The new Babine sawmill operated the whole month of March with two operators at each station and multiple supervisors present at all times. Reduced electrical, mechanical, and construction crews continue to finish up on items ancillary to the main sawmill. The safety performance of the Babine employees has been outstanding – even more impressive when you consider that for all maintenance and production employees this is all new equipment in a new mill with which they were not familiar when they returned to work. The primary focus has been on taking ones time and working safely – many employees want to just get the equipment running and start producing, but they have done a great job of recognizing the need to focus primarily on safety, especially during test running as there are many potential hazards to be aware of as the Babine Team learns the new mill flow and equipment.
Babine planer production employees completed two weeks of in class training last month which was led by supervisory staff and also included the Burns Lake Fire Chief and an outside instructor for chainsaw safety. The Planer Team is now commissioning the planer line, which has some new equipment since it was last run in 2012.
The second material handler arrived and the log yard crew did a great job of handling the large daily log deliveries and kept yard time cycles to a minimum. Log deliveries were completed on March 28th as spring breakup sets in. Babine’s logging and hauling contractors had a good logging season with no major safety incidents. We appreciate the dedication and commitment by our contractors to help fill up the log yards at the Babine and Decker Lake sawmills. Babine’s Woods Team is preparing for the spring tree planting season and is scheduled to plant 2.5 million seedlings with the help of two local contractors.
We have a safe beginning to our new operations and we are proud of the Babine employees that have come back to work and are positive about the new mill and the work environment. We are working to ensure that 2014 will be a safe and successful year for our B.C. operations and we are excited to start shipping lumber to customers.
Babine partners, Hampton and the Burns Lake Native Development Corporation appreciate the ongoing support for this joint effort by our employees, vendors, and contractors and the community.