Alert of the Month May 2009 Preparing for the season

Location: 
Province of BC
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2009-05-01
Company Name: 
Alert of the Month May 2009 BC Forest Safety Council
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

In the next few months up to 7,000 seasonal silviculture workers will start travelling on roads and working on sites around the province. Tragically in 2008, three silviculture field workers died on the job. The start of BC’s interior planting season is a good time to take steps to prevent injuries and fatalities in 2009.

There are three steps to good management of new and returning workers whether in silviculture, or in any other forestry occupation: Orientation, training and supervision.
 
Orientation
 
Everyone returning to the field after a season off qualifies as a new or young worker under WorkSafeBC Regulation 3.23 and must receive an orientation before starting, even if they are a veteran worker.
 
If you are a SAFE Certified company, new employee orientation is part of your safety system. Now is the time to review it and make sure it is up to date. If you don’t have your own orientation process, or if you want to review yours, the Forest Safety Council has developed a basic checklist for documenting worker orientations. It is available on the safety forms page of the Council website: safety orientation checklist.
 
Training
 
A critical component of worker safety is training. Silvicultural field workers with specific job responsibilities must receive training for those tasks. Two examples are crew drivers and ATV operators. The Western Silvicultural Contractors’ Association (WSCA) has industry-developed courses available, including an ATV operator course endorsed by the Forest Safety Council. For more details on this and other training offered through the WSCA, call them at (604) 736-8660 or visit their website: www.wsca.ca.
 
Depending on your operation and client requirements, your workers may also need to be trained in S-100 Fire Suppression, First Aid, Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG), and Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS). If you have not already provided this, you will need to plan for this formal training before work begins.
 
Supervision
 
Good supervision ties the orientation and the training together. The BC Forest Safety Council and the WSCA both offer supervisor training, as do others. All good supervisor training has the same goal: clear, consistent, regular supervision of workers to ensure good, safe work. If you have not identified and trained your supervisors for the coming field season, now is the time to start. 

 

Learnings and Suggestions: 
 
Making it all work
 
Wondering how this works in the real world? Celtic Reforestation, a SAFE Certified company, provided some tips in this 2008 WorkSafeBC video: Celtic Reforestation new worker orientation. To view videos for all sectors, please visit the WorkSafeBC channel at: http://www.youtube.com/user/WorkSafeBC.
 

Find web links to this orientation information and other WSBC new worker orientation videos through this safety alert posted on the Council’s website at: www.bcforestsafe.org

For more information on this submitted alert: 

 

File attachments
To print a colour version of this alert click here.pdf
To print a faxable version of this alert click here.pdf
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