Wasp nests and ear bud headphones don’t mix!

Location: 
Comox Lake area (Courtenay, B.C.)
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2011-09-15
Company Name: 
Timberline Reforestation (2004) Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A tree planter was just completing a planting run on a moderately steep hillside when he found himself surrounded by a swarm of wasps from an underground nest that he had disturbed. The planter fled the swarm by running across the side of the hill but a missed step on unstable footing resulted in the planters right knee buckling.

The planter will need physiotherapy and probably surgery to correct the injury. At the time of the incident the planter was wearing ear bud headphones listening to an Ipod and was not able to hear the wasps as they first exited their nest. This was contrary to company safety policy.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Workers have to be made aware of the hazards of not being able to hear their surroundings and of the importance of other workers and management to be able to get their attention immediately. Management has to be diligent in ensuring workers are following proper safety procedures.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Don Williams, Timberline Reforestation (2004) Ltd. 250-337-2225

File attachments
Wasp nests and ear bud headphones don’t mix.pdf
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