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

Coastal GasLink awards contract for camp near Burns Lake

Local residents to be consulted before location is picked

Houston prepares for projected growth

Transportation Master Plan anticipates traffic increase

Houston’s Pleasant Valley Plaza to host information session about bitcoin

Locals will have a chance to ask questions about the proposed farm

Northwest firefighters deployed to eastern Canada

They will help with fire suppression efforts in Ontario and Quebec

Work “well underway” for shared revenue in northwest B.C.

Resource Benefits Alliance developing proposal for the province

All-Indigenous teams break new ground, making BC Games history

This is the first time there have been dedicated Indigenous teams at the BC Summer Games

ZONE 8: Williams Lake’s Gabby Knox is a 2nd-generation BC Games competitor

Both parents competed in softball, but Knox is making waves in the pool

Canada to resettle dozens of White Helmets and their families from Syria

There are fears the volunteers would become a target for government troops

Francesco Molinari wins British Open at Carnoustie

It is his first win at a major and the first by an Italian

Government sets full-time salary range for Justin Trudeau’s nanny

At its top range, the order works out to a rate of $21.79 per hour, assuming a 40-hour work week

ZONE 7: Players’ insistence delivers North West softball team to BC Games

North West hasn’t had a girls softball team since 2010 but that changed at the Cowichan Summer Games

Recovery high schools could help teens before addiction takes hold: B.C. parents

Schools could provide mental health supports and let parents discuss their children’s drug use openly

Haida Gwaii village faces housing crisis, targets short-term rentals

Housing is tight and the village is pretty close to zero vacancy

Evacuation numbers remain at nearly 1,000 as B.C. wildfires rage on

200 firefighters and 18 helicopters were working to increase the containment of the fires

Most Read