 2022 is $710,000.
Penalty amounts are usually based on the employer’s payroll and the nature of the violation, she said, adding penalties can be larger depending on several factors, whether it was a high-risk violation, whether there were circumstances that could be found to be intentional or whether the employer has received a penalty for a similar situation in the last three years.
Parallel Wood Products Ltd. manufactures finger-joint lumber and has been in Williams Lake since 2002.