Worker, 18, dies after becoming entangled in BC planer mill conveyor belt

Casual, part-timer part of a clan-up crew at the lumber manufacturing facility.

VERNON, BC — An 18-year-old worker has died after becoming entangled in a conveyor belt at a planer mill in Lavington, BC, east of Vernon.

Tolko Industries spokesman Rob Fraser said the teen was part of a cleanup crew and died at about 2 a.m. on June 15.

“We have a group of people that provide the cleanup for the mill and he was part of that crew,” Fraser said.

He could not provide further details but said about 20 workers were at the scene.

“RCMP victim services (personnel) were on site last night and Tolko’s employee and family assistance program and services are being established for not only the people who were on site last night but for all of our employees,” Fraser said.

He said the young man was a casual part-time worker who started at the lumber manufacturing facility in February or March.

Operations were shut down while WorkSafeBC conducted an investigation and gave the go-ahead to restart.

The coroners service is also investigating the incident.

Tolko Industries has four mills in BC along with facilities in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

The teen’s name has not been released.

© 2013 The Canadian Press