Saturated ground fails during road construction

Safety Alert Type: 
Road Building/Deactivation
Location: 
near Beaverdell, BC
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2017-04-27
Company Name: 
Pilot Point Forest Consultants
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A medium-sized excavator was preparing a pilot trail on a new road. Snow depth was over 60 centimetres on approximately 40% side slope and soil types encountered had been well-drained and stable sandy loam.

The hoe reached a point that the design identified as a three metre cut in solid rock which was down slope of a shallow-to-bedrock cleared area. It was observed by the operator that there was snowmelt flowing on exposed rock above the centerline.

As the hoe travelled beneath the bedrock clearing, a deep pocket of soil suddenly gave way and the hoe began to slide below the centerline in a mass of liquefied soil. The operator, who is very experienced, immediately arrested the down slope movement using his bucket and constructed a rough water bar to channel the water flow away from the hoe. By pulling the hoe with the stick/bucket and installing several water bars, he was able to retreat back up the trail toward the starting point.

All work was ceased and the project shut down until drier conditions prevailed. Had the operator not been able to arrest the downslope movement of the hoe, the machine could have slid about another 30 metres down the 30-40% slope to a saturated boggy site and become very stuck (see photos of the ground conditions in attached pdf).

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  1. The design cross sections indicated solid rock with a very shallow layer of overburden, but the soil was actually a deep pocket of saturated sandy loam. Soil types in cross sections are a “best guess” and can be very different than actual conditions. Always anticipate a surprise and be prepared for it by having a plan.
  2. Never work alone without the ability to summon assistance. Always ensure that your method of contact (radio, cell or satellite phone) works at your location and have scheduled check-in times.
  3. The area was very wet with melting snow and another spur just built had extreme muddy conditions. Determine what your limits are for constructing in adverse soil conditions and use wet weather shutdown criteria to know when to stop.
  4. The operator, with years of experience, had an intuition that the ground ahead would be very poor. Learn to trust your intuition, your inner or gut feelings. Your intuition can be the result of years of practice and experiences, and can come to you without even thinking.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Rick Johnson, BCTS Implementation Contractor pilotpnt@telus.net

 

File attachments
Safety_Alert-Saturated_Ground_Bank_Failure-Apr_27-2017.pdf

Log truck spills load, loaderman suffers broken knee cap

Safety Alert Type: 
Log Hauling
Location: 
BC Interior region
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2017-04-07
Company Name: 
CANFOR
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A truck driver spilled his load of logs coming down a steep & bumpy road, which then required the loaderman to come and reload the logs.

The driver blocked off a leak on the trailer brakes, which caused the brakes to release and the truck to move forward toward an embankment.

The truck rode over a few logs causing one of them to flip up and strike the loaderman who couldn’t get out of the way fast enough, resulting in a broken knee cap.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Potential Hazards:

  • Driving too fast for the steep & bumpy road conditions
  • Upset condition: spilled load & unexpected defective equipment (trailer air leak).
  • Inadequate assessment of hazard putting themselves in the “line of fire” of a truck on a slope that had the potential to move forward.

Preventative Actions:

  • Drivers are responsible for ensuring the safe condition of their load before leaving the loader
  • Drivers must take whatever time necessary, given any road condition, to arrive at their destination safely
  • Take the time to STOP & Think about what might happen and properly assess upset conditions before proceeding
  • Properly chock the wheels whenever the braking mechanism is compromised.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

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

Tyson.vondenSteinen@canfor.com

 

File attachments
Safety_Alert-Canfor-Spilled Load-Broken Knee Cap-April 7-2017.pdf

Driver outside cab struck by log during loading of his truck

Safety Alert Type: 
Yarding and Loading
Location: 
BC Interior region
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2017-01-05
Company Name: 
CANFOR
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A truck driver was making his way back to the truck cab after having just finished setting up the airlines. At this moment the loaderman swung the boom with a grapple full of logs while assuming the driver was inside the truck.

During the swing a 10” diameter log slipped out of the grapple and struck the driver. This resulted in lost time as the driver sustained serious injuries that included swollen foot & ankle, cracked ribs, and hematoma (severe bruising) in lower back.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Potential Hazards - The trucker was exposed to falling objects and moving equipment due to:

  • Not following safe loading procedures
  • Poor communication
  • Moving equipment despite not having visual contact with bystanders (i.e., trucker).
  • Complacency and rushing since it was the last load of the day.

Preventative Actions - The contractor has taken the following actions to prevent recurrence:

  • Every driver & loaderman has been informed that loading can only occur if the driver is now inside the cab
  • Drivers must notify loadermen by radio whenever they leave & re-enter the cab.

These procedures will be company policy going forward and will be reviewed with drivers & loadermen before every season. The incident & root cause will be reviewed with the OH&S Committee and with all drivers at their safety meeting to reinforce the importance of following these procedures.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Tyson von den Steinen, Canadian Forest Products Ltd (250) 962-3229 Tyson.vondenSteinen@canfor.com

 

File attachments
Safety_Alert-Canfor-Driver Struck By Log-Jan 25-2017.pdf

Machine Tips Over During Beaver Dam Removal

Safety Alert Type: 
Heavy Equipment
Location: 
BC Interior region
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2016-11-07
Company Name: 
CANFOR
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

An excavator operator was slowly dismantling a beaver dam by periodically halting work to allow water to flow at a rate that would not exceed the culvert flow capacity. At some point the road surface underneath the downhill track became too saturated with water and failed, causing the machine to slide down and tip over into the water.

Luckily the operator was able to exit the machine in time, however, the machine sustained significant damage.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Potential Hazards

Elevated risk due to the following factors:

  • Working alone near water under cold weather conditions
  • Working on unstable ground saturated with water
  • Working behind a large volume of stored water energy.

Preventative Actions

Developed “Working on, near, or above water” safe work procedures that includes the following:

  • A hazard assessment must be conducted ahead of time to ensure roads are drained in advance and don’t become saturated with water while equipment is on it
  • Any worker working on, near, or above water that poses a risk of drowning must wear a personal flotation device
  • Under no circumstance are workers to work on, near, or above water that poses a risk of drowning while considered alone.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

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

Tyson.vondenSteinen@canfor.com

 

File attachments
Safety_Alert-Canfor-Beaver Dam-November 7-2016.pdf

Pressure Washer Incident

Safety Alert Type: 
Hand and Power Tools
Location: 
Vanderhoof, BC
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2017-04-27
Company Name: 
Walter Neufeld Contracting Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

While a worker was using a hot water pressure washer, a co-worker needed a bucket of hot water.

The person using the pressure washer went to remove the pressure nozzle to fill the bucket and inadvertently triggered the wand, sending pressurized hot water out of the nozzle.

He was immediately taken to the hospital for assessment and treatment. The worker had a small cut near his ring finger.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

High pressure washing equipment can present a variety of hazards to workers. Understanding the hazards is the first step in reducing workers’ exposure. These hazards include:

  • WATER JETS - exposure to the high pressure water jet has the greatest potential to cause serious injury. The water jet can travel at speeds up to 3,300km per hour, and can slice through solid materials or damage any part of the human body. Even injuries that appear to be relatively minor can be fatal, as microorganisms can be injected into the body through the injury site along with air, water and debris.
  • HIGH VELOCITY IMPACT - Debris propelled by waterjets can injure eyes, skin, and body parts upon impact.
  • CHEMICAL EXPOSURE - Contact with hazardous chemicals is a risk while pressure washing.
  • MUSCULOSKELETAL INJURY - Workers are often required to work in awkward positions, lift heavy tools or materials and work with high reaction force. Workplace conditions are often wet, and increased slip hazards present themselves.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Valerie Dettwiler, Griffon Safety Solutions Ltd. (250) 567-7823

File attachments
Hazard_Alert_Pressure_Washer_Incident_April_27-2017.pdf

Risks with changing Resource Road Radio Frequency signs

Safety Alert Type: 
Resource Roads
Location: 
British Columbia
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2017-04-24
Company Name: 
BC Forest Safety Council
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Many resource roads have now been assigned standard resource road (RR) radio frequencies and signage will be in place to notify road users if these RR channels are in use.

Prior to starting work on these roads, make sure all vehicles involved have the correct channels installed. The RR channels are available to all mobile radio users, and can be obtained through commercial radio shops - provided the road users have a radio licence with the RR Appendix. These licences are issued by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED).

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Avoid changing the radio frequencies already assigned to a resource road. Changing the frequency from the assigned RR channel can lead to confusion and the potential for vehicles on the road to be on 2 different channels.

If there is a reason why the radio frequency must be changed (example - too much radio traffic on the assigned frequency), here is the link to the procedure to get the channel changed:

http://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/farming-natural-resources-and-industry/natural-resource-use/resource-roads/channelassignmentchgeproceduredec7-2015draft.pdf

For more information on this submitted alert: 

For more information regarding the RR channels or communication protocols contact:

1) A MFLNRO District Engineer within your area via Service BC 1-800-663-7867 or

2) The BC Forest Safety Council’s Transportation Safety Program 1-877-741-1060.

File attachments
Safety_Alert-Resource_Road_Radio_Frequency_Change-Apr_24-2017.pdf

The importance of keeping your rig clean: Log truck inspection reveals bunk mount failures “hidden” under road grime

Safety Alert Type: 
Log Hauling
Location: 
Campbell River, BC
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2017-04-08
Company Name: 
Fearless Contracting Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Fearless Contracting self-load truck was dispatched to a motor vehicle accident involving a log truck from another company which had lost its load.

While recovering the load, the driver noted that the cause of the accident seemed to be a weld failure on the bunk mount pad and reported this to his supervisor.

Mechanics were instructed to thoroughly inspect all trucks and in the process found one with a cracked weld developing on the mounting bracket.

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  • Thorough daily inspections by drivers supported by mechanical inspections are critical to ensure safe operation of a log truck
  • Regular washing is essential to reveal potential failures.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Ken Fear, Fearless Contracting Ltd. (250) 286-6630

File attachments
Safety_Alert_Fearless_Contracting_Ltd-April_8-2017.pdf

9-1-1: What you need to know when working in remote locations

Safety Alert Type: 
Worksites
Location: 
Remote camps that rely on satellite phones or VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) for outside communication
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2017-04-11
Company Name: 
Capacity Forest Management Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

When reviewing our ERP we found that calling 9-1-1 may not be as easy in a remote camp as it is when you are calling from a land line in town.

We contacted the 9-1-1 service directly and were told:

“We strongly recommend that you reach out to your satellite and internet phone providers to confirm their process for handling emergency calls.”

And

“The process for handling these types of calls can differ between companies with most using third party call centres as the first point of contact instead of having calls go directly through to local emergency services.”

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  • Consider contacting BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS), the organization responsible for dispatching ambulances throughout the province of BC, to learn what information they can share regarding injured workers in remote areas and how to transfer them to local hospitals. You can reach BCEHS toll free at 1-888-875-3256 or via email: pcqo@phsa.ca

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Gary Gallinger, RPF, Operations Planner - Capacity Forest Management Ltd. (250) 287-2120 Ext. 310 email:garygallinger@capfor.ca

 

File attachments
Safety_Alert_911_Service_in_Remote_Locations-Capfor-April_11-2017.pdf

Grizzly Bear Attack

Safety Alert Type: 
Wildlife encounter
Location: 
Draney Inlet (Central Coast) about 100 km north of Port Hardy
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2017-03-22
Company Name: 
Capacity Forest Management Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A worker was engineering for a helicopter harvesting cutblock when a grizzly bear attacked him.

Another worker was nearby and came to his aid, using bear spray to deter the bear. The worker was later airlifted to hospital to have his injuries treated.

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  • All field personnel should carry bear spray
  • Personnel must check the integrity and expiry of their bear spray
  • Send seasonal alerts for bear activity eg. when hibernation ends; during berry season
  • For helicopter development, map out the most accessible evacuation route.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Justin Lukey, Operations Manager - Capacity Forest Management Ltd. (250) 287-2120

File attachments
Safety_Alert_Grizzly_Bear_Attack-Capfor-March_22-2017.pdf

Silviculture worker loses part of ear to skin cancer

Safety Alert Type: 
Workers
Location: 
BC Interior Region
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2017-04-09
Company Name: 
BC Safe Forestry Program (courtesy of Jordan Tesluk)
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A silviculture worker was diagnosed with skin cancer, and part of his ear was removed.

Silviculture workers, including tree planters, spend long periods of time outside in the sun at the hottest time of year. Prolonged UV Exposure is recognized as causal to skin cancer.

Workers should know there are different types of skin cancer, including Basal Skin Cancer and potentially fatal Squamous Cell Skin Cancer that are most frequently found on sun exposed skin such as face, neck, and hands. Malignant Melanoma is less common than other skin cancers, but growing in frequency, more dangerous, and potentially fatal unless detected and treated at an early stage.

People can have different levels of vulnerability to skin cancers, based on their skin tone, family history, and the state of their immune system.

(See attached pdf for a personal story on the increased risk of skin cancer for silvicultural workers.)

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  • Employers should educate workers about skin cancer, and the factors that can increase personal risk
  • Workers should cover skin with high SPF sunscreen, wide brimmed hats, and clothing with a high SPF
  • Working with no shirt on for long periods should be strongly discouraged
  • Workers with unusual lumps of growths should immediately consult a physician
  • Extra care should be taken during summer days of peak exposure, including days of light overcast
  • Workers should be encouraged to check their skin frequently and ask for help in checking hard to see areas such as back and neck.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Canadian Dermatology Association web page on sun safety:

http://www.dermatology.ca/programs-resources/resources/sun-safety/

 

File attachments
Safety_Alert-Skin_Cancer-Apr-9-2017.pdf
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