SERIOUS INCIDENT - Boom man injured when caught up in auger

Safety Alert Type: 
Hand and Power Tools
Location: 
Coastal British Columbia
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2014-07-03
Company Name: 
Interfor
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

While feeding a boom stick into place under a gas powered auger, A boom man’s clothing/PPE became tangled in an unguarded auger bit that was engaged (revolving). He suffered serious chest injuries, resulting in a lost time accident.

Root Causes - A number of factors combined to contribute to this incident, among them:

• No guarding around auger bit (see sample photos in attached pdf)

• Lack of Safe Work Procedures for auger

• Worker had not operated this machine before

 

Learnings and Suggestions: 

 Recommendations from Incident Report include:

• Inspect all boom stick augers to ensure full guarding is in place around auger and belts

• Supervisors to be trained in guarding requirements on boom stick augers

• Safe Work Procedures to be reviewed with workers and supervisors before using equipment

Best Practice for equipment that has workers in close proximity:

• Conduct a thorough Risk Assessment

• Have an emergency shut off switch within easy reach

• Ensure the equipment complies with CSA Z-432-04 standard for design and guarding

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Interfor’s Safety Task Group – Rob Shelley or Ken Watkin (250) 286-1881

File attachments
Safety_Alert_Interfor-Boomstick_Auger_2014-7-3.pdf

Powerful winds topple trees; camp worker in tent narrowly escapes with fractured ankle

Safety Alert Type: 
Weather
Location: 
Northern Interior region (near Prince George)
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2014-06-02
Company Name: 
BC Forest Safety Council
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

With little warning, extreme winds (in excess of 100 km/h) swept through a bush camp.

The gusts brought down multiple standing mature trees, one of which impacted a worker during an attempt to exit a personal tent.

The worker suffered a fractured ankle.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

• Review wind evacuation Safe Work Procedure (SWP) with crew.

• Review Wildlife/Danger Tree (WDT) Hazard Assessment with supervisors for all forested campsites.

• Ensure your WDT specialist assesses the campsite to level of Disturbance Level 3 activities. When in doubt, bring in additional wildlife/danger tree assessment expertise and/or a certified faller.

• Ensure the crew list and camp map (with all tent sites and map of campsite location) are posted on Safety Board in mess tent and office.

• Establish a camp muster point at least 2 tree lengths from any standing timber.

• Group all tents within a WDT-assessed, designated safe camping area.

• Eliminate tent sites which may be out of range of muster signals.

File attachments
Safety_Alert_BCFSC_2014-6-2.pdf

Cable Yarding: Stay out of the bight!

Safety Alert Type: 
Yarding and Loading
Location: 
Southern Vancouver Island
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2014-06-17
Company Name: 
TimberWest Forest Corp.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Very recently, and in the past year or so, TimberWest reports experiencing a number of serious incidents and close calls in cable yarding operations where the primary cause has been that workers were not in a safe position / in the clear - around moving lines and logs / yarding turns.

For example:

• Chaser began to clear haulback without getting clear confirmation/direction from hooktender. Chaser put himself in the bight, and was struck in the right shoulder by the eye of the haulback.

• While setting chokers on a grapple yarder and fighting a hang-up, the hooktender instructed the grapple yarder operator to bring the grapple backwards with the log choked. The worker then told the operator to “Hold It”, after which the radio went silent. The hooktender was found on the ground, conscious but on all fours. He had a large laceration on the left side of his forehead and his left eye was swollen shut. It wasn’t clear if the hooker was struck by the turn or something coming off the turn, but was likely too close either way.

• Hook tender set back choker on two logs. Rigging slinger set front choker on one log. Rigging slinger blew go ahead whistles (3 short). Engineer went ahead on turn and logs started to swing (upend). Rigging slinger blew one whistle (stop), but log struck both workers who were standing together.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

In all cases, it has been determined that the primary cause was that workers were not properly in the clear, as per their job safety procedures. Notable secondary causes in some cases were poor communication between various co-workers onsite.

Cardinal rule on all cable yarding sides is STAY OUT OF THE BIGHT. All ground workers must be safely in the clear BEFORE going ahead or back on any moving lines.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

TimberWest Forest Corp. (250) 716-3700

File attachments
Safety_Alert_TimberWest_2014-6-17.pdf

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
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