Canadian Biomass Magazine

WPAC Safety Committee releases 2017 work plan

March 9, 2017
By Gord Murray Wood Pellet Association of Canada

March 9, 2017 - The Wood Pellet Association of Canada's Safety Committee (SC) was established in 2014. From the beginning, it has been the SC's practice to adopt an annual work plan and to hold monthly meetings/conference calls to monitor progress against the plan. In 2016, the committee's accomplishments included:

  • Holding eleven meetings/conference calls
  • Holding a pellet industry safety workshop in Prince George
  • Developing a pellet safety website
  • Reviewing and responding to WorkSafeBC regulations consultations
  • Participating in developing ISO wood pellet storage guidelines
  • Compiling and distributing documents related to handling and storage of wood pellets
  • Holding a RFQ and assessment of auditors for combustible dust and confined space audits
  • Setting up working groups for syngas and combustible dust management
  • Developing an industry-wide incident reporting system
  • Conducting audits of machinery guarding at most pellet plants
  • Completing new safety data sheets for bulk and bagged pellets
  • Hold a training course for process safety management
  • Holding a training seminar for confined space management

The SC now released its 2017 work plan with 10 priorities for 2017:

  1. Process safety management – delivery of PSM content
  2. Plant operator training & use of alarms
  3. Combustible dust management – focus on best practices for combustible dust management in raw product storage areas and the completion of site level dust hazard analysis
  4. Confined space entry – (with a special focus on monitoring/testing and risk management related to syngas in drum dryers)
  5. Safeguarding of machinery and equipment
  6. Safe work procedures
  7. Training and supervision of workers
  8. Incident reporting – common platform to track incidents & identify trends
  9. Managing exposure to heat
  10. Communications – clear plan to support safety improvements across all members

The SC’s mission is to improve the wood pellet industry’s collective safety performance, to earn a reputation with regulatory authorities and the public as an industry that is highly effective at managing safety, and to learn and share best practices regarding safety.

The SC is responsible for developing strategies for continuous improvement of safety and promoting such strategies to WPAC members; for communicating to WPAC’s membership the importance of developing a safety culture; and for circulating safety news, developments, and reports to WPAC members.

The SC works in close cooperation with BC Forest Safety Council. The SC welcomes new members. Active members include Aon Reed Stenhouse, Canfor, Pacific BioEnergy, Pinnacle Renewable Energy, Premium Pellet, Princeton Standard Pellet, Rentech, Shaw Resources, and West Fraser Timber.

For more information, contact:

Scott Bax, Safety Committee Chair
Tel: (604) 787-3176

Gordon Murray, Safety Committee Secretary
Tel: (250) 837-8821

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