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

Rotten boom chain breaks, striking deckhand

Safety Alert Type: 
Other
Location: 
North Arm Fraser River Jetty (Lower Mainland)
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2014-05-05
Company Name: 
Hodder Tugboat Co. Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

The marine vessel’s yarding line was hooked into a log boom head chain. Once the vessel started to pull on the log boom, the boom chain broke and flew onto the aft deck of the vessel along with the yarding line, hitting the deckhand in the hand and back.

The deckhand was walking away from the aft deck to his regular position, when the vessel started to pull on the log boom. Fortunately he only suffered deep bruising and a cut to his hand, as well as bruising on his back.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

This incident has brought to attention the importance of quality of gear used on log booms, as well as the vessel.

Proper inspections need to be performed at regular intervals, from the sort all the way to the final destination.

Crews are being informed to always have a look at the condition of the gear before using or hooking into before towing (see photos in attached pdf).

For more information on this submitted alert: 

For more information on this submitted alert: Chris Hodder, Hodder Tugboat Co. Ltd. (604) 273-2821 chris@hoddertug.com 

File attachments
Rotten boom chain breaks, striking deckhand.pdf

Grader left suspended as barge slips from position

Safety Alert Type: 
Heavy Equipment
Location: 
40 mile barge ramp, Lake Revelstoke
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2014-03-05
Company Name: 
Downie Timber Ltd. Woodlands Division
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

After another night of heavy snowfall the Downie maintenance crew was moving the road grader across the lake to clear roads for logging crews and trucks.

The grader was loaded on the east side of the lake with no issues. The barge landed successfully on the west side ramp and the tug operator indicated to the grader operator to disembark. The grader operator started to drive the grader off the barge; simultaneously the tug operator left the boat (with the engine engaged with partial throttle).

As the grader front tires disembarked to land, the forward thrust of the grader pushed the barge back out into the lake, the grader operator shouted over the radio to the tug operator “full throttle on forward!” The tug operator was out of the barge on the deck and did not hear the grader operator. The tug operator realized what was happening and ran back to the tug, by that time the rear mounts for the grader wings were hung up on the ferry ramp with the rear wheels of the grader suspended.

The grader operator had to jump to the shore on the west side and hike up the road, drive a D-7 down to the ferry and pull the grader off the barge.

Fortunately, there was no injury to the workers involved and no damage to any equipment or company property.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Learnings / Recommendations:

• Barge operators must remain in full control of the vessel, with radio contact at all times during loading and unloading of trucks, equipment and cargo. Barge operators must have tug power engaged and throttle sufficient to maintain ferry and ramps securely on the shore for loading and unloading.

• Conduct annual retraining with ferry operators or after lengthy breaks from operating the barges.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

For more information: Downie Timber Ltd. Woodlands Division (250) 837-2222

File attachments
Safety_Alert_Downie_Timber_2014-3-5.pdf

Trailer axle breaks while being towed

Safety Alert Type: 
Vehicles
Location: 
Grand Forks, BC area
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2014-03-28
Company Name: 
Strathinnes Forestry Consultants
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

While driving along the highway to work towing a snowmobile trailer, a squealing sound was heard coming from the trailer.

The workers pulled their truck over at the bottom of a Forest Service Road to inspect the trailer and noticed the right wheel had come loose and was resting at an angle on the axle. The bearings had seized, causing the wheel to lock up while the hub of the axle broke off and was welded to the tire rim.

It was noted that the bearings had been changed four months prior.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Learnings / Recommendations: Wheel bearings have really tight tolerances and great care should be exercised when re-packing or changing them.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

For more information: Jeff Reyden, Strathinnes Forestry Consultants (250) 354-9803 strathinnesforestry@gmail.com 

File attachments
Safety_Alert_Strathinnes_Forestry_2014-3-28.pdf

Close calls involving blasting: Improved communications needed in the woods

Safety Alert Type: 
Road Building/Deactivation
Location: 
Vancouver Island
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2014-01-01
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Three close calls involving blasting have occurred in forestry operations on Vancouver Island.

In the most recent, a crew had just completed walking a creek and were on the mainline road. A blast was heard very close by and the crewmembers were exposed to fly-rock falling around them and the surrounding forest canopy. This incident was reported to WorkSafeBC by the blasting contractor. The contractor also identified the deficiency to properly clear the blast zone.

In the two other incidents:

• A baseball-sized rock flew through the air and into the box of a dump truck parked in the safety zone

• A field crew heard a blast in their area despite no warning whistles or radio calls

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Findings:

• The crew was unaware of blasting activities in their work area

• The blasting crew was not aware of other crews in the area

• The blasting crew failed to properly clear the safe zone (which would have identified a company pickup truck within the safe zone radius)

• Confusion about the blast signals being employed

• Appropriate signage was not in place

Recommendations:

• Check with the Prime Contractor or companies that may be working in the area about their current activities or plans for future activities

• If another company or crew is identified as being in the area, ensure contact is made with them – face to face preferably.

File attachments
Safety_Alert_Blasting_Close_Calls_2014.pdf
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