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Rattlesnake Encounter on Forest Trail

Safety Alert Type: 
Wildlife encounter
Location: 
Horn Creek (near Keremeos, BC)
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2018-06-07
Company Name: 
Gorman Bros. Lumber Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A worker unexpectedly happened upon a rattlesnake on a trail at the end of the day.

The snake was well blended in so they both startled each other. The snake lunged at the worker but did not strike. The worker backed up and the snake slithered off.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

From the WildSafeBC website: https://wildsafebc.com/rattlesnake/

The Northern Pacific Rattlesnake: Habitat

Found in our province’s dry south-central interior valleys. They live in a variety of habitats, from open forests to riparian areas. Often you will find them among sage brush and antelope brush in shrub-steppe habitat. They overwinter in communal dens (often with other snake species) found in talus slopes and rock slides, which usually face south-west. They spend all winter in these dens, from approximately October to April.

Rattlesnake Safety: Bites

Rattlesnake bites are very rare in British Columbia and are almost never fatal. Most snake bites are due to people deliberately trying to handle or harm rattlesnakes. The most important thing to remember is to get the victim to the hospital.

If you are bitten:

1. Stay calm and remove yourself from the area. Move slowly or be carried.

2. Remove any constrictive clothing or jewelry, which otherwise would act as a tourniquet and concentrate the venom and prevent fresh blood from entering the area (which is not desirable).

3. Go to the nearest hospital. Phone ahead if possible, or phone 911. Preferably, have someone else drive you.

4. Mark swelling with lines and times every 10 minutes or so. This will help doctors assess the severity of the bite.

5. If necessary, you may clean the bite area to prevent further infection.

6. Do not:

• Apply a tourniquet

• Make an incision

• Attempt to suck out the venom

• Ice the wound

• Kill the snake

• Bring the snake to the hospital. Snakes are protected by law and doctors do not need to identify a snake to treat snakebites in BC.

Working safely in rattlesnake habitat:

If you know you are working in known rattlesnake habitat, be observant and follow these rules for safety:

Clothing

• Wear long loose pants

• Use high leather or rubber boots while working in tall grass or shrubs.

Actions

• Don’t put your hands and feet where you cannot see them

• Use a stick to turn over an object under which you think a snake could be hidden

• Be careful stepping over large logs and rocks- step around and not over

• Familiarize yourself with rattlesnake ecology and timing of behaviours. (ie: are snakes in hibernation? Are you likely to be working near potential den sites or rookeries?)

Encounters - If you hear a rattlesnake:

• Stop immediately

• Locate the snake

• If you are close to the snake, remain still and allow the snake to calm down and back away

• Once you are one snake body length away, step back and go around the snake.

Remember, all snakes including rattlesnakes are protected under BC’s Wildlife Act. It is illegal to kill or harm snakes, or to remove them from the wild.

If you encounter a dead rattlesnake, don’t touch it! The biting reflex remains intact even after death.

Do not expect all rattlesnakes to rattle at you. Their first response to disturbance is to stay camouflaged and hide. Their second response is to escape. They usually will only rattle when cornered, surprised or when they feel very threatened. Striking is usually a last resort. Warning signs of a strike include a body in a coil, head slightly raised with the neck in an ‘s’ shaped curve, and rattling.

Pets

If you are concerned about your pet’s safety while out playing or hiking, keep it on a leash while walking in rattlesnake habitat. Snakebite can be serious for small animals, but larger animals often recover with treatment for pain, swelling, and infection. If you believe your pet has been bitten by a rattlesnake, seek veterinary care immediately.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Doug Campbell, Gorman Bros. Lumber Ltd. (250) 768-5131

File attachments
Safety_Alert-Gorman_Bros-Rattlesnake_Encounter_June_7-2018.pdf

Log truck with ineffective brakes forced to ditch to avoid children

Safety Alert Type: 
Log Hauling
Location: 
Northern Interior
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2018-01-21
Company Name: 
CANFOR
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A logging truck driver was descending a steep decline on a logging road. Upon attempting to slow down he applied his brakes, however, he felt that the brakes did not respond as he was expecting.

He continued to drive down the hill without effective brakes for 3.5 kms; at this point he had no braking control over the vehicle.

The driver noticed children ahead walking near a bus stop so he decided to drive the truck straight into private property, causing considerable damage, rather than putting the children at risk.

Potential Hazards

  • Mechanical issues associated with the incident were due to improper maintenance
  • Driver did not conduct proper pre-trip inspections
  • Use of engine retarder and compression brakes on full while travelling on icy roads.

 

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  • Always follow manufacturer’s recommended maintenance procedures and schedules.
  • Always remove debris and dirt from around air lines to adequately inspect for defects.
  • The use of brake line anti-freeze in air lines during winter months must follow the industry standard:

- A (50:1) ratio of 50 parts brake line anti-freeze is mixed with 1-part air tool oil.
- A (one) tablespoon or 1/8 ounce is added to the “emergency” or “red” line per 15,000 km. service intervals, and only in winter months.

  • Always STOP once you suspect something is “not right” to determine if your truck is safe to operate.
  • Chains should be used whenever the driver has concerns with vehicle traction.

Follow up questions to ask your driver:
1. Do you know when your truck was last inspected and/or serviced by authorized personnel?
2. How do you descend an icy road with your compression brake or engine retarder?
3. How do you ensure your brakes are working properly?

For more information on this submitted alert: 
File attachments
Safety_Alert-Canfor_contractor_safety_alert_brake_lines-Jan_21-2018.pdf

CLOSE CALL: Blasting

Safety Alert Type: 
Road Building/Deactivation
Location: 
Vancouver Island
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2018-04-25
Company Name: 
Island Timberlands LP
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

The road construction lead operator (*1) granted access to Forest Planners stopped at a “Blasting Area. No Entry Without Clearance” sign.

The Planner’s intention was to drive to 8km (*2) on the mainline and then into a spur to park at (*3), and then walk up into their work site (*4).

The road construction lead assumed the Planners were working at 8km on the mainline, outside the blast danger zone. The Planners were given clearance and assumed they could work off the spur. The Planners were approximately 100 metres below the blast when the shot was detonated (*5).

*Note: refer to map on page 2 of the attached PDF.

Contributing factors:

  • The spur was not checked or barricaded prior to blast as it was deemed too brushy to access.
  • The Planners had outdated maps for the area that did not show the new road construction.
  • There were two active road construction sides in the area, each with a drill.
  • No clear work plan was communicated between the parties. Too many assumptions were made and not enough questions asked to clarify the work plans.

 

Learnings and Suggestions: 

  • The Blaster should ensure all spurs within the blast danger zone are checked, guarded and/or barricaded prior to initiating a blast.
  • Forest workers planning to work in/near an active road construction area will meet (face-to-face) with the lead operator to develop a clear work and communication plan.
  • Planners should use the most up-to-date mapping as part of their office / pre-work review.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Chris Vukovic (250) 468-6826

File attachments
Safety Alert_BlastingCloseCall_Island_Timberlands_April_25-2018.pdf

HARD HAT RECALL: Honeywell Fibre-Metal E2 and North Peak A79 models

Safety Alert Type: 
Workers
Location: 
North America
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2018-04-24
Company Name: 
Health Canada, Honeywell
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

This recall involves Honeywell type 1 Fibre-Metal E2 and North Peak A79 hard hats sold in a variety of different colours.

Hazard identified: The hard hats can fail to protect users from impact, posing a risk of head injury. As of April 11, 2018, the company has received no reports of incidents in Canada, and no reports of injuries.

Approximately 65,550 units of the affected products were sold in Canada. The products were sold in stores at industrial protective equipment distributors in Canada and through their e-commerce portals and online at Amazon from April 2016 to January 2018.

Place of origin: Manufactured in Mexico.

Products with the following description, manufacture date and mold identification number are included in the recall:

Product Description #1 - Fibre-Metal E2 hard hat

Manufacture Date - April 2016; May 2016; December 2017; January 2018

Mold Identification Number - ALL

Product Description #2 - North Peak A79 hard hat

Manufacture Date - April 2016 through January 2018

Mold Identification Number - 4

"North by Honeywell", the mold identification number, and the manufacture date can be found on the underside of the hat's brim. The date code is in a clock format: The numbers around the circle correspond to the 12 months of the year, the arrow points to the month of manufacture and the numbers on either side of the arrow represent the last two digits of the year.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled hard hats and contact Honeywell to receive a product credit or voucher equal to the purchase price of the recalled hard hat.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Consumers may contact Honeywell toll-free at 1-888-212-6903 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or online and click on Voluntary Product Recall for more information.

This recall is also posted on the OECD Global Portal on Product Recalls website. You can visit this site for more information on other international consumer product recalls.

BC Hydro May 2018 safety update: Forestry and tree trimming incidents

Safety Alert Type: 
Other
Location: 
British Columbia
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2018-05-10
Company Name: 
BC Hydro
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

BC Hydro's May 2018 safety update includes a number of incidents related to forestry work and tree trimming activities

  1. Logging equipment was driving along a newly constructed access road. A communication line was contacted, and when the tension was released, the BC Hydro high voltage conductor came loose from the top of the pole.
  2. Equipment at a sawmill was clearing snow and struck a BC Hydro pole, causing it to break. The circuit remained energized and the wire did not fall to the ground.
  3. A logging truck contacted a transformer pole causing an outage and an oil spill. A BC Hydro crew safely removed the driver from vehicle.
  4. A logging contractor was removing trees along a power line. As the operator moved to reposition the arm the top half of the tree snapped off and fell onto the high voltage line, pulling it off the insulator.
  5. A feller buncher was working adjacent to a distribution line with multiple stems in the buncher when one made contact with the top of the blade and launched about twenty feet, landing on a BC Hydro high voltage line.
  6. A logging truck contacted a communication line, which wrapped around a BC Hydro transmission line.

 

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Visit BC Hydro's web site for additional information about safety around trees and power lines:

https://www.bchydro.com/safety-outages/trees-power-lines.html

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Marc Spencer, Public Safety (604) 528-1952

marc.spencer@bchydro.com

 

Tailgate Meeting Guide: Avoiding Collisions With Wildlife

Safety Alert Type: 
Wildlife encounter
Location: 
British Columbia
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2018-04-30
Company Name: 
Road Safety At Work
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Many BC motorists are exposed to the hazards of colliding with wildlife. Crashes result in injuries and fatalities to drivers and passengers and millions of dollars of property damage losses for vehicle owners and insurers.

Plus, these collisions cause traumatic suffering and life-ending injuries to thousands of animals each year. Use the information and resources below to lead a discussion with your employees about vehicle-wildlife collisions and what can be done to prevent them.

Get the facts

Each year in BC:

  1. There are 11,000 reported vehicle-wildlife collisions. Studies indicate only about 50% of vehicle-wildlife crashes are reported.
  2. These collisions result in 3 to 5 human fatalities and injuries to another 600+ people.
  3. About 80% of collisions involve deer; the remaining 20% involve moose, elk, bears, coyotes, etc.

 

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Tips for preventing collisions with wildlife

Know where to expect wildlife

  • Along two-lane highways and connector roads from rural and suburban areas
  • Where creeks and water sources intersect roads
  • Near good habitat and forage – green belts, parks, fields and golf courses
  • Along long, wide, straight stretches of highway

Know when to expect wildlife

  • Daily peaks – For most BC communities the peak periods for wildlife collisions occur between 5:00 and 8:00 pm and 6:00 and 8:00 am. Low light levels and reduced driver visibility combined with increased animal activity are key factors during those peak periods.
  • Seasonal peaks - Animals have seasonal habits associated with feeding and reproductive cycles. Animal movements – and their roadway crossings – change with the seasons. Collisions with deer frequently occur in spring (May) and fall (October – November). Collisions with moose often occur in winter (December and January) during deep snow conditions and in June and July when cow moose seek roadside mineral licks to increase their sodium intake.

Adjust your driving habits

  • Slow down when you see wildlife crossing warning signs. The BC Ministry of Transportation gathers data on collision locations and places signs in areas where collisions have been common.
  • In wildlife corridors, slow down at dusk and dawn. This provides you with additional time to react correctly when an animal comes onto the roadway.
  • Slow down even more when you see an animal at the roadside. Animal reactions are unpredictable – just as they look to be leaving the roadway, they can quickly turn and dart in front of you. And, where there is one animal there is often another not far behind. Be ready should it jump into your path.
  • Limit exposure by reducing travel at dusk and dawn. If your route intersects a known wildlife corridor, adjust your schedule to avoid travelling through those areas when the risk is greatest.
  • Actively watch for wildlife. When you see wildlife, flash your headlights or hazard lights to alert others.

Tailgate Meeting Discussion Topics and Activities

  1. Chat with the crew to identify locations of wildlife crossings and frequent wildlife collisions along the routes they travel. If the group is unsure you may be able to follow up with the local highway maintenance contractor, or speak with others who know the road.
  2. Ask if any employees have experienced a near miss with wildlife. Have them explain the circumstances and what they did to avoid the crash, and what they would do differently.
  3. Discuss how supervisors and drivers can work together to adjust routes and schedules to minimize exposure during peak periods and at frequent crossing / collisions locations.
  4. Review manoeuvres drivers can use to avoid colliding with an animal.
  5. Use resources at the links below to gather and provide more information.

Resources

Wildlife Collision Prevention Program

RoadWatchBC

Workplace Safety North

Wildlife Roadsharing Resource Centre

BC Ministry of Transportation

American Automobile Association

Frequently Asked Questions WCPP

Wildlife Myths and Misconceptions

Watch a YouTube video: Avoiding Vehicle - Wildlife Collisions

To report an animal that’s been struck, use the Drive BC – Report a Highway Problem web page, or phone a Conservation Officer at 1-877-952-7277.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Rick Walters, Fleet Safety Program Manager

Road Safety At Work is a not-for-profit initiative managed by the Justice Institute of BC (JIBC) and funded by WorkSafeBC to help employers improve the safety of workers who drive for work or who work at the roadside.

File attachments
Avoiding_Wildlife_Collisions-April_2018.pdf

HAZARD ALERT: Springtime flood and landslide risks are elevated

Safety Alert Type: 
Weather
Location: 
Resource roads and the back country throughout BC
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2018-04-20
Company Name: 
BC Forest Safety Council
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Flooding and landslide risks are elevated as springtime rain and warmer temperatures increase snowmelt.

Brief your workers on the risks of flooding and landslides, especially those who may not have experienced flood conditions before. This includes tree planting crews, layout crews and road maintenance crews who may be working on repairing the damage caused by winter weather.

Plan work activities while considering forecasted flood levels and the potential for landslides. Avoid work near watercourses and steep areas that may be prone to slides

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Here are some of the risks to discuss:

  • Road washouts can occur quickly and may surprise drivers. Consider that roads may wash out behind crews, leaving them stranded.
  • Silviculture and field crews often cross and work adjacent to streams and rivers. Postpone work next to water until conditions improve.
  • The soil next to bridges and culverts may be eroded by heavy rains and high stream flows. Sometimes this erosion cannot be easily seen. Be cautious and assess crossings from a safe distance before driving over them.
  • Travelling at night during flood conditions is not recommended. The limited visibility can result in not being able to spot washouts in time to stop.
  • The heavy rains can cause water saturated soils which are prone to landslides. Fast flowing streams and rivers can also erode the base of slopes causing them to slide. Avoid work in steep areas with weak soils until conditions improve.
  • Industrial camps are often set up near streams so there is easy access to a water source. Camps located in these areas can be at risk for flooding and may need to be relocated.
  • Crews responsible for inspecting and repairing roads and water crossings need to be extremely careful. Don’t risk getting too close and being caught up in fast rising or fast flowing water.
  • Make sure your emergency response plans include procedures on how to respond to severe weather incidents.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Resources and Additional Information:

For river conditions check: http://bcrfc.env.gov.bc.ca/warnings/

Road conditions, mudslides bulletins at: http://www.drivebc.com/mobile/pub/events/majorevents.html

Weather warnings: https://www.weather.gc.ca/warnings/index_e.html?prov=bc

File attachments
Hazard_Alert-Springtime_Flood_and_Slide_Risks_April-2018.pdf

Reach cable fails during trailer loading

Safety Alert Type: 
Heavy Equipment
Location: 
Grand Forks, BC
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2018-04-02
Company Name: 
INTERFOR
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

While attempting to load a trailer at a trailer hoist, the truck driver noticed the reach was not in position. The truck driver came out from the protective structure operating area to manually push the reach into position.

While standing to the left of the reach, the reach cable failed, and the trailer reach struck the truck driver in the left wrist and leg before hitting the ground.

The impact resulted in a fractured wrist and soft tissue damage to the leg.

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  • Do not put yourself ‘in the bite’
  • Call for assistance when upset conditions occur
  • Complete pre & post trip inspections on logging trucks, and correct identified issues
  • Schedule routine maintenance tasks to replace worn cables
  • Do not leave the protected structure while trailers are elevated.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Kait Baskerville, Kootenay Operations. Email:

Kait.Baskerville@interfor.com

 

 

File attachments
Safety_Alert-Interfor-Reach_Cable_Fail_Apr_2-2018.pdf

Log truck driver suffers head injury strapping bundles while rig being loaded

Safety Alert Type: 
Yarding and Loading
Location: 
British Columbia
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2018-03-09
Company Name: 
CANFOR
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

The loader operator started loading the third bundle after assuming that the driver was safely back inside the truck after having come out to verify trailer weights. In an attempt to “save” time, the driver started wrapping the other bundles while the loader operator was loading logs.

The loader operator attempted to free a log that wasn’t loaded properly and dangling from the last bundle. The dangling log broke while the loader operator was handling it and part of it struck the driver who was on the other side of the load; the driver suffered serious head injuries and was immediately transported to hospital.

Potential Hazards: Exposure to falling objects and moving equipment because:

  • Not following safe procedures
  • Not staying clear in “safe zone”
  • Wrapping while being loaded
  • Poor or no communication
  • No visual contact
  • Complacency and rushing.

 

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  • Drivers must stay in a “safe zone” while being loaded, which is usually inside the cab or in location that is well out in front of the truck
  • Drivers must let the loader operator know before exiting the truck or leaving the “safe zone”
  • Ensure that there is a single radio channel well established for driver and loader operator to communicate with each other
  • Loader operators must not load unless they can make visual contact with the driver or have received confirmation they are clear.

 

Note: See page 2 of attached PDF for Loader Wrapper/Binder Assist Procedures, as developed by the Trucking & Harvesting Advisory Group.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 
File attachments
Safety_Alert_Canfor-log_loading_March_9-2018.pdf

NEAR MISS: Worker-initiated snow slide in remote location

Safety Alert Type: 
Planning and Engineering
Location: 
British Columbia
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2018-03-14
Company Name: 
CANFOR
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Contractor was completing recce work in an area that was only accessible by helicopter. Crews were working on south facing slopes that were in excess of 40% with poor snow conditions.
 

The crew caused several snow sluffs & slides while walking along the side slopes that were big enough to knock a worker downhill. The largest slide was 15-20m wide and over 1m deep and travelled at least 100m down toward the stream below the block.
 

Potential Hazards:

  • Loss of radio contact with fellow workers
  • Changed or blocked access
  • Long time waiting to be rescued in difficult/remote terrain
  • Serious injury or death from being caught in avalanche.

 

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  • Consult www.avalanche.ca for region specific snow conditions and avalanche risk before heading out to the field
  • Review your Avalanche Safety Plan prior to conducting work in mountainous snow covered terrain
  • Monitor snow conditions throughout the day and change plans accordingly
  • Be aware of the following conditions that increase the potential of avalanche:

o Recent rapid rise in above freezing temperatures and or wet conditions;
o Recent loading of snowfall 30cm or more in the last 48hrs;
o Evidence of slab avalanches in the area;
o Signs of snowpack instability including “whumpfs”, shooting cracks, or drum-like sounds;
o 30 degree slopes or greater;
o Evidence of avalanche history, such as sparsely treed area or open forest on alpine slopes;
o Strong winds causing blowing snow and slab development;
o Sustained heavy snowfall >2cm per hour.
 

ALWAYS avoid the area and adjust plans if there is any risk of avalanche.

For more information on this submitted alert: 
File attachments
Safety_Alert_Canfor-Avalanche_March_14-2018.pdf
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