SLIPPING HAZARD: Caulk boots on rocky ground leave planter with broken wrist

Safety Alert Type: 
Rivers Inlet (coastal BC)
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
Company Name: 
Evergreen Forest Services Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

It was a clear, dry day as a tree planter was working a steep rocky cut block in one of B.C.’s mainland inlets. He’s a strong planter with 5 years’ experience in planting this type of challenging terrain.

It was the very end of the work day and the planter was heading back onto the block to help a buddy plant his last few trees. As usual it had been a grueling day, as this type of ground is very physically demanding. He had very recently changed his spikes so that his caulk boots were nice and sharp.

The planter began his descent from the logging road onto the block. The slope averaged about 60% but there were pitches in excess of 80%. The land below the road was covered in rocks cast over the side when the road was built, plus scattered slash and logging debris (see photos in attached document).

He stepped onto a large boulder and his sharp caulks skidded on the rock causing him to fall down and into a hole. He landed heavily and broke his wrist.

When interviewed he said that he probably shouldn’t have gone down into this challenging piece of land at the end of the day when he was tired and hungry.

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  • Caulks can be a hazard when walking on rock as they make it very easy to slip and skate like you are on roller skates.
  • You have the right to refuse any work you think is unsafe; any work you determine puts you in imminent danger of injury.
  • Remember that there are certain times of the day when you are tired and perhaps you haven’t eaten for a while so your blood sugar is low. These are the times when you really need to focus and make sure that every step you take is a safe one, that you have tested every step and every handhold and always take the safest route, not the fastest one.
  • Do you have your whistle or hand held radio at the ready so you could call for help if this happened to you?


For more information on this submitted alert: 

Dave Jenkinson, Evergreen Forest Services Ltd. egn@netidea.com 

File attachments
Safety_Alert_Evergreen Forest Services-2016-04-10.pdf
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