Canadian Biomass Magazine

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Free Safety Foundations Certificate available now


October 28, 2021
By Gordon Murray, Executive Director, WPAC

Hundreds of Canadians across the wood pellet sector have earned their Safety Foundations Certificate after participating in a six-part Safety Foundations webinar series produced by the Wood Pellet Association of Canada (WPAC).

Operating personnel at every level of the pellet plant, supervisors, senior management, control operators, other industry participants, equipment suppliers, and safety professionals have participated in the series already.

“I’ve worked in the pellet industry for 26 years, and safety is lifelong learning, with new data and processes being developed every year so these webinars are critical to keeping up with the latest information and guidance,” says Jamie Colliss, who works as senior plant manager at Pinnacle Renewable Energy, part of Drax.

Each webinar is about an hour long and looks at critical safety topics such as bow tie analysis, human-machine interface and effective alarms, and safe handling and storage of biomass. At the end of each webinar, participants are required to pass a quiz before they can proceed to the next level.

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“Through these webinars, employees are learning how to improve their own safety performance, and ultimately contributing to a safer industry,” says Fahimeh Yazdan Panah, Ph.D., director of research and technical development at WPAC, who led the safety foundations initiative.

“We strongly encourage everyone in the pellet industry to take this course and we hope managers and personnel at pellet plants will share this free service with their co-workers and safety teams,” says Cherie Whelan, director, SAFE Companies at the BC Forest Safety Council. “It’s a small commitment of time with big returns.”

The Safety Foundations Webinar Series was produced by the Wood Pellet Association of Canada’s safety committee in co-operation with WorkSafeBC and UBC Biomass and Bioenergy Research Group, BioMass Canada and media partner Canadian Biomass Magazine. You can enroll for the webinars here.