On July 11th, a manual tree faller was struck and fatally injured while falling trees in the North Coast area of BC. WorkSafeBC and the Coroners Service are investigating this incident and the results will be released as soon as possible. This is the third direct1 harvesting fatality of 2015.
Another incident involving a non-forestry worker occurred on July 8th in the Cariboo region. A mechanic was fatally injured while working underneath a lowbed truck.
Our condolences go out to the families and co-workers of the deceased workers.
Although the details of these incidents are still unknown, take the time to review the following safety information.
Manual Tree Falling Operations:
- Complete a thorough hazard assessment for each tree that is going to be felled. Anticipate what chain reactions may occur. When this tree falls, what else is going to move? Look out for rocks, logs, trees or root wads that may come towards you when the tree starts to fall.
- Most falling incidents happen within 10 feet of the stump. When the tree starts to fall, move away on your escape path and get out of the 10 foot high hazard zone.
- Ongoing training and close supervision of new and young workers is very important. The majority of incidents occur to workers who are new to the job or less than 25 years old. The injury rate for young male workers is about 74 percent higher than the overall injury rate in B.C.
- When working on a block where a helicopter is the primary means of transportation, regulation requires that the company stays in communication with the helicopter to make sure that an air evacuation is available when there are workers in the block.
Mobile Equipment Operations:
- All trucks and mobile equipment must be locked out when maintenance work is being completed. Workers may not see the mechanic working and if the vehicle or machine is moved, the mechanic may be seriously injured.
- Implement a procedure for vehicle and equipment walk around checks prior to moving or driving. This allows the driver or operator to spot potential problems or people who are too close to the machine or truck.
- Research on Young Worker Injuries