Cougar sighting a reminder to be prepared

Safety Alert Type: 
Wildlife encounter
Location: 
Rutherford Creek, 16.2km (Sea-to-Sky Corridor)
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2015-08-26
Company Name: 
Chartwell Consultants Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Two workers had just finished setting up equipment for a bridge site plan survey when they turned to see a cougar on the road about 30 metres away. The cougar sat for a few moments before bolting into the woods.

The workers returned to the truck, ensuring they made a lot of noise. Back at the truck, they fired off a few bear bangers and then continued to work, while keeping watch. The work day was completed without further sightings or incident.

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  • Setting up next to a noisy, fast flowing creek probably prevented the cougar from hearing the workers before it came upon them. The cougar’s behavior indicated that it was not predatory. The workers believed they may have startled it.
  • Ensure that workers are staying aware of their surroundings, particularly in the morning and evening. When working next to a loud stream, ensure that you are making noise to warn off and avoid surprising any wildlife in the area.
  • In this case, one of the bear bangers used was old and turned out to be defective – ensure that all equipment is in good condition before going out into the field.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Kari Zuehlke Safety coordinator, Chartwell Consultants Ltd. (604) 973-1100 kzuehlke@chartwell-consultants.com

File attachments
Safety_Alert_Chartwell_Consultants_2015-8-26.pdf

Rock hits excavator operator's eye through open front window of machine's cab

Safety Alert Type: 
Road Building/Deactivation
Location: 
near Port McNeill, BC
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2015-08-23
Company Name: 
Interfor - Coastal Woodlands Div.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

While building a road an excavator operator was struck in the eye by a rock that shot through an open front window.

Hazard: Open windows and doors pose a hazard to machine operators as falling, flying, or intruding objects can enter the cab unexpectedly.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Actions to Prevent a Re-Occurrence:

  • Windows and doors must be closed when actively working. Exceptions may include equipment mobilization or short duration precision-work such as bridge and wood box culvert construction. However, prior to commencing these activities a risk assessment must be completed to ensure operator safety.
  • Fix broken air conditioners so operators are not tempted to open a window or door that was meant to protect them.
  • If working with an open crawler tractor, do not put machine in a situation where material can enter the cab.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Rob Ravai, RPF, Interfor, Coastal Woodlands Division, Rob.Ravai@Interfor.com  (250) 286-5116

File attachments
Safety_Alert_Interfor-Coastal Woodlands_2015-8-23.pdf

Over height log trucks strike construction scaffold

Safety Alert Type: 
Log Hauling
Location: 
Highway 19 Nimpkish River Bridge (Port McNeill, BC)
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2015-08-24
Company Name: 
Certified Coating Specialists Inc.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

The Nimpkish River Bridge (also known as the “Green Bridge”) south of Port McNeill, is currently undergoing regular maintenance. Scaffolding has been erected to provide work platforms for the painters and sandblasters.

Although a height restriction of 4.5 metres is in place and clearly marked with signage, the overhead scaffold structure has been struck twice by logging trucks that are exceeding this limit, resulting in damage to the support system of the structure.

Danger to bridge workers: As the overhead structure supports a work platform, this exposes any workers on the structure to serious injury should the structure collapse as a result of being struck by over height traffic.

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  • Traffic control personnel will be monitoring loads, and additional signage is in place.
  • To avoid further incidents, communication of the height restriction is required not only to the truck drivers, but to log loaders and other individuals responsible for log truck load sizes, to ensure that any vehicles that will need to utilize the Green Bridge remain at less than 4.5 meters.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Dustin Vipond, Certified Coating Specialists Inc. (250) 713-4505

File attachments
Safety_Alert_Nimpkish River Bridge_2015-8-24.pdf

HAZARD: Short logs on top of loads

Safety Alert Type: 
Yarding and Loading
Location: 
Vancouver Island
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2015-08-27
Company Name: 
Island Timberlands
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Short logs are challenging to load. Ensure you take the time to secure them properly. Short logs that are unsecured have come off loads during transit and unloading, which could have resulted in serious injuries (see photos in attached pdf).

Unsecured short logs also cause safety concern upon unloading at dry land sorts as logs may fall off or out of grapples.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Short logs and chunks must not be placed on top of the load when there would be a possibility of them rolling off in transit or when the load is dumped. Ensure you inspect your load prior to departure.

COMMUNICATION IS KEY – If you create a load that is double tiered or contains potential hazards that are secured, let the truck driver know. The driver can then communicate that information to the sort upon arrival and before being unloaded.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Island Timberlands, Northwest Bay office (250) 468-6810

File attachments
Safety_Alert_Island_Timberlands_2015-8-27.pdf

Cougar encounter in West Kootenay region

Safety Alert Type: 
Wildlife encounter
Location: 
Koch Creek area
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2015-08-14
Company Name: 
Interfor
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Development field workers were alerted to the presence of a cougar by their dog. The cougar mauled the dog but the wildcat eventually ran away when workers yelled and threw rocks at it.

Hazard: Cougars can be elusive and stealthy, allowing them to come into close proximity with field workers. Cougars accustomed to wolves may behave aggressively with dogs.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Actions to Prevent a Re-Occurrence:

  • The best line of defense is becoming aware of when a cougar (or bear) has entered your immediate working area.
  • A “bush-dog” trained to alert or bark when they see wildlife is a benefit. However, an untrained dog that is more like a house-pet can be a detriment to field workers as they may attract the interest of cougars, without alerting workers to their presence.
  • Keep an eye out for signs of wildlife, like prints, scat or other markings.
  • Always carry a means of defense such as pepper spray, bear bangers or air horns. Continually make noise while working in the bush to avoid coming upon or startling wildlife.
  • Try to work in partners or in close proximity to other workers.
  • Relocate if a cougar lingers in your working area.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Ron Palmer, RPF, Interfor, Interior Operations, Ron.Palmer@Interfor.com (250) 265-8543

File attachments
Safety_Alert_Interfor_2015-8-14.pdf

HAZARD: Rocks dislodging from log trucks in BC's Interior regions

Safety Alert Type: 
Log Hauling
Location: 
Grand Forks, Castlegar, Adams Lake Divisions (Interfor)
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2015-08-04
Company Name: 
Interfor
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Several logging trucks were seen with rocks wedged between logs. The public have also complained about rocks flying out from logging trucks on public road systems.

Hazard: Loadermen can accidentally place rocks into loads, which can then fall out during transport.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Actions to Prevent a Re-Occurrence:

  • To prepare roadside log deck storage areas, use a brow log to store logs above ground level.
  • When lifting logs that have been in contact with the ground, drop logs onto the brow log to remove rocks prior to loading onto trucks.
  • Drivers are responsible for their load and are expected to view all sides of load prior to driving.
  • Before entering a highway, drivers should inspect the spaces between dual tires for lodged rocks and other debris.
  • Replace torn-off mud flaps to prevent rocks from flying out from dual tires.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Lana Kurz, RPF, Interfor, Interior Operations, Lana.Kurz@Interfor.com (250) 679-6838

File attachments
Safety_Alert_Interfor_2015-8-4.pdf

Cable Come-Along breaks, striking worker

Safety Alert Type: 
Hand and Power Tools
Location: 
Castlegar, BC
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2015-08-01
Company Name: 
Interfor
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A quarter-inch cable Come-Along was being used to assist with hoisting. The cable was
inadvertently caught, stretched and broke while under tension, which caused it to fly up and strike a worker in the face. Medical aid was sought, and the worker was later released to the worksite.

Hazard: Cable Come-Alongs can be compromised and break especially if pinched or if poorly maintained. A cable break can have huge “struck-by” consequences to the workers involved.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Actions to Prevent a Re-Occurrence:

  • Avoid using cable Come-Alongs; opt for the more reliable chain-type.
  • Anticipate worst-case scenario and ensure workers are in-the-clear.
  • Ensure workers are trained and feel proficient with Come-Along use.
  • Come-Along equipment must be stored properly and inspected prior to use.
  • Enforce consistent use of PPE, which may require eye or face protection.
  • Always ensure the object does not weigh more than the Come-Along’s
    capacity.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Lana Kurz, RPF, Interfor, Interior operations, Lana.Kurz@Interfor.com (250) 679-6838

File attachments
Safety_Alert_Interfor_2015-8-1.pdf

Soft shoulders on newly-constructed road lead to log truck rollover

Safety Alert Type: 
Resource Roads
Location: 
Greenwood, BC (Jewel Lake area)
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2015-07-30
Company Name: 
Interfor - Grand Forks Division
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A logging truck steered around a slight bedrock protrusion which caused the trailer to lean outward and track into the soft shoulder. The trailer rolled over the bank and pulled the truck onto its side.

Hazard: Recently constructed road with soft, powdery shoulders concealed a dip in the road’s subgrade.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Actions to Prevent a Re-Occurrence:

  • Report potentially unsafe road conditions to your site supervisor.
  • Consider the use of a water truck and compacter when constructing roads in dry conditions, particularly when subgrade consists of fine textured soils.
  • Roads must be “set-up” and ready for hauling. If a road is too soft, narrow, has poor alignment or out-slopes, fix it before hauling starts.
  • Always stay alert while driving; even a slight distraction can have major repercussions.
  • Drivers must be cautious when hauling a new load configuration as this can alter the center of gravity and reduce truck stability.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Jamie Hibberson, RFT, Interfor, Grand Forks Division  Jamie.Hibberson@Interfor.com  (250) 442-7112

File attachments
Safety_Alert_Interfor-Grand_Forks_2015-7-30.pdf

Unseen snag tree in thick canopy impacts excavator during trail construction

Safety Alert Type: 
Heavy Equipment
Location: 
Albert Canyon resource road (east of Revelstoke, BC)
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2015-05-19
Company Name: 
Downie Timber Ltd. - Woodlands
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

An excavator operator was constructing a pilot trail in the Albert Canyon area. The canopy was much heavier than “normal working conditions” as he was pushing a green tree in some very thick timber.

The green tree brushed up against a snag that was unseen by the operator from his cab. The top of the snag became dislodged when it was struck by the green tree and fell onto the hood of the machine. There were no injuries associated with this incident, however the machine was left with a dented engine hood and a broken off radio antenna.

Another worker in the vicinity who witnessed the incident attempted to grab the radio to alert the excavator operator but the broken snag fell too quickly. It was noted that snag trees were identified as a hazard in the pre-work for the job.

Immediate Cause: Inattention to surroundings – machine operator should not be working “blindly” in thick timber.

Basic Cause: Inadequate risk assessment; inadequate work standards or procedures

Root Cause: Inadequate standards

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Corrective Actions: Improve current Safe Work Procedures (SWP) to include the requirement for conducting daily site walk through assessments for snags and other hazards when working in thick timber.

Prevention Suggestions: The pre-work site assessment should have identified snags as a potential hazard of this particular locale and the issue communicated with the entire crew. A daily site assessment/walk through should be completed in heavy timber sites when conditions may have changed, to ensure that ALL hazards are identified.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Dawn Doebert, RPF Silviculture Forester - Downie Timber Ltd. Revelstoke (250) 837-7240

File attachments
Safety_Alert_Downie_Timber_2015-5-19.pdf

Impatience behind the wheel leads to close call on public highway

Safety Alert Type: 
Paved Roads
Location: 
Big Bend Highway (north of Revelstoke, BC)
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2015-07-28
Company Name: 
Downie Timber Ltd. - Woodlands
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A worker was driving south on Highway 23 at the end of the day when he encountered a grader pulling a pick-up at a slow speed (estimated at 20 km/h). The worker followed the grader for a couple of kilometres and when a section of highway up ahead looked long enough to safely pass, he decided to overtake the grader with pick-up in tow.

Unfortunately, the worker chose to pass on a stretch of highway marked with a solid double line and on a long curve. While beside the grader, the worker's vehicle was met by an oncoming pick-up truck but managed to complete the passing manoeuvre and avoid a collision. The worker suggested there was "room to spare" but acknowledged the anger of the oncoming driver by way of a “gesture" directed at the worker.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Immediate Cause: Illegal pass of slow moving vehicle.

Basic Cause: Poor judgement, failure to follow established rules.

Root cause: Inadequate risk assessment, inadequate compliance with standards.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Dawn Doebert, RPF Silviculture Forester - Downie Timber Ltd. Revelstoke (250) 837-7240

File attachments
Safety_Alert_Downie_Timber_2015-7-28.pdf
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