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Faller slip and fall on steep ground

Safety Alert Type: 
Manual Tree Falling
Location: 
Coastal BC
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2019-07-29
Company Name: 
INTERFOR
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A hand faller had just wedged over a cedar, cleared the stump and was returning to get his saw. He bent down to pick up the saw and stepped in an unexpected hole, which caused a forward fall.

The faller was unable to stop his fall by grabbing brush and tumbled 40+ feet down an 80%+ slope. He was stopped by trees and brush at the base of the slope. The ground was rocky and covered in salal.

The faller sustained a right arm fracture and a rib fracture. Very fortunate as injuries could have been much worse.

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  • While on steep terrain, ensure solid foot placement before attempting other tasks.
  • Caulks must be sharp when walking in the woods. Supervisors need to check.
  • Faller escape routes and access/egress trails must be planned and properly cleared of brush and other obstacles.
  • If unforeseen conditions are encountered, stop work, re-assess and seek advice.
  • Fallers/Falling Supervisors need to walk quarters ahead of time and identify hazards including terrain.
  • Supervisors to ensure fallers are fit-for-work before the start of each shift.
  • WorksafeBC OHSR 8.11(4) states that chin straps or other effective means of retention must be used on safety headgear when workers are climbing or working from a height exceeding 3 metres (10 ft), or are exposed to high winds or other conditions that may cause loss of headgear.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Gary Bauer, Coastal Woodlands Operations Gary.Bauer@interfor.com

 

File attachments
Safety_Alert-Faller_Slip_and_Fall_on_Steep_Ground-Interfor_Coastal_Woodlands-July_29-2019.pdf

Heavy rains increase risk for work and travel

Safety Alert Type: 
Weather
Location: 
All of BC
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2019-09-17
Company Name: 
BC Forest Safety Council
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

This month has seen an unusually high amount of rainfall in many regions of BC, and especially on the coast. As a result, ground conditions are quickly approaching the saturation point – if not there already in specific locations and work sites.

For forestry workers and supervisors, ensure that ground, road and weather conditions are included in all daily hazard assessments.

Follow all rainfall shutdown procedures and inspect roads that may have been damaged by high rainfall levels.

Exercise appropriate caution and base decisions on the safety of you and your crew.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

 

Weather related hazards to consider:

  • HEAVY RAIN can result in hazardous driving conditions. Watch out for water pooling on roads, muddy and slippery road conditions as well as reduced visibility. Drive appropriately for the conditions and make sure your vehicle is well maintained and equipped to handle the challenging conditions.

 

  • STRONG WINDS can cause blowdown causing road blockages and damage to vehicles caught under falling trees. When working on foot, be prepared to evacuate areas if it gets too windy. Get out before the trees start to come down.

 

  • LANDSLIDES can occur when heavy rains saturate and weaken soils. Measure the rainfall at your worksite and follow your rainfall shutdown procedures to help manage this hazard.

 

  • SNOW is already falling in higher elevation areas of the province and serves as a good reminder that many parts of BC require winter tires from October 1 to March 31. All vehicles need appropriate winter tires, tire chains and other winter supplies. Start planning to ensure you have the appropriate footwear and cold weather gear available when it’s needed.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

 

Resources:

 

File attachments
Hazard_Alert_September_Weather-BCFSC-Sept_17-2019.pdf

Personal Flotation Devices: New OHS requirement to inspect and document

Safety Alert Type: 
Marine Operations
Location: 
All work areas on or adjacent to bodies of water
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2019-09-02
Company Name: 
BC Forest Safety Council
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

There is a new OHS Regulation from WorkSafeBC that requires inspection AND documentation of the inspection of inflatable personal flotation devices (PFDs) and lifejackets. This new regulation came into effect on June 3, 2019.

Section 8.29 of the OHS Regulation states: If workers use inflatable personal flotation devices or automatically inflatable lifejackets (examples shown in attached pdf), the employer must keep a record of all inspections made and maintenance performed on those PFDs or automatically inflatable lifejackets.

It is recommended that users follow the manufacturer’s inspection frequency.

Note: In addition to the new regulation (8.29), review these other Regulations related to buoyancy equipment:

  • 8.26 When required
  • 8.27 Compliance with standards
  • 8.30 Retroreflective material

Link to the OHS Regulations referenced above: https://www.worksafebc.com/en/law-policy/occupational-health-safety/searchable-ohs-regulation/ohs-regulation/part-08-personal-protective-clothing-and-equipment

Learnings and Suggestions: 

The Differences between a Lifejacket and PFD

A lifejacket is NOT the same as a personal flotation device (PFD), although in many cases they look very similar. The terms "lifejacket" and "personal flotation device (PFD)" are often used interchangeably but there are very important differences (see comparison table in attached pdf).

For more information on PFDs and Automatically Inflatable Lifejackets, visit the Canadian Red Cross’ web page on water safety: https://www.redcross.ca/training-and-certification/swimming-and-water-safety-tips-and-resources/swimming-boating-and-water-safety-tips/lifejackets-and-pfds

Additional Resources and Information:

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 
File attachments
OHS_Regulation_Bulletin-PFDs-September_2019.pdf

Log Truck rollovers on public roads

Safety Alert Type: 
Paved Roads
Location: 
Vancouver Island
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2019-09-06
Company Name: 
Mosaic Forest Management
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

So far in 2019 Mosaic has had 2 log trucks rollover on public roads, spilling their loads and impacting multiple lanes of traffic. In both cases no one was injured but they both had the potential for serious or fatal injuries to the drivers and members of the public. The root cause in both of these incidents was driving too fast.

Hauling logs on resource and public roads is a very demanding job that requires a combination of skill, experience, and good judgment to perform safely. While you cannot control how others on the road drive, it is critical that everyone drives in a manner that gives them the best chance to react to changing conditions or circumstances. Despite this many of us have a hard time not driving a little faster than we should. This extra speed takes away the wiggle room we have to react when another factor impacts what we are doing.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Review with all drivers of commercial vehicles and pickups the need to slow down and drive to posted speed limits and road conditions. Mosaic is in the process of outfitting all log trucks with an on-board GPS system, that in part will collect speeding and other driver behaviour metrics to give feedback to the drivers.

In addition some other recommended actions are:

  • Have all commercial vehicle drivers receive training in vehicle dynamics (for example the Anatomy of a Rollover course) specific to the type of vehicle they are driving
  • Ensure drivers are competent and qualified for the type of truck configuration and driving conditions they will encounter with a proper on-boarding and training program
  • Have all drivers be assessed through the BC Forest Safety Council driver endorsement program.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Tammie Wheeler, Safety Coordinator Tammie.Wheeler@MosaicForests.com

File attachments
Hazard_Alert-Log_Truck_Rollover_MosaicFM_Sept-6- 2019.pdf

Trees contacting high voltage lines while operating feller-buncher

Safety Alert Type: 
Mechanical Tree Falling
Location: 
Vancouver Island
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2019-09-06
Company Name: 
Mosaic Forest Management
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Mosaic has had 2 incidents so far this year where a fellerbuncher working adjacent to a powerline has caused a tree to fall and strike the line. There were no injuries in either incident, and the support systems were in place, with a Certified Utility Arborist (CUA) onsite, and a certificate of no reclose taken out on the line, to react safely to the incidents.

However the potential for serious injury is high anytime there is contact with a powerline.
In both of these cases the tree that contacted the line was relatively small and the operator was not fully following the safe work procedures.

Working adjacent to high voltage lines puts the operator in an upset condition. This work is often carried out by fellerbuncher operators who are used to working on their own but now have someone or multiple people watching what they are doing. This places additional pressure on the operator and increases their desire to complete that part of the job as quickly as possible to get back to their regular work.

Despite an on-site review with the utility provider, additional hazards or operationally difficult areas to work in may not be identified in the planning process. This puts the onus on the operators to recognize when to stop and request assistance from the CUA. 

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Despite significant focus and planning for working around high voltage lines, we continue to have incidents of trees and machines contacting lines. The following are preventative actions that should take place prior to and when working adjacent to powerlines:

  • Review entire work area with the utility owner and get their sign-off of the plan
  • Have a certified utility arborist (CUA) take out a certificate of no reclose on the line and communicate with the utility owner on the work plan
  • Immediately prior to starting work thoroughly walk the work area with the CUA and machine operator/faller and determine a detailed work plan. This would include areas where machine assistance is needed and to identify challenging trees or locations.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Tammie Wheeler, Safety Coordinator Tammie.Wheeler@MosaicForests.com

 

File attachments
Hazard_Alert-Powerline_Strike_MosaicFM_Sept-6-2019.pdf

Safety in the forest requires a team effort

Safety Alert Type: 
Worksites
Location: 
British Columbia
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2019-08-07
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: 

SAFETY IN THE FOREST REQUIRES A TEAM EFFORT

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

File attachments
Safety_in_the_forest_requires_team_work-BCTS-August_7-2019.pdf

Emergency evacuation from remote work site proves challenging

Safety Alert Type: 
Booming and Towing
Location: 
East Kootenay Region
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2019-08-27
Company Name: 
CANFOR
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Cruising Contractor was attempting to measure the diameter of a tree on the edge of a cliff. The ground gave way under his feet and he fell 5 metres.

Block access was a 6 kilometre ATV ride from the Forest Service Road. Communication was via satellite phone.

The worker was conscious but immobile and had to be evacuated from the block using a helicopter. SAR arrived on site within one hour.

It took nine people two hours to carry the worker out in basket stretcher, 750 metres over steep rough terrain.

It took six and a half hours to get the worker to hospital from the time 9-1-1 was called.Worker was assessed at the hospital with severe bruising and whiplash.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Potential Hazards

  • The workers had discussed dropping the plot prior to starting but decided to continue. The workers did not appropriately assess the risk.
  • Unstable terrain surrounding cliffs.
  • The worker’s hard hat stayed on his head for the fall, otherwise it would have resulted in a head injury as he hit his head hard.
  • A fall from heights presents risk of spinal injury, head injury and internal bleeding.
  • Working in remote areas increases time to get injured worker to medical care, even helicopter evacuations take several hours.

Preventative Actions

  • Review procedures for assessing hazards and risk to ensure workers know when it is unsafe and to drop the plot / refuse unsafe work.
  • Ensure maps provided to ALL contractors identify hazards (slopes, stand condition) and potential helipads (swamps, trails) prior to starting the block.
  • Identify communication, evacuation routes and review plan to evacuate an injured worker at preworks/tailgate safety meetings for ALL blocks.
  • Ensure that hard hats are secure on head, use chin strap or helmet style of hard hat if necessary.
  • Test communication at every block. Ensure batteries are fully charged and system is reliable.
  • Minimizing the “fact gathering time” for 9-1-1 and SAR crews to determine their hazards and the resources needed. This will reduce time to get worker to medical aid.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Kori Vernier RPF, Safety and Silviculture Coordinator, Woodlands - Canadian Forest Products Ltd. kori.vernier@canfor.com

 

File attachments
Emergency_Evacuation_Proves_Challenging__Aug_27-2019.pdf

Spontaneous combustion: Oily rags start fire in mechanic's shop

Safety Alert Type: 
Hazardous Materials
Location: 
U.S.A.
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2019-08-15
Company Name: 
Erickson Inc.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Aircrane mechanics were constructing wood boxes for consumables for their pod. They used Tung Oil to coat the boxes and disposed of the rags in the trash. The crew departed at the end of the day.

When they returned the next day, they discovered that a fire had started in the garbage can, which had consumed the trash can, and the heat had damaged a plastic fluorescent light cover and air conditioning vent in the ceiling. Luckily there was only minor damage, and no aircraft components were damaged. The Pod is being professionally cleaned due to the smoke that permeated it.

The crew chief elected to use Tung Oil because he believed that it would not be as dangerous as Linseed Oil and combust if left in the trash, which is why he did not caution the mechanics about throwing the rags in the trash can. Tung Oil has a flash point of 110 degrees fahrenheit, and because the pod is in a warm location, it is believed that the internal temperature of the pod exceeded that when the air conditioner was turned off.

Spontaneous combustion of oily rags occurs when rag or cloth is slowly heated to its ignition point through oxidation. A substance will begin to release heat as it oxidizes. If this heat has no way to escape, like in a pile, the temperature will raise to a level high enough to ignite the oil and ignite the rag or cloth. The fire from this can spread quickly to other combustibles and cause great damage.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Prevention of spontaneous combustion fires begins with good housekeeping. A clean work area can prevent a fire from spreading and getting bigger by not allowing the fire fuel to burn.

Also understanding the potential for self‐heating of rags soiled with oils such as linseed oil and turpentine is a key step in eliminating these preventable fires.

To properly and safely dispose of oily rags, use the following steps:

  • Use a container with a tight fitting lid. A metal can is preferable but a plastic can or zip lock bag can work if nothing else is available.
  • Place soiled and used rags inside and then fill the rest the way with water, seal the top and do not open it. This will prevent the oils from oxidizing, and thus keeping the rags from heating up and igniting.
  • Each location should have a procedure for disposing of oily rags, either through trash pickup or disposal locally. Oily rags should never be left in maintenance areas overnight

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Canadian Air-Crane Ltd., Greg Light, Chief Engineer greglight@air-crane.com

File attachments
Safety_Alert-Spontaneous_Combustion_Oily_Rags-Aug_15-2019.pdf

Dusty resource roads create driving hazards

Safety Alert Type: 
Resource Roads
Location: 
Donald, BC (north of Golden)
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2019-08-06
Company Name: 
Columbia Extreme Contracting Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Crew was driving down B-road in pickup truck. As they approached a logging truck from behind, visibility became poor due to extremely dusty road conditions. The pickup driver slowed down to 20 km/h.

The driver of the logging truck communicated over the radio that he would pull over to allow the pickup to pass. Almost immediately the pickup struck the rear end of the logging truck (see photos in attached pdf).

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  • When road conditions are poor for any reason, including dust and visibility hazards, radio communication is a must. Don’t hesitate to reach out to other vehicles and OVER-communicate, rather than under-communicate.
  • Be aware of your surroundings, including vehicles both in front and behind you. It is important when you are avoiding a hazard, you do not create another one. Stopping abruptly can cause problems for those following you, especially in situations with poor visibility.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Columbia Extreme Contracting Ltd. (250) 348-2234

File attachments
Hazard_Alert-Dusty_Roads_Create_Driving_Hazards-Columbia_Extreme_August_6-2019.pdf

Rock found on top of log truck load

Safety Alert Type: 
Yarding and Loading
Location: 
Three Valley Gap, Kootenays
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2019-07-23
Company Name: 
Gorman Group
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A short hemlock load was in a wood product manufacturer’s log yard to be unwrapped / unloaded when the operator noticed a large rock on top of the front bunk (see photo in attached pdf).

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  • Safety Concern: the rock is near the front of the bunk, at the top of the load and is not secured. There was potential for the rock to bounce free and fall off the load at any point in the journey from the block to the mill. Potential for damage to the truck / trailer, loading / unloading equipment, damage to other vehicles on the roadways, or serious injury / fatality to worker(s) or general public.
  • General Concern: a small amount of debris (bark and branches) is common in loads and is often unavoidable. Rocks are not acceptable in any load. While this was one rock on one load, a rock of this size placed on the load where it was, is an indicator of the care and attention taken at the cutblock with all loads.
  • Loader operators need to inspect the load before it leaves the bush as the log truck operator cannot see what is on top of the load.
  • Licensee has contacted and forwarded the pictures to the contractor regarding this issue. Licensee will have a face-to-face meeting with the supervisor and Loader Operator that loaded this specific load.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 
File attachments
Hazard Alert-Rock found on top of log load-Gorman Bros-July 23-2019.pdf
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