Large diameter retention trees can pose a hazard near roads

Safety Alert Type: 
Planning and Engineering
Location: 
Southern Interior region of BC
Company Name: 
MacLeod Forest Services Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Many worksites have a requirement for some trees to be retained on the block. These are often large diameter stems retained to meet environmental objectives. If the large diameter trees are left standing within two tree lengths of a road, they can pose a significant hazard to workers in following phases of harvesting operations (see photo in the attached pdf).

These trees have had their support removed but still have full canopies that catch the wind. Compared to snags, these trees have substantial weight that could cause serious injury or significant damage to any worker or machine they hit. Processors, loaders, truckers and parked crew vehicles are at increased risk due to longer exposure.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

• Licensee planners should consider requiring removal of all large diameter stems within two tree lengths of any road and adding this to all logging plans.

• Contractors should review plans with Licensee reps at block start up and try to ensure that large diameter stems within two tree lengths of any road are removed during the falling phase. Pushing these trees over with other machines after the bunchers have left is not the best way to deal with the problem.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Doug MacLeod, MacLeod Forest Services Ltd. 250-499-2785

File attachments
Large diameter retention trees can pose a hazard near roads.pdf
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