Lakes District News file photo In April of 2014, the owners of Babine Forest Products were hit with an administrative penalty of $97,500 and a claims cost levy of $914,139.62 - for a total fine of $1,011,639.62 - for the explosion at the mill in 2012.

Babine Forest Product’s fine appeal not successful

The company has been ordered to pay the $1.01 million fine

WorkSafeBC’s internal and impartial review division has denied Babine Forest Products’ request to stay the $1.01 million fine imposed by WorkSafeBC in 2014.

In April of 2014, the owners of Babine Forest Products were hit with an administrative penalty of $97,500 and a claims cost levy of $914,139.62 – for a total fine of $1,011,639.62 – for the explosion at the mill in 2012. This was the largest fine issued by WorkSafeBC in provincial history, and the maximum amount allowed under WorkSafeBC rules at that time.

READ MORE: Huge fine for Babine Forest Products

READ MORE: Babine mill will appeal fine

According to WorkSafeBC, Babine Forest Products can still appeal this decision.

“If an employer disagrees with the decision, they have the right to appeal the review decision to the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal – an external, independent appeals tribunal,” explained Trish Knight Chernecki, a spokesperson for WorkSafeBC.

Steve Zika, Chief Executive Officer of Hampton Affiliates – company that owns Babine Forest Products, was in Asia with a B.C. delegation to diversify markets for B.C. wood products when he heard about this decision.

“We just received this decision which was expected since WorkSafeBC was the one who levied the fine,” Zika told Lakes District News. “We will be discussing options with our attorneys.”

The $1.01 million fine was issued after the Criminal Justice Branch announced it wasn’t proceeding with criminal charges against the owners of Babine Forest Products due to mistakes made by WorkSafeBC during the investigation.

Shortly after the fine was announced, Babine Forest Products issued a statement saying, “For WorkSafeBC to now propose a significant administrative penalty seems disingenuous, especially in light of this record, and the fact that WorkSafeBC must weigh the same considerations of due diligence as the Crown.”

Coroner’s inquests were held in 2015 into the Babine Forest Products explosion, as well as the explosion that occurred three months later at the Lakeland Mills sawmill in Prince George.

The inquest into the Babine explosion concluded Aug. 31, 2015, with 41 recommendations to improve safety in the industry. The deaths of Robert Luggi and Carl Charlie – both killed in the Babine explosion – were ruled accidental.

After the inquests, five groups from across the province – United Steelworkers, the B.C. Federation of Labour, the First Nations Summit, the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs and the B.C. Assembly of First Nations – renewed their calls for public inquiries, as opposed to inquests, into the explosions. They said the inquests left victims and families with “more questions than answers.”

A group of workers and family members of victims involved in the 2012 mill explosions launched a class-action lawsuit against WorkSafeBC and the province in 2016.


 

@flavio_nienow
newsroom@ldnews.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Houston athlete trying out for regional girls’ team

Zone 7 girls’ team is first in eight years

Winter road maintenance standards boosted

Quicker response times, longer winter tire season to be implemented

HVAC overhaul to continue this summer

Upgrades at Houston Secondary School (HSS) are a long-time coming, according to… Continue reading

Northern B.C. rail service is unreliable and inadequate, trade minister says

Bruce Ralston pushes federal minister of transport to ensure reliable supply of rail cars

Celebrate the Value of Volunteering

National Volunteer Week is April 15-21

VIDEO: Moose found licking salt off B.C. man’s pickup truck

Tab Baker was in his garage in Prince George when the small moose gave his truck a clean

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

B.C. student makes short-list for autism advocacy award

Brody Butts honoured for his role as a mentor and self-advocate

Austin Powers ‘Mini-Me’, Verne Troyer, dies at 49

Facebook page confirmed his death Saturday afternoon

Alberta man dead after snowmobile collision on B.C. mountain

The incident occurred on Boulder Mountain Friday morning

B.C. parents grieving teen’s overdose death say it started with opioid prescription

Elliot Eurchuk, 16, died at his Oak Bay home Friday, after taking street drugs

16 of 20 fastest improving B.C. schools are public: Fraser Institute

Independent elementary schools remain at top of the chart in think tank’s annual report card

NAFTA: Talks continue through weekend in scramble to get a deal

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland called negotiations ‘perpetual’

Pulp mill fined $900,000 for leaking effluent into B.C. lake

Mackenzie Pulp Mill pleaded guilty to depositing deleterious substance into water frequented by fish

Most Read