Log slips from load at dryland sort as binder is released, truck driver unhurt but startled

Safety Alert Type: 
Log Hauling
Location: 
Shoal Islands dryland sort (Crofton, BC)
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2014-06-18
Company Name: 
TimberWest Forest Corp.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A log truck driver arrived at the Shoal Islands dryland sort on southern Vancouver Island, and proceeded to the de-strapping station to remove the binders from his load.

The driver released the back binder without issue and then moved to release the front binder. As the front binder was undone a 10-metre long, 50cm diameter fir log came off the top stake and swiftly rolled down the outside of the trailer.

The front binder did not completely release, instead catching and containing the log as it fell to bunk height beside the load (see photos in attached pdf).

Fortunately the log truck driver was unhurt but certainly started by this close call. Upon further review it was noted that the log may not have been fully contained by the truck stake at time of loading, or had shifted slightly during transport – possibly a result of sap running.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Truck Drivers: Look up and visually check your load prior to and during transit from the woods. Re-assess prior to releasing the binders at de-strap stations.

• If any logs appear unsecured, the truck driver should be aware of the need to use a machine for assistance or to call for help before releasing any pressure on the binders.

Loader Operators: Be certain that logs are fully contained by the truck stakes prior to trucks leaving the woods.

• It is important that loads are properly constructed from bottom to top. That includes proper bunk load, appropriate stake pressure and all logs fully contained by bunks and stakes.

• Short logs should not be “cradled” unsecured on tops of loads.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

TimberWest Forest Corp., Nanaimo, BC (250) 716-3700

File attachments
Safety_Alert_TimberWest_2014-6-18.pdf

Unsuitable parking and assessment results in pickup truck rolling down hill and leaving roadway

Safety Alert Type: 
Vehicles
Location: 
Thunder River (North of Blue River, BC)
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2014-06-02
Company Name: 
Gilbert Smith Forest Products Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A summer student driving a light truck had stopped on a hill on the Thunder River Road to leave the vehicle momentarily. The pickup was equipped with a manual transmission and the worker had sufficient experience driving a manual.

The parking brake recently failed and was due to be replaced within the next two days.

The worker shifted the truck to reverse after parking and exited the vehicle. The gradient of the road was 14% and proved too steep for the truck to hold its position. The truck slowly rolled down the grade unattended, left the roadway and came to a stop off the road below the fill slope.

The worker was clear of the vehicle when it was in motion and no other individuals were in the immediate area at the time. This incident was a close call as there was potential for the moving vehicle to cause injury or serious damage.

Fortunately the worker was unharmed and the truck sustained little damage.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

• Wherever possible park on a flat location.

• The parking brake should be functioning. In the case of parking brake failure, ensure extra measures are taken to avoid movement until repairs can be made.

• Identify and prepare for hazards. Vehicles parked on slopes should always have their parking brake fully engaged and wheels blocked before being left by the operator.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Gilbert Smith Forest Products Ltd. (250) 672-9435 chewlett@gsfpcedar.com

File attachments
Unsuitable parking and assessment results in pickup truck rolling down hill and leaving roadway.pdf

Log loader cab penetrated by "hitchhiker" log; Window guard prevents injury to operator inside

Safety Alert Type: 
Yarding and Loading
Location: 
Southern Vancouver Island
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2014-04-29
Company Name: 
TimberWest Forest Corp.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A potential high severity close call occurred in TimberWest South Island Operations recently, when a hydraulic log loader pulling logs from a grapple yarder deck on the high side of a road was struck in the side of the cab with a “hitchhiker” log.

As the loader grappled a 24m (80’) log and began to swing it around to position it for processing, a second “hitchhiker” log of equal size came along for the ride and struck the side of the cab. The operator was concentrating on the log in the grapple and failed to recognize the “hitchhiker” coming towards the loader.

The log penetrated the cab window making contact with operator’s seat, as well as the operators left side ribs before being stopped by the cab window guarding (see photos in attached pdf). Fortunately the operator was uninjured.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

• Review loading Safe Work Procedures (SWP’s) and ensure loading from decks is thoroughly covered.

• Operators need to assess the whole deck before commencing operations, particularly where it’s difficult to see the back of the deck.

• Recognize that yarding full length timber downhill and top first tends to increase the slope of log decks.

• Assess for changing conditions – (sap running may have been a contributing factor).

• Equipment positioning is critical even in the simplest situations – never be complacent.

• Be aware of the importance of cab guarding being in proper order.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Aaron Steen steena@timberwest.com

 

File attachments
Log loader cab penetrated by "hitchhiker" log; Window guard prevents injury to operator inside.pdf

ATV training accident throws participant off machine

Safety Alert Type: 
Other
Location: 
Chetwynd, BC area
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2014-05-06
Company Name: 
West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

It was nearing the end of an afternoon of All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) training in which participants were being trained to navigate over various obstacles. Each participant was given the opportunity to drive various “quads” over logs. Safe procedures to accomplish this were first discussed and then the participants were allowed to proceed over the logs.

The participant in question had already successfully negotiated the obstacle using a quad with an automatic transmission. The participant then switched to a quad with a standard transmission and approached the log in first gear slowly, as per instructions.

The front tire rolled over the log and began to fall to the ground. As this happened the operator of the quad panicked and tightened their grip on the handle bars which inadvertently caused the operator to push harder on the throttle. The ATV / quad lurched forward as the back tires went over the log, launching the front tires in the air. The rider-participant was thrown from the quad and landed on a second small log that was placed as a second obstacle.

The participant walked away with minor bruising, visited First Aid on site and was released with minor bruising.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

• Tailor training to the participant’s experience level

• Use smaller obstacles to learn on

• More time spent on 1-on-1 training would give the participant more confidence and relieve peer pressure to “keep up”

• Put participants through a lower level certified course first, and then follow up with an in-house training session for the more difficult aspects of using ATV’s in a forestry work place.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Brian Pate (250) 788-4423 brian.pate@westfraser.com 

File attachments
ATV training accident throws participant off machine.pdf

2014-05-26 - Chokerman

Safety Alert Type: 
Yarding and Loading
Location: 
Kootnays
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2014-05-26
Company Name: 
BC Forest Safety Council
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Fatality Alert

On May 26th, a chokerman was fatally injured while working on a cable yarding operation west of Nelson, in the Kootenays. The skyline cable contacted a leave tree in the block and caused it to fall and strike the worker.

This is the first direct harvesting related fatality of 2014. Our condolences go out to the family and co-workers of the deceased worker.

WorkSafeBC and the Coroner’s Service are investigating this incident and the results will be released as soon as possible. However, some general information about the incident and the site conditions are known.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

The following recommendations are suggested best practices for cable yarding operations where leave trees are retained. They are taken from two useful resource books that are listed below.

Leave Tree Retention:

  • All leave trees should be windfirm, healthy and not have hazardous defects such as large dead limbs or tops.
  • Special attention should be paid to trees located along the yarding corridor to ensure that they are free of hazards and have a stable root system. Immediately remove trees that have become unstable.

Yarding Corridors:

  • All lines should run freely and not contact any standing timber. Skylines striking trees along corridors can create overhead hazards such as broken limbs and tops.
  • In this incident, contact from the skyline caused the leave tree to fall. The reasons why the skyline contacted the leave tree are unknown at this time and are still being investigated. However, correct positioning of the carriage and skyline and selecting turns that are not too heavy are important during lateral yarding operations to avoid unsafe movement of the skyline. The limbing and bucking of logs that are being laterally yarded can help prevent hang ups. Logs should not be powered out of a hang-up position.

Staying In the Clear:

  • In the clear means:
    • In the logged area, if possible
    • Behind and to the side of the turn
    • Clear of swinging logs – 2 log lengths away
    • Out of the bight
  • Potential hazards for rigging crews include runaway logs, root wads or rocks. Turns of logs can swing or up-end and workers should be positioned 2 log lengths away and behind the turn.
  • Leave trees can be dislodged by moving lines, swinging logs or strong winds. When locating safe zones in areas with leave trees, consider the height of the leave trees and the potential for a domino effect where one falling tree knocks down another. The safe zone may be two tree lengths away from the at risk leave trees in these situations.
  • Crews should not work in the bight of moving lines or near rigged spar trees.

Resources:

  1. WorkSafeBC’s Cable Yarding Systems Handbook
    http://www.worksafebc.com/publications/health_and_safety/by_topic/assets/pdf/cable_yarding.pdf
  2. Partial-cutting Safety Handbook – Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
    http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hfd/pubs/Docs/Sil/Sil435.htm

 

File attachments
BCFSC2014-05-26FatalityAlert.pdf

Staying hydrated: Not just a summertime concern

Safety Alert Type: 
Workers
Location: 
Bamfield, BC (west coast Vancouver Island)
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2014-05-01
Company Name: 
Baseline Archaeological Services Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A worker had been walking through a cutblock for approximately 8 hours prior, when he felt a mild headache starting around mid-afternoon.

The weather was sunny, temperatures were in the mid 20’s and the terrain was difficult to navigate with lots of understory.

By 5pm the worker’s headache was worse and he was experiencing some nausea. The crew then left the block and by the time they reached the truck the headache was severe with nausea and waves of cold chills.

After being kept out of the sun, re-hydrating, and closing his eyes, the symptoms had reduced greatly. It was apparent that the worker was suffering from a mild case of heat stroke/heat exhaustion. Because the worker was feeling better no medical attention was required.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

• Always carry more water than you think you will need.

• Keep in mind that weather during shoulder seasons can still be extreme.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

S. Allester at Baseline Archaeological Services Ltd. sndawe@shaw.ca

 

File attachments
Staying hydrated: Not just a summertime concern.pdf

A day off from work has its own risks and dangers

Safety Alert Type: 
Other
Location: 
Chilcotin River (near Alexis Creek, BC)
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2014-05-09
Company Name: 
Next Generation Reforestation Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Three tree planters new to the company were excited about canoeing the Chilcotin River on a day off. Without advising anyone they departed in the canoe with only one life jacket between the three of them.

About 2½ to 3 kilometres into the trip they encountered rapids beyond their ability. Then they hit a log jam … the canoe tipped, trapping one person under. The two others floated on a log to the shore. The one under the canoe was dragged for a while but managed to chase the canoe down river for 400 meters before retrieving it.

The 3 tree planters eventually met up and crossed the river to return to camp with some scrapes and bruises as a reminder of the close call they experienced.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

• When canoeing wear a life jacket and a helmet

• Don’t canoe in unknown waters

• Communicate to people your day off plans

• Think it through!

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Next Generation Reforestation Ltd. (780) 532-2220 nextgen@telus.net 

File attachments
A day off from work has its own risks and dangers.pdf

UPDATE: Collapsing bush roads in spring time

Safety Alert Type: 
Resource Roads
Location: 
Arawana Forest Service Road (near Penticton, BC)
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2014-05-14
Company Name: 
Gorman Bros. Lumber Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

In a similar situation to a previous event that occurred in springtime of 2011, a field worker was driving along a well-used resource road when he noticed the surface had a small hole in it. As he manoeuvred around the hazard, the road slowly began to partially collapse. The worker and vehicle were not harmed as he was clear of the hazard by driving on the shoulder.

Previous Similar Incident: It was in late June of 2011 when a culvert washed out underneath the road surface near Summerland, leaving a 6-inch ‘shell’ of road surface to drive on. On that day, the driver of a pick-up truck hit one at 50km/h which at impact, felt like two very large potholes. The driver then stopped and went back to have a look at what he had hit and the road disappeared before his eyes (see series of photos in attached pdf).

Link to 2011 Alert: http://www.bcforestsafe.org/node/1983

Learnings and Suggestions: 

• Use extra caution when driving on roads that have had very little or no use post-freshet.

• Watch for small holes in road surface and or surface cracks in the road surface.

• Travel at a speed appropriate to road conditions.

• If a safety hazard cannot be remedied easily on the spot, flag or otherwise increase the visibility of the condition for the benefit of anyone entering the vicinity.

• Report the hazard over the radio to alert people in the immediate area.

• Pass the hazard on to contractors, clients and others that may be affected by the hazard.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Doug Campbell, Gorman Bros. Lumber Ltd. (250) 768-6257

File attachments
UPDATE: Collapsing bush roads in spring time.pdf

Log loader boom cuts overhead power line

Safety Alert Type: 
Yarding and Loading
Location: 
Near Pritchard, B.C. (Shuswap region)
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2014-05-13
Company Name: 
Bill Todd Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A log loader (2954 John Deere loader with clam, rear-entry high cab) had finished piling on a block and was travelling down the road, beside and under a 25 Kv Hydro line, to the next block.

When the loader entered onto the main road from a spur road, the operator lowered the boom, went under the power line and travelled down the road alongside the line for approximately 50 metres. The loader again passed under the line, this time contacting the lower neutral line and cutting it.

The operator was not aware that he had hit the line and carried on to the next block. Minutes later the supervisor discovered the line lying beside the road. BC Hydro was contacted and the line was repaired within 2 ½ hours.

Investigation findings: It was just turning dusk at the time the loader was travelling down the road. The operator was aware of the hydro line and had focussed on getting under the line where the spur road met the main road.

The supervisor that was escorting the loader down the road had just confirmed with the operator to stretch out and lower the boom prior and was putting tires on a cattle guard just around the corner.

The operator and supervisor were also concerned with traffic and this may have distracted the two from the overhead hazard.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

• Conduct a tailgate meeting with the operator before moving equipment under line

• Use a spotter when the equipment is going under line

• Place proper signage for the overhead hazard

• Add overhead hazard precaution bullet to SWP

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Dan Todd, Bill Todd Ltd. (250) 851-6544

File attachments
Safety_Alert_Bill_Todd_Ltd_2014-5-13.pdf

Expect wildlife encounters on resource roads!

Safety Alert Type: 
Resource Roads
Location: 
Williams Lake, BC (Lyne Creek Road)
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2014-05-10
Company Name: 
Rhino Reforestation Services Inc.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Travelling at approximately 60 km/h, a driver came around a corner on a gravel road and suddenly encountered a herd of deer standing on the road.

The driver hit the brakes and was fortunate to make a sudden stop with no damage or injury.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Slow down when coming into low visibility or obstructed line of vision corners or roads. Drive defensively and at a speed that will allow for proper reaction.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Rhino Reforestation Services Inc. pmbeaudry33@yahoo.com 

File attachments
Safety_Alert_Rhino_Reforestation_2014-5-10.pdf
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