The coroner’s jury in the Lakeland sawmill blast that killed two workers and injured 22 others has made 33 recommendations aimed at preventing a similar tragedy.
The five-person jury deliberated for about 8 hours before classifying the deaths of Glen Roche and Allan Little in the 2012 blast as Accidental. The classification means the death was due to unintentional or unexpected injury.
The recommendations were directed to a wide variety of agencies, including WorkSafe BC, the RCMP, the mill owners, and two provincial government ministries.
Among the jury’s recommendations was to look at the possibility of installing automatic air quality sensors to monitor dust levels in facilities where dust hazards may exist and appointing a Safety Watch Person on every shift to monitor dust systems, vacuum systems, conveyors, and electric motors.
The jury also wants the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada to have negligence provisions in the Criminal Code reviewed for the onus of proof in cases of criminal negligence involving bodily harm or death in the workplace.
The inquest heard from 54 witnesses over the course of 21 days.
An inquest examining the fatal sawmill explosion at Babine Forest Products near Burns Lake is scheduled to begin in July.