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Canfor pipefitter passes away following second cardiac-related medical event

Canfor has confirmed an 11-year pipefitter at its Intercontinental Pulp Mill has passed away.

According to a statement, 45-year-old Gary Lefebvre died on February 11th at his home from a second cardiac-related medical event.

Eleven days earlier (January 31st), Canfor noted Lefebvre collapsed while at work from what appeared to be cardiac arrest and was immediately attended to by colleagues who performed CPR and InterCon’s onsite emergency responders.

He was then transported to hospital for treatment and was later released where all signs pointed to a full recovery.

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A preliminary workplace investigation found an exposed conductor wire close to Gary’s work area.

WorkSafe BC and Technical Safety BC are also investigating the serious incident to determine the root cause.

The WorkSafe reports a worker was operating an electric hoist attached to an overhead monorail. The worker was then holding the control pendant and leaning on a metal guardrail to view the area of the lift when they collapsed. An exposed 347-volt conductor was subsequently found on the electric hoist power cable in close proximity to where the worker had been.

A full report from the BC Coroners Service has not been issued.

The full statement from Canfor can be found below:

“We were saddened to learn of the tragic passing on February 11 of a long-time Canfor Pulp employee, Gary Lefebvre, at his home from what we understand to be a second cardiac-related medical event. Gary’s passing has shaken his many colleagues and friends at Canfor and we extend our deepest sympathies and support to Gary’s wife, his young son and many family and friends.

On January 31, Gary collapsed while at work from what appeared to be cardiac arrest. He was immediately tended to by his colleagues who performed CPR, as well as Intercon’s onsite emergency responders.

Gary was then transferred to hospital for medical attention. Days later, Gary was cleared for discharge by his hospital medical team. All signs pointed to a full recovery until February 11, when he tragically passed away from what appears to be another cardiac-related event.

Through the preliminary workplace investigation, information regarding an exposed conductor wire in close proximity to Gary’s work area was discovered. As a result, we are working cooperatively with WorkSafeBC and Technical Safety BC on completing a thorough investigation to understand the root cause of the workplace incident and to learn everything we can from this tragedy.” – Rosemary Silva, Canfor spokesperson.

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