Orienting New Workers and Young Workers

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What is this?
Employers have always had a responsibility to make sure workers are prepared for the job before they start working. One part of that is orienting new workers to the health and safety information related to their job and worksite. WorkSafeBC has amended their regulations to clarify these responsibilities in a clear, specific way.

Do they affect me?
The nature of forestry operations (outdoor locations, changing conditions and sites etc) mean almost everyone operating in the sector should be aware of these new regulations and ensure that they are in compliance.

Specifically: If you hire any new worker under the age of 25 OR if a new worker is starting work at an existing worksite OR if existing workers are facing hazards on their current workplace that have changed or developed, OR if existing workers are in a new location that has different hazards than the old ones, then this regulation applies to your operation.
What do I have to do?

If you have been involved in some of our Council safety activities, the need and importance of safety orientations is very familiar:
•The Safety Tool kit that all SAFE Companies registrants receive discusses the safety orientation process in Chapter 8;
•Both the BASE and SEBASE audit address safety orientation in the training, education and certification requirements;
•The Small Employer OHS training course also reminds employers of their responsibilities around safety orientation and provides some sample tools for you to use in your program;
•People who have taken the Council’s Basic Forest Supervisor training are shown how
to assess initial worksite orientation requirements.
To refresh, there are 4 basic steps…
•Evaluate the situation;
•Train the worker;
•Test the worker;
•Keep records of the orientation.

WorkSafeBC has developed a sample worker orientation checklist that you can download as a Word document and modify to suit your needs and use for your workers. You can find the document here at http://www2.worksafebc.com/Topics/YoungWorker/Resources-Employers.asp?re... as well as more information about the new regulations.

Why this Change?
It’s simple – new workers and young workers are vulnerable to injuries – because of inexperience, not wanting to ask questions, and (sometimes) training that does not ensure they are competent to do their work.

It’s easy to take shortcuts when bringing new workers or young workers onto a worksite. Take the time to make sure they understand that safety is a priority. While this is only one part of changing the forest industry’s historically poor safety record it helps reinforce that unsafe is unacceptable.

File attachments
2007-07-26 Orienting New Workers and Young Workers.pdf


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Field crews potentially in the line of fire due to hunter activity near their worksite.

As Canfor employees rode their ATV’s back to their pickups at the end of the day they noticed some new shooting targets placed in the trees that put them in the line of fire. Although they were not actively shooting, hunters in a camp just down the road were using these targets. The hunters were not aware that there were people working behind their targets, as they had not seen the field crews ride in that morning.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

1. If you encounter any hunters and camps on your way to the field, stop and let them know you are in the area.
2. Leave a note or sign on un-occupied camps or pick-ups letting people know of your presence and location.
3. Place a sign indicating that people are actively working at the entrance to your worksite.

File attachments
2007-08-14 In the line of Fire.pdf


Safety Alert Type: 
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VICTORIA – The BC Coroners Service is urging all operators of forestry and wood  manufacturing machinery to carry out proper lock-out/immobilization procedures, whenever performing any maintenance or repair.


“Already this year, we have witnessed three fatal incidents involving workers in forestry related activities,” said Resource Industry Coroner Tom Pawlowski. “We also want to urge all employers and supervisors to ensure that workers are familiar with, and use, proper risk assessment tools and safe work practices.”

In a recent incident, a worker troubleshooting a mechanical problem on a skidder was killed when the equipment rolled over him.

In 2006, there were six fatal incidents involving failure to lock-out, or immobilize machinery and mobile equipment. In virtually all of these cases, the deceased were experienced operators. Two incidents involved workers crushed while performing repairs on log processor heads that were not properly de-energized. The other cases involved drivers who were run over by their vehicles, and two workers, at wood processing and firewood manufacturing plants respectively, who failed to lock-out machinery before attempting maintenance or troubleshooting.

For more information on forestry safety, please visit WorkSafeBC at: www2.worksafebc.com/Portals/Forestry/Home.asp and the BC Forest Safety Council at www.bcforestsafe.org/nav-alerts.htm.

The BC Coroners Service is committed to conducting a thorough, independent examination of the factors contributing to death, and may provide recommendations to prevent a similar death in the future, in order to improve community safety and quality of life in British Columbia.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Terry Foster
Public Affairs Officer
Office of the Chief Coroner
604 660-7752

File attachments
2007-01-25 Proper Lock-out prodedures.pdf

Hazard Communication - BETWEEN PHASES

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Company Name: 
Interfor Coastal Woolands
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Many of the hazards in logging are ‘Man-Made’: hang-ups, loose rocks or stumps, improper placement of right-of-way logs, unstable cut banks, etc. Initially, these ‘man-made’ hazards should be prevented, or if need be, controlled as much as possible. However, if these hazards remain after the initial phase, their existence must be communicated to the next phase(s) of logging.
Upon completion of any phase of logging, an INSPECTION and DOCUMENTATION of hazards created in the course of the phase is required. As well as natural hazards left behind (e.g. snags), any identified ongoing ‘man-made’ hazards must be communicated via the attached written HAZARD REPORT. (This Hazard Report form is also available in the back-end of the Safety Alert/Bulletin Binder provided to all Prime Contractors.)
If the initial logging or road construction phase involves employees or a Sub-Contractor hired by the Prime Contractor, it is the responsibility of the Prime Contractor to ensure this post-phase Hazard Assessment is completed and COMMUNICATED to next phase(s). If the initial phase of work is completed by a Contractor hired by the Licensee, it is the responsibility of Interfor staff to arrange for any mitigation of the hazards, and/or their communication as part of the PRE-WORKS to the Contractor Representative responsible for the next phase of work in this cut-block or road-heading.

File attachments
2006-06-05 between phases.pdf

Return to Work

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This bulletin provides information and tools for companies and workers who are returning to worksites that have been idle due to recent labour stoppages. The information in this bulletin can also be used at any site where work has stopped for an extended period of time.

Even if you are returning to a site you have worked on before, it is important to remember that conditions and hazards may have changed, equipment may have been affected, and workers’ skills may be rusty.

Whether you are a company owner, a supervisor, an equipment operator or any other worker – take the time to make sure safety is taken care of.

Section 3.22 of the WCB Occupational Health and Safety deals with this situation:
"new worker" means any worker who is
(a)new to the workplace,
(b)returning to a workplace where the hazards in that workplace have changed during the worker's absence,
(c)affected by a change in the hazards of a workplace, or
(d)relocated to a new workplace if the hazards in that workplace are different from the hazards in the worker's previous workplace;

All owners, prime contractors, employers, supervisors, and workers have a responsibility to follow accepted safe work procedures as required by the Workers Compensation Act, the Regulation and good safety practices.

For sites that have been inactive, Supervisors have a special responsibility during a return to work period. Remember, your responsibility is to:
1.Identify hazards and evaluate the situation
2.Train the worker in safe work procedures
3.Evaluate the worker to ensure they’re qualified
4.Keep records of the orientation

For people who have been involved in BC Forest Safety Council activities, the importance of safety orientations is very familiar:
−The Safety Tool kit that all SAFE Companies registrants receive discusses conducting a safety orientation process in Chapter 8, and provides various sample forms to use.
−The SAFE Companies audit addresses safety orientations and requires all workers who have been off work for more than 6 weeks to be reoriented before starting up again.
−People who have taken the Council’s Basic Forest Supervisor training received training in initial worksite orientation needs.

WorkSafeBC has also developed a sample worker orientation checklist that you can download as a Word document and modify to suit your needs.

If workers require licensing or certification to perform their jobs (i.e. drivers, fallers, blasters etc) make sure their credentials are still in good standing and up to date.
Remember, all workers must have the knowledge, training, and experience to recognize and control all hazards. Whether workers are returning to their job or starting a new one, take the time to assess their work and make sure they’re qualified for the job they’re doing.
After a long stoppage, people may have a tough time getting back into good work habits. They may have “off site” issues on their minds. It’s critical to make sure everyone is focused on the task at hand, aware of hazards and ready to apply controls once they arrive back at work.

Even if you’re returning to a familiar location, the worksite needs to be assessed for hazards. If your company has a site inspection or hazard identification checklist, use it. If you do not have a current site inspection form, please click here to view a sample form created by the Council.
Each worker should assess hazards in their work area, evaluate the risks they present, report them to their supervisor and/or, and take steps to control them.

Equipment can also suffer from a long period of inactivity. Before beginning to use equipment each piece should be inspected.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding restarting after an inactive period. To view a sample Mobile Equipment Operator Checklist, please click here.
Each worker should also check their personal protective equipment especially carefully after a long period off. If protective equipment has not been stored correctly, it may be ineffective or malfunction when it’s needed the most

Documentation of all safety activities specific to your worksite should be accurate and meaningful.
Remember, we are collectively and individually responsible for the safety of all workers and all worksites.
The Council has a variety of forms and checklists to assist with safety at the workplace.

File attachments
2007-10-16 Return to Work.pdf

Wear Your Personal Protective Equipment

Safety Alert Type: 
Heavy Equipment
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
Company Name: 
Interfor Coastal Woolands
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

There was an incident this year where a worker was sitting on a stump taking a break, apparently out of the line-of-fire. Unexpectedly, the 6-foot top portion of a danger tree came down from behind him and struck the worker. The worker suffered compression fracture of vertebrae in his back and will make a full recovery. However, if he hadn’t been wearing his HARD HAT, it would have been a different story.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Personal Protective Equipment needs to be worn at all times in our hazardous work environment. Even when we do our best to eliminate or control hazards, there are still remote but severe potential consequences from nature doing the unexpected. Worse yet, there is always the possibility of a breakdown in procedures.

SAFETY GLASSES or face shields are mandatory for workers in the shop or dry land sort, to protect against metal or wood debris flying in an unexpected but tragic direction—it has happened. The same applies to forestry & engineering crews when blazing trail in the woods, or for rigging and road crew workers pounding metal—even for a second—that’s all it has taken to lose an eye. When anyone is exposed to these worksite hazards, wear your PPE at all times, even during lunch and a break. Danger strikes when we least expect it, and your PPE is the last line of defence!

File attachments
2005-06-30 Wear your hard hat.pdf

Madill 071 Guywinch Inspection

Safety Alert Type: 
Heavy Equipment
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A recent guywinch failure on a Madill 071 yarder resulted in collapse of the tower. This is an area on machines of this type which will require closer scrutiny during Annual Yarder Tower Inspections.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Photos of the particular guywinch assembly are shown below. The problem area is where you can see the shiny new bush. The top of the bush supporting the left mounted winch spindle broke out allowing the spindle to bend and fail (at a fatigue crack at the end of the keyway); drum came loose, shock load caused adjacent guyline shackle to fail; tower fell over.

This failure has been discussed with the manufacturer and their advice is as follows:
1. This bush (item 43 on Madill Drawing No D1521 - attached) is to be closely inspected at least annually on machines of this type and age. (Practically, this requires removal of the winch drum and spindle).
2. Guy winch spindles should be removed annually and inspected using non-destructive testing (NDT) methods as they are subject to fatigue cracking.

File attachments


Safety Alert Type: 
Heavy Equipment
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Several reports have come in from WorkSafeBC and client companies about skidder incidents. They range in severity from a few bumps and bruises to fatal injuries.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

From these incidents the following preventative actions and safe work practices are recommended:
•Seat belts must be kept in good working order.
•Remove damaged/deteriorated seat belts immediately; replace with acceptable ones.
•Equipment operators must buckle up whenever the equipment is in motion, or if the equipment’s movement could cause it to destabilize.
•Work up/down a slope whenever possible.
•Use extreme caution when working on a side slope; watch closely for stability hazards (stumps, rocks, etc.).

File attachments
2007-12-13 Skidder Incidents On the Rise.pdf


Date of Incident / Close Call: 
Company Name: 
Stones Bay Holdings Ltd.
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Over the past week there have been 3 wildlife impacts with (SBH and subcontractor)vehicles traveling to and from the workplace. In addition there have been several sightings of wildlife on the edges of the roadways.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

This hazard alert is being issued to remind all employees to slow down and take care when traveling to and from work. REMEMBER the roads are radio assisted and not radio controlled. You may encounter wildlife or traffic that does not have a radio. Treat every corner as though there is someone coming toward you unannounced.


File attachments
2007-02-01 wildlife impacts workers safety.pdf

Logging Road Driving Safety Reminders

Date of Incident / Close Call: 
Company Name: 
Canfor / Woodlands
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During the past month, I have received a number of complaints and close calls has a result of s about logging road driving practices and procedures. The following are the main issues that have been reported to me, along with some quick safety reminders around each item.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Passing on Logging Roads
•Never pass any vehicle without notifying them on the radio and receiving the “OK”. The lead vehicle is responsible for slowing down, providing room and advising “OK” signal to vehicle requesting the pass. Do not pass until permission is granted from the lead vehicle!

Driving in Convoys
•Lead vehicle is responsible for calling for multiple vehicles in a convoy.
•Vehicles that become part of a convoy are responsible for notifying the lead vehicle of more vehicles becoming part of the convoy. For example if you catch up to a convoy, notify lead vehicle of an additional vehicle in the convoy.
•Use one km rule - Vehicles who are greater than 1 km ahead or behind a convoy MUST call there own kms.

Calling km’s
•Loaded traffic MUST call all loaded even kms (except on Lakeland 200 RD & 600 RD where procedure is to call loaded odd kms). Remember: Empty traffic is relying on the loaded traffic to call their kms so they can clear you.
•Road users are to call all their required kms regardless of how busy or light the traffic is on the logging road. A number of complaints have been received where road users are not calling their kms because they don’t think it is necessary because of the light volume of traffic.

Clearing on Logging Roads
•The following are the expectations for clearing on logging roads. These expectations were developed at the PG South and PG North Joint Canfor/Contractor Safety Committee meetings.
o Narrower Secondary Haul Roads (ie. West Creek, 300 Rd, 400 Rd, 600 Rd) - Empty vehicles must stop and clear in the designated pullouts.
o Wide Major Mainline Type Haul Roads (Examples of these types of roads are the Pelican FSR, Polar 200 Rd, Lakeland 200 Rd)
- Drivers must use common sense when deciding if they must clear or not.
- During good summer driving conditions - empty traffic have the option of clearing traffic by slowing down and creeping along edge of the road. Empty traffic MUST clear loaded traffic on straight road sections with a clear line of site. Empties MUST NOT clear loaded traffic on corners.
- During winter driving conditions: empty vehicles are expected to stop and clear all loaded traffic in designated pullouts. This requirement has been made due to the higher probability of slippery roads, higher snow banks along the roads, and possibly narrower road surfaces encountered in the winter.
o A reminder to all loaded vehicles that they must travel at or close to the speed limit otherwise empties cannot clear you in the location that they expect to meet you. Loaded traffic need to slow down, otherwise you will meet empties in poor clearing locations!!!
o New drivers who are unfamiliar with a certain logging road should take earlier pullouts to ensure they are in one before they meet the loaded traffic.
o Empty traffic who get in the situation where they can’t find a pullout, MUST notify the loaded vehicle that they can’t find a pullout.
o Reminder to all road users to be extremely careful of sweeper logs on off highway long log routes (Clearlake and Polar haul routes). Do not clear on sharp corners where log sweepers may side swipe your vehicle.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Neil Spendiff, PG Woodlands Safety Coordinator

File attachments
2007-08-23 Driving Safety Reminders.pdf
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