Ryan Clay was one of 20 workers injured in the Babine Forest Products sawmill explosion in Burns Lake in 2012.
He received severe burns to his hands and his face. “My hands were covering my face so my hands got the worst of the burns, but still the face was burnt, second-degree burns all over my face as well,” said Clay on Unfiltered with Jill Krop Tuesday night.
Two workers, 45-year-old Robert Luggi and 42-year-old Carl Charlie, died in the explosion.
Now Clay is speaking out about a video posted by the owners of the mill, Hampton Affiliates, which has since been removed from the Internet.
The video, posted on their Facebook page, showed the management of Hampton performing a parody of ‘What Does the Fox Say?’ but it was titled ‘What Does the Boss Say?’.
“Shortly after they made it, the negative comments started coming out and they deleted every thread there was, except for the one copy that I made,” said Clay.
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Close to the end of the video there is a shot of two empty suits lying on the ground, with safety vests on top of them, and two hard hats. Clay said he finds this part offensive.
“First they went on talking about finding a small, shortline mill that’s going to make them a whole bunch of money, and then they showed these empty suits at the end of the video,” said Clay. “It felt that they were making light of the situation, it was disrespectful and inappropriate.”
Hampton Affiliates did release a statement to Unfiltered Tuesday night saying:
“The video was created for the Portland company Christmas party, it made no mention of the tragedy in Burns Lake, we’re sorry if it offended anyone and the video has been removed from the Internet.”
But Clay said with so many of the workers still suffering he felt what was shown in the video was inappropriate.
“Honestly I don’t even hardly sleep at night,” he said. “If I get one or two full nights of sleep a week, then I’m lucky,” he said.
He said in his opinion Hampton Affiliates should do more to help the injured workers adjust to life after the explosion. He said all the compensation he has received so far is a ‘sorry blanket’.
The mill is set to open in a few weeks, but Clay said he is never going to work there again.