2013-10-21

Safety Alert Type: 
Booming and Towing
Location: 
British Columbia
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2013-10-21
Company Name: 
BC Forest Safety Council
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Fatality Alert

Sadly, the BC Forest Safety Council has learned of a direct harvesting fatality that occurred on October 21st.

This incident occurred at a cedar salvaging operation in a remote area north of Sayward. The exact cause of the injury is not known but one of worker’s jobs was bucking cedar logs. The injured worker was found by his partner who was working nearby. Unfortunately, the worker died before he could be transported to hospital.

The investigations are still in progress and additional information will be released as it becomes available.

This incident brings the number of direct harvesting fatalities to 9 for this year.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Although the causes of this incident have not been identified, it is important for the forest industry to examine their operations and make any necessary changes to prevent similar incidents.

  • Think of the worst case scenario and test your Emergency Response Plan for each new location. Do not rely on the standard plan for each area. How does it need to change if there is no road access, steep ground, poor weather or other barriers that prevent quick and safe medical evacuation?
     
  • Test your communication devices to make sure you can access emergency services. Do you have coverage for your mobile phone, satellite phone or radio? Be familiar with your location so you can give the emergency dispatcher step by step directions on how to get there.
     
  • Do not rely on one person to lead the emergency response. If the supervisor on site is injured, will the other workers know what to do? Build a team that knows what to do through regular practice of emergency procedures.
     
  • Have another look at your workplaces and identify those hazards that can lead to common forestry injuries. Here are some examples:
    1. Slips, trips and falls from elevation. Hazards: Loose bark on logs, snow and ice, jumping from the cab or tracks of machines.

       

    2. Workers being hit by trees, rocks, machinery and other objects. Hazards: Operations located directly above you on steep slopes (stacking), leaning or dead danger trees, or logs with stored energy that may be released when cut or moved.

       

    3. Muscle and joint injuries, sprains and strains. Hazards: Repetitive motions, awkward movements and improper lifting. No warm up of muscles and joints before starting work.
       

Resources:

  1. Personal Satellite Location Devices can be used to notify emergency services from
    remote locations.

    http://www.bcforestsafe.org/node/2457
     

  2. Need Ideas for Testing your Emergency Plans? Have a look at this innovation.
    http://www.bcforestsafe.org/innovations_first_aid_drills.html
     
  3. Chainsaw Training offered through the BC Forest Safety Council.
    http://www.bcforestsafe.org/basic_chainsaw
     

Click here for a pdf version of this document for printing and distribution.

File attachments
BCFSC-20131021-FatalityAlert.pdf
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