A worksite explosion on Martin Street resulted in a welder being sent to hospital.

Worksite explosion sends welder to hospital

Employee at the Twin Anchors Houseboat property taken to hospital with burns following a June 8 welding accident.

An employee at the Twin Anchors Houseboat property in Sicamous was taken to hospital with burns following a welding accident on June 8.

According to the WorkSafe BC report on the incident, the welder was repairing the aluminium stringers welded to the top of the houseboat’s pontoons while the vessel was dry-docked.

A grey/waste water tank containing flammable fuel exploded while the welder was welding on the houseboat’s port-side pontoon.

A witness said the explosion was loud enough to be heard inside Bahama John’s Restaurant across the street.

The greywater tanks are not currently used and are installed for adherence to provincial environmental laws if they ever come into effect, the WorkSafe BC report says.

In the report, the employer’s representative said he believes that although the tank is clearly labeled, a houseboat rental customer put gasoline in the tank thinking it was the fuel filling pipe.

The boat was being taken out of storage for the 2016 season when the incident occurred, so it is unknown when gas was poured into the greywater tank.

The report says the employer’s representatives believed they had 24 hours to report the incident when, in fact, WorkSafe BC is to be notified immediately of incidents that involve fire or an explosion, with the potential to cause serious injury to a worker.

“Testing for flammable products will be a component of their ‘hot-work’ procedures in the future,” says the report.

Twin Anchors did not respond to a request for comment before Eagle Valley News’ press deadline.