Kamloops man killed at Vanderhoof planer mill
Brian Fehr isn't sure how he's going to talk to the crews at Plateau Mill in Vanderhoof about the death of a worker early Thursday morning.
"i've owned the company for 32 years," the BID Group CEO said in a conference call Thursday afternoon, "and I've never had to do this before."
George Park, Jr., a certified millwright from Kamloops, was killed Thursday morning while working on a conveyor belt at the mill. Fehr said the official investigation, involving Worksafe BC, the RCMP, the coroner's office, BID Group and Canfor, the mill owner, will begin Friday.
"I don't have a timeframe for how long the investigation will take," he said. "From talking to other companies involved in them, it's not a quick procedure."
A release sent out by BID Group earlier on Thursday contained information from preliminary investigation.
Park filled out a hot-work permit at 3:30 a.m. Thursday. The permit was necessary because he was going to using a cutting torch or grinder in the maintenance work on a pair of conveyor belts in the planer mill.
All power had been shut off to the area, however a diverter gate between the two belts had not been manually secured to hold it in place. Co-workers say the gate was normally secured when maintenance was being done.
When Park failed to show up for a scheduled meal break at 4 a.m., co-workers went to the belt, and found him under the gate. On-site first aid attendants were summoned, but it appears he was already dead.
"I've talked to his Mom, his Dad, his two brothers," Fehr said. "I know all of them. I didn't have a chance to talk to his wife, but I understand the RCMP did."
Park was an independent subcontractor working for Nechako Construction, part of the BID Group, and had been doing maintenance work at the mill since November.