Tree falling hazards abound while working in snow

Location: 
Northern Vancouver Island
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2011-03-25
Company Name: 
Lemare Lake Logging Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

 

Hazard Types:

Snow Loads and Frozen Wood - These conditions make it difficult to fall a tree in any direction but where it is leaning or weighted. Consider this when planning the direction of fall. Snow loads along with frozen brittle wood can cause dangerous trees to fall unexpectedly.

Whiteouts - Whiteouts impair visibility to a point where you cannot see the tree falling. Overhead hazards such as limbs, hang ups, heavy falling clumps of snow and debris fallback are impossible to see. Falling snow can also block escape routes and cause disorientation.

(see attached pdf for photos)

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Key points to consider when establishing a safe work plan for working in snow conditions:

• Complete a tree assessment, check trees for snow load which could cause whiteouts, barber chairs, hang-ups, brushing or trees sitting back. Check for hidden and overhead hazards.

• Check work area for ground debris, stomp the snow down and check for debris that could be thrown back as the falling tree lands. Buck ground debris into shorter lengths to prevent this reaction.

• Determine an open area in which to fall the tree

• Always try to work the sequence of falling trees so that you can take cover behind another tree

• Take extra time to evaluate conditions after the tree has fallen

For more information on this submitted alert: 

For more information, contact Lemare Lake Logging Ltd., Port McNeill, BC 250-956-3123

File attachments
Tree falling hazards abound while working in snow.pdf
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