Firm fined $15K after men crushed to death at B.C. lumber yard

·1 min read
WorkSafeBC investigators have finished their investigation into the deaths of Yun Zhao Yang, 60, of Surrey and Guiming Chen, 65, of New Westminster, who both died Jan. 23, 2016. (Kamil Karamali)
WorkSafeBC investigators have finished their investigation into the deaths of Yun Zhao Yang, 60, of Surrey and Guiming Chen, 65, of New Westminster, who both died Jan. 23, 2016. (Kamil Karamali)

A lumber firm has been fined just under $16,000 over the deaths of two workers who were crushed to death at its lumber yard in New Westminster, B.C.

Two men, both in their 60s, were killed after being buried beneath a load of lumber at United Gateway Logistics Inc. on Jan. 23, 2016. There were no witnesses to the incident and it was left to investigators to figure out what had happened.

Nearly five years later, WorkSafeBC has finished its investigation into the incident. It said the men had been replacing broken straps on a bundle of lumber, which was beneath a number of other bunches of wood.

The entire stack toppled and fell on the workers, who were later identified as Yun Zhao Yang, 60, and Guiming Chen, 65. Both died at the scene.

WorkSafe BC found multiple stacks across the lumber yard weren't stable. A notice posted online said the stacks were slanted, unlevel, too tall and "otherwise potentially unstable."

The agency said United Gateway Logistics Inc hadn't trained its workers to stack lumber properly or supervised them as they did so. The notice said the firm failed to regularly inspect the workplace and "ensure the health and safety of all workers."

It's been fined $15,873.