Safety in the forest requires a team effort

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

BC Timber Sales (BCTS) works with a variety of clients (contractors, licensee, permit holders), Indigenous organizations, stakeholders, and public to carry out its forest management activities across a range of operating areas.

This results in a mix of forest users commonly sharing resource roads, landings and work areas across the forest landscape. As such we are reminded to several key safety elements to ensure a healthy safe workplace for the variety of employers, workers and users of the woods.

Learnings and Suggestions: 


Planning Operations and Scheduling Activities

✓ Identify known hazards, adjacent activities and other users that might impact planned operations.

✓ Communicate know hazards and other activities to employers working in the area.

✓ Establish control measures to mitigate hazards.

✓ Ensure a prime contractor is assigned for multiple employer workplace situations.

Under section 26.2 Workers Compensation Act, Owners of forestry operations must plan and conduct such operations in a manner consistent with regulations and recognized safe work practices.

When Working in the Woods

Whether you’re a visitor to a worksite or working in a general area that others are working in, here are some good practices to utilize:

✓ Communicate with other workers working in the area, let them know who you are, your work area, activities and travel intentions.

✓ Post necessary worksite signage of work areas and active road networks i.e. active hauling situations. Read/Heed Road and Work Site Safety Signs

✓ Watch-out for congested road areas and situations of phase congestion.

✓ Stay well back from all operating equipment.

✓ Respect other employers’ worksites, check-in.

✓ Be mindful of others that work in the area, share the roads, maintain communication.

✓ Utilize BC Forest Safety Councils “Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) program as a tool to assist in improving safety of road users. For more info go to http://vin.bcforestsafe.org/

If entering another employer’s worksite:

✓ Contact owner, prime contractor or site supervisor before entering

✓ Obtain worksite briefing (known hazards, activities, ERP, PPE requirements) and abide by their expectations.

✓ Maintain communication and discuss any safety concerns.

Respectful Workplace

Respectful behavior displays personal integrity and professionalism, practices fairness and understanding, demonstrates respect for individual rights and differences and encourages accountability for one's actions. Respectful workplaces don't just happen, they are built.

We all have the right to work in an environment that is respectful and a responsibility to treat everyone at work with consideration.

Effective Nov 1, 2013 WSBC requires employers to implement Workplace Bullying and Harassment policy/procedures that include; a policy, prevention procedures, how to report and training for workers. For more information go to: WorkSafe BC https://www.worksafebc.com/en/health-safety/hazards-exposures/bullying-harassment

BC Forest Safety Council https://www.bcforestsafe.org/search/node/Bullying+and+harassment

Resource Road Use Good Practices

✓ Drive safe speeds, according to road and weather conditions.

✓ Obey the speed limit, and never exceed 80km/h.

✓ Expect the unexpected, don’t assume everyone has a radio.

✓ Drive with head and tail lights on.

✓ Stop in a safe, visible locations, watch-out for congested areas.

✓ Yield to industrial traffic, down traffic typically has right-of-way (use pull-outs).

✓ Observe & obey road signs, including posted resource road (RR) radio protocols.

For more information on road safety check out these sites:

Radio Use Protocols

✓ Follow posted resource radio protocols, test your radio.

✓ Ensure your radio is programed with full bank of RR and Loading (LD) channels.

✓ Most RR are radio assisted not controlled, don’t drive by the radio.

✓ Use RR channels for communicating RR travel information in a respectful professional manner.

✓ Avoid unnecessary chatter, use of profane or obscene language is strictly prohibited.

✓ Call when entering/leaving a road and when stopping/starting.

✓ Call locations of any vehicles what you suspect have no radios.

Here are useful links to radio use information:


For more information on this submitted alert: 

Cam Paterson, Certification Standards Officer, BCTS Cam.Paterson@gov.bc.ca

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