Uneven, brushy ground leads to increase in knee injuries

Safety Alert Type: 
British Columbia
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
Company Name: 
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

There has been an increased number of recordable knee injuries (FA, MA, MT, LT) reported this past field season compared to previous years. In the Prince George operating area alone there were eight recordable (i.e., MT or more severe) knee injuries reported between in-house field staff & consultants combined.

Some of the reported knee injuries were quite serious and many of which could have been prevented through greater hazard awareness and safer decisions at the time.

Potential Hazards: 

  • Required to “side-hill” on steep slopes for extended periods of time, thereby increasing the strain placed on knee joints.
  • Additional exposure to tripping hazards when navigating through areas with high brush and blowdown content.
  • Increased leg strain or fatigue associated with the weight of heavier footwear (i.e., steel toe boots), which can make walking and lifting legs over obstacles more difficult.
  • Extra slipping hazards associated with different times of the year (snow/ice in winter) & weather conditions (wet due to rainfall).


Learnings and Suggestions: 
  • Implement the MoveSafe warmup routine not only before activity but AFTERWARDS as well to help reduce the likelihood of strains, sprains, and MSI’s.
  • Be more mindful where stepping when walking through the woods by slowing down – slow & steady wins the race!
  • Avoid hazards and obstacles in the woods by never walking up & along blowdown, and always climb over obstacles by maintaining three points of contact – never jump off anything you can’t easily jump onto from a standing position.
  • Apply reimbursement program for athletic supports/braces & physiotherapy treatments at the earliest signs of discomfort.


For more information on this submitted alert: 

Tyson von den Steinen, Canadian Forest Products Ltd (250) 962-3229



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