Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

Poor housekeeping blamed in explosion

April 26, 2012

PRINCE GEORGE, BC — A deadly explosion at a Prince George sawmill is highlighting the dangers of poor housekeeping practices, according to The Toronto Star.

While the exact cause of the blast has not yet been determined, high accumulations of dust were found inside the Lakeland Mill sawmill, the article stated.

According to the article, the dust can be highly combustible if a spark is present and accumulations should never be allowed to occur.

"It''s poor housekeeping — you get piles of dust on the floor or on the pipes; it''s dirty, the dust gets into the air," said University of Toronto workplace safety expert Graeme Norval, a chemical engineer who teaches courses in factory safety.

"Once you get the dust in the air, it''s like having a flammable gas mixture, and it just finds a source of ignition and up it goes," Norval added.

Two workers were killed in the explosion and nine remain seriously injured in what was the second accident of this kind in Northern British Columbia in three months, the article noted.

Click here to read the complete article.