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WorkSafeBC attends Pinnacle pellet site in Burns Lake

WorkSafeBC officers arrived on site at the Pinnacle Renewable Energy pellet mill in Burns Lake on October 9, 2014, following the incident earlier that day in which three workers were injured. The mill is located 16 kilometers east of Burns Lake.


The RCMP continues to have jurisdiction over this site and over the investigation. WorkSafeBC officers are providing occupational health and safety support to the RCMP at their request and as required.

WorkSafeBC officers will be in Burns Lake over the weekend.

As reported in the September/October edition of WorkSafe Magazine, two penalties were issued against this employer at its Burns Lake location in relation to inspections carried out on May 21, 2013 and October 23, 2013.

Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc. – $48,838.01 Burns Lake May 20, 2014
WorkSafeBC inspected this firm’s pellet plant and found hazardous levels of secondary dust on horizontal surfaces through the main pellet plant building. The dust accumulations were greater than 0.3 cm (1/8th inch) deep and up to 10 cm (4 inches) in some areas, and they covered more than five percent of the plant’s surface area. Further, they were close to or in direct contact with potential ignition hazards. The firm’s failure to control and remove hazardous accumulations of combustible dust that could cause a fire or an explosion was a repeated high risk violation.

Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc. – $48,838.01 Burns Lake May 20, 2014
WorkSafeBC inspected this firm’s pellet plant. Hazardous accumulations of primary and secondary dust more than 0.3 cm (1/8th inch) deep were found on horizontal surfaces in the hammermills area, with accumulations of up to 5 cm (2 inches) around the infeed paddle conveyor. Accumulations were also found in direct contact with ignition sources. The firm’s failure to control and remove hazardous accumulations of combustible dust that could cause a fire or explosion was a repeated high risk violation.

Orders and penalty orders are reviewable at WorkSafeBC’s Review Division and appealable to the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal.

WorkSafeBC has been actively involved in inspecting the pellet industry, including this location. On June 17, 2014 officers conducted a detailed inspection of this facility and found that it was meeting its legal and regulatory obligations under the Workers Compensation Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation at that time.

For more information, visit www.worksafebc.com.