2009-10-19 Arc Flash at Quad Saws MCC Panel

Safety Alert Type: 
Chemainus Sawmill
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
Company Name: 
Western Forest Products
Details of Incident / Close Call: 


Quad Sawyer started up saws after lunch at 4:20 am. He heard a loud bang and saw a flash at MCC panel.
Electrician on shift changed starter for setworks and also found main switch had shorted out and blew 3 1200 amp fuses at PDC room.
The MCC door did not blow open and the arc flash was contained.
On weekend while repairing MCC panel worker discovered water on top of the panel.
Brought in an electrical engineer to trouble shoot problem and he confirmed moisture was the problem.
The Quad Saw MCC panel is located across from the main lunchroom and washroom.



1. The roof above Filing room was leaking due to rainfall and water made its way through tongue and groove floor and collected on MCC panel below.
2. Did not recognize the water on MCC panel roof.


Learnings and Suggestions: 


1. Inspect all MCC panels for moisture issues.
2. Communicate with all crews at safety meetings.
3. Repair the roof for leaks
4. Prepare Hazard Alert and share with other operations.


For more information on this submitted alert: 

Iain Donaldson or Gord Ross at Chemainus sawmill

File attachments
2009-10-19 Arc Flash at Quad Saws MCC Panel.pdf
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