Close Call: Unloading a trailer with a loader

Safety Alert Type: 
Heavy Equipment
Location: 
West Kootenay Region
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2018-01-09
Company Name: 
INTERFOR
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A loader operator was unloading the trailer off a logging truck, with the tracks parallel to the truck, on a slight inclined snow-covered loading platform.

As the machine picked up the trailer and turned, the shift in weight resulted in the loading platform failing, causing the loader to slip down the snow bank, and tip sideways onto the trailer.

The tipped loader narrowly missed a trailer stake from entering the cab. No Injuries, minor damage to trailer and loader.

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  • When unloading a trailer with a loader, track placement should be perpendicular to the truck to maintain proper load distribution
  • Use caulks for winter conditions on tracked equipment, to help prevent the equipment from slipping or losing traction
  • Loader operators should inspect the loading/unloading area for hazards and ensure loading platform is solid and stable
  • Prior to loading/unloading trailer, the loader operator is to instruct the truck driver to stay in the cab of the truck at all times until task has been completed. The truck driver is to wait to receive confirmation from loader operator prior to exiting the cab of the truck
  • Always wear your seatbelt while operating equipment
  • Always confirm load limit capability of equipment prior to commencing a lift.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Kait Baskerville, Kootenay Operations.

Kait.Baskerville@interfor.com

 

File attachments
Safety_Alert-Interfor-Unloading_Trailer_with_Loader_January_9-2018.pdf

Concussion, torn knee ligament the result of fall from cab of log truck

Safety Alert Type: 
Log Hauling
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2017-10-31
Company Name: 
New Zealand Forest Owners Association
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

The following information is from a member company of the New Zealand Forest Owners Association (NZFOA). The information provided has relevance to forestry operations in British Columbia as well. Link to the NZFOA alerts web page: https://nzfoa-iris.com/SafetyAlerts.aspx

After a log truck had been loaded, the driver got in the truck and drove up the road a short distance to a flat area to chain down the load. He did this to get clear of the landing and allow the yarding crew room to continue working. Where the driver stopped to chain down his load was out of sight of the crew due to an adjacent crop of younger trees.
When the driver climbed down the steps of the truck, his left foot became caught between the bottom step and the truck mudflap. The driver lost his balance and fell backwards, twisting his leg. He then hit his head on the ground and was knocked unconscious.
The driver lay there unconscious for approximately 80 minutes until the next truck driver coming along found him lying on the side of the road.

At that point the emergency response was initiated - an ambulance was dispatched, but upon arrival the ambulance crew subsequently ordered the rescue helicopter. As well as the concussion, the driver suffered a torn ligament in his knee.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Truck drivers are required to get in and out of their cabs on a regular basis every day. Some of these times will be within view of other people, and occasionally it will be when they are by themselves (for example in this situation, or when they stop at the forest entrance to check their chain tensions). The main control to avoid slips/trips/falls is for workers to use 3 points of contact when getting on and off vehicles and machinery. As an added control however, Port Blakely would also recommend that truck drivers chain down their load in view of the harvesting operation wherever possible, so that help is quickly available if required.

In addition, the following points have also come from this incident:

  • Hazards associated with vehicles and machinery, where other objects may interfere with people’s ability to safely use the steps, are to be reviewed
  • When dealing with a suspected serious injury in isolated areas, the person contacting emergency services should suggest that a rescue helicopter would be the best initial response option.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

PDF copy of this alert from New Zealand Forest Owners Association: https://nzfoa-iris.com/SafetyAlerts/ShowSafetyPDF.aspx?id=185

Falling debris hits manual tree faller

Safety Alert Type: 
Manual Tree Falling
Company Name: 
New Zealand Forest Owners Association
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

The following information is from a member company of the New Zealand Forest Owners Association (NZFOA). The information provided has relevance to forestry operations in British Columbia as well. Link to the NZFOA alerts web page: https://nzfoa-iris.com/SafetyAlerts.aspx

A manual tree faller had been instructed to fall an additional strip of trees to widen a previous road lining operation. The faller was on his third tree of the day and had completed the back cut. As the tree started to go he has looked up while retreating and was struck by a falling limb to the face and shoulder.

The faller doesn’t remember the incident clearly, but fortunately he had his radio on him, the tree falling safety plan operated as it should, and he received prompt assistance from other members of the crew. He was taken to hospital and monitored for concussion while receiving stitches to the laceration to his face. The faller had been off work to recuperate following the concussion, and has since returned to work.

If the branch had been any bigger this could have resulted in very severe injuries.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Contributing factors:

  • Assessment – In this case the faller had not seen the dead, hung-up top as part of his assessment. This reinforces the need to assess each tree to look for potential hazards, and to follow the 5 STEPS correctly – Site Assessment, Tree Assessment, Escape Route, Practice Safe falling techniques, Step back and observe. Where the hazard has been identified a control for it is to be implemented.
  • Previous operations – The edge of the road lining operation had been identified as having numerous dead tops and debris hung up in the standing tree branches. It is likely that the previous road lining operation may have created some of these overhead hazards by machine felling back into the stand. Although not necessarily the cause in this instance, it could be a contributing factor.

Learnings:

  • No operation should create hazards that will effect subsequent phases / operations. Where it is possible during road lining operations, trees should not be felled back into trees that will be left standing, and any hazards that are created must be eliminated wherever possible.
  • If a hazard can’t be eliminated it must be reported, mapped, and built into the site specific hazard register for the next operation, and appropriate controls implemented.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

PDF copy of this alert from New Zealand Forest Owners Association: https://nzfoa-iris.com/SafetyAlerts/ShowSafetyPDF.aspx?id=191

Yarding crew member struck by an unprocessed stem

Safety Alert Type: 
Yarding and Loading
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2017-09-26
Company Name: 
New Zealand Forest Owners Association
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

The following information is from a member company of the New Zealand Forest Owners Association (NZFOA). The information provided has relevance to forestry operations in British Columbia as well. Link to the NZFOA alerts web page: https://nzfoa-iris.com/SafetyAlerts.aspx 

From New Zealand comes a report of a serious incident where a yarding crewmember was struck by an unprocessed stem which unexpectedly discharged from a surge pile on the landing.

 

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Key learnings

  • The daily yarding plan needs to reflect the risks associated with the log pile
  • The senior crew member is to establish that the other workers are in a safe position as per best practice guidelines
  • Logs on the pile should be entirely on the landing and height restricted to minimize logs falling / slipping
  • Yarding crew members to wear helmets with chin straps
  • Communication protocols between machine operators working / clearing a log pile must be agreed upon before work commences.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

PDF copy of this alert from New Zealand Forest Owners Association: https://nzfoa-iris.com/SafetyAlerts/ShowSafetyPDF.aspx?id=188

When using resource roads, close the "loop" on radio communications

Safety Alert Type: 
Vehicles
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2017-11-29
Company Name: 
New Zealand Forest Owners Association
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

The following information is from a member company of the New Zealand Forest Owners Association (NZFOA). The information provided has relevance to forestry operations in British Columbia as well. Link to the NZFOA alerts web page: https://nzfoa-iris.com/SafetyAlerts.aspx

Ever watch a movie or seen a paramedic delivering shocks from an AED to a patient? There is a critical step before a patient is shocked. The paramedic must say, “all clear” the other paramedics must then respond “I’m clear”. The paramedic then signals “everyone is clear” when he has observed and heard each person respond.

As in any job, this communication may become repetitive. This may cause individuals to make assumptions believing everyone is clear without following the “check back” process and confirming everyone is clear. The communication breaks down and someone is inadvertently shocked when they are not clear.

When we travel forest roads and make calls to let others know our position we use “closed loop communication”.
Once I have made my call I listen for response. If I get a response from another vehicle coming towards me I then respond, back with instruction where we will meet or how to pass safely.
Although there is a written procedure for how this must be communicated, it happens very naturally and becomes more of a conversation then a step by step instruction. We then rely on driving to conditions and proper speed to ensure safe travel if this procedure fails. We need to ensure we are using the “check back” process.

Yarding work, machine assisted falling, road closed authorization are tasks that rely on radio communication for each other’s safety. Get this wrong and someone can be seriously hurt. A critical part of this communication is confirming the message has been heard and understood.

Incidents have been reported of close calls when this check back loop has not been followed. A radio turned down and instruction not heard, a worker hears a click on the radio and thinks it is confirmation, visual confirmation is thought to be received from operator.

In industry in New Zealand there have been a number of fatalities also related to not following this process and communication being assumed or not confirmed.

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  • Use a check back process to ensure instructions have been understood
  • DO NOT make assumptions that communication has been received
  • This may seem repetitive but do not shortcut the communication by using other less effective methods like radio clicks or poor visual eye contact.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

PDF copy of this alert from New Zealand Forest Owners Association: https://nzfoa-iris.com/SafetyAlerts/ShowSafetyPDF.aspx?id=190

Worker near feller buncher struck by flying debris in reduced visibility

Safety Alert Type: 
Heavy Equipment
Location: 
near Celista, BC (Shuswap Lake)
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2017-10-05
Company Name: 
Canoe Forest Products Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

While employed on a wildfire at night, a worker was struck by flying debris that was dislodged by a feller buncher (with a de-energized head).

The worker was wearing all required PPE, had radio contact with the machine operator, and both were aware of each other’s locations. The worker was standing approximately 70’ from the feller buncher and adjacent to a parked road-building excavator that was being using as a barrier between the active machine and the worker.

Limited visibility prevented loose debris from being seen. When the feller buncher removed a buried log from in front of the parked excavator, a 10’ x 4’ cedar slab was thrown and struck the worker, knocking him to the ground and causing minor bruising.

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  • Keep the required distance from all moving equipment especially during activities in conditions with limited visibility
  • Identify upset conditions and do not enter work zones where limited visibility will prevent the identification of all potential hazards.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Shawn Rolston, RFT

srolston@canoefp.com

 

File attachments
Safety_Alert_Feller_Buncher_Flying_Debris-Canoe_FP-Oct_5-2017.pdf

Toxic Fumes in Cab of Log Truck

Safety Alert Type: 
Vehicles
Location: 
near Princeton, BC
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2017-11-10
Company Name: 
Weyerhaeuser Company Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

On November 10, 2017 a log hauler had a near miss with a plow truck on Red Creek FSR, north of town.

The plow truck had been calling but the log hauler did not clear and a near miss occurred with minor damage to the plow truck.

Following this incident, the hauler proceeded to the block to be loaded. The loaderman noted that the driver was not acting normal and instructed the driver to stop driving and go get checked at the hospital.

Well Done Loaderman! It was further discovered that the driver had high levels of toxicity.

Upon an investigation it was discovered during the detailing of the cab that new batteries had been installed 2 years prior and the venting tubes had not been reinstalled. It is believed that the battery shorted out and started to emit fumes and without the venting tubes installed, the fumes went into the cab.

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  • When performing truck maintenance inspections, ensure venting of various systems are functional and toxic fumes are not entering the cab
  • If a driver begins having symptoms like headache, nausea, confusion, or difficulty breathing consider medical attention. Along with a vehicle inspection, looking for possible leaks or ventilation problems.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Crystal Rogers, RFT Logging Supervisor - Weyerhaeuser Company Ltd. crystal.rogers@weyerhaeuser.com

File attachments
Safety_Alert_Weyerhaeuser_Princeton-Toxic_fumes_in_cab-Nov_10-2017.pdf

Tire change mishap knocks out worker

Safety Alert Type: 
Mechanical Service (Field)
Location: 
Houston, BC area
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2017-11-03
Company Name: 
Andy Meints Contracting Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

An employee was changing a flat on his maintenance truck (a “dually” with an inner rear tire that was flat). He set the park brake and put the vehicle in 4WD so it would not roll while he was working under it.

He was out on the worksite and so tried to find a good spot to do the tire change. The road was a little uneven and there was snow on the ground – making it hard to stabilize the bottle jack that was being used to lift the truck.

When the employee was set up to perform the task, he first radioed a nearby supervisor to advise he was changing a tire, and gave the supervisor an estimated time frame for when he should be done.

When the employee was under the vehicle and the rear tire was loose, the bottle jack became unstable – causing the vehicle to come down. This knocked the tire out of the employee’s hand and the tire hit him in the head. He was knocked unconscious by the impact.

Once he regained consciousness he called the supervisor and was subsequently taken to a clinic for medical assessment. It was confirmed that the employee had a concussion. He was instructed to take it easy until he was feeling better again. The employee was allowed to go back to work – but on light duty until he is feeling recovered fully.

Hazards present:

  • Working alone/in isolation while performing maintenance under a vehicle.
  • Uneven/snowy ground presented a challenge when trying to set the bottle jack.
  • The bottle jack doesn’t have a wide base but it can lift a heavier load that other jacks and is therefore the jack selected when changing tires on heavier vehicles.
  • Working in awkward positions/limited space – making it more difficult to do the maintenance.

 

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  • Store a thick piece of 12” x 12" plywood on board for the base of the jack.
  • Truck should be supported by jack stands in these types of conditions.
  • Develop specific instructions on how each tire change situation should be assessed and proper supervision maintained (when the tire change is in difficult circumstances).
  • Look into different equipment for this type of job – so that all hazards are eliminated when performing routine maintenance.
  • Ensure Safe Work Procedures are followed when doing maintenance under a vehicle.
  • Provide needed PPE for the job. A regular hard hat may not be practical, so add a mechanic’s “low profile” hard hat to on board equipment. Add a chin strap, if not equipped.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Brenda, Andy Meints Contracting Ltd.

brendasafety@gmail.com

 

File attachments
Safety_Alert-Andy_Meints_Contr_Ltd-Nov_3-2017.pdf

Heavy Rainfall Increases Washout and Landslide Risk

Safety Alert Type: 
Weather
Location: 
South Coast Region (Vancouver Island, northern Fraser Valley)
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2017-11-15
Company Name: 
BC Forest Safety Council
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Recent heavy rainfalls have significantly increased the risk of road washouts and landslides.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Brief your crew on the risks of flooding and landslides, including the following:

  • Road washouts can occur quickly and may surprise drivers. Consider that roads may wash out behind crews, leaving them stranded.
  • Field crews often cross and work adjacent to streams and rivers. Postpone work next to water until conditions improve.
  • The soil next to bridges and culverts may be eroded by heavy rains and high stream flows. Sometimes this erosion cannot be easily seen. Be cautious and assess crossings from a safe distance before driving over them.
  • Travelling at night during flood conditions is not recommended. The limited visibility can result in not being able to spot washouts in time to stop.
  • The heavy rains can cause water saturated soils which are prone to landslides. Fast flowing streams and rivers can also erode the base of slopes causing them to slide. Avoid work in steep areas with weak soils until conditions improve.
  • Crews responsible for inspecting and repairing roads and water crossings need to be extremely careful. Don’t risk getting too close and being caught up in fast rising or fast flowing water.
  • Make sure your emergency response plans include procedures on how to respond to severe weather incidents.

The points above were taken from a Monthly Safety Alert from earlier in the year. Use this link to view the entire alert: http://www.bcforestsafe.org/node/2964

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Gerard Messier, BCFSC

messier@bcforestsafe.org

 

File attachments
Washout and Landslide Alert-BCFSC-Nov_15-2017.pdf

Weather Warning: Anticipate the hazards

Safety Alert Type: 
Weather
Location: 
British Columbia
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2017-10-23
Company Name: 
BC Forest Safety Council
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Weather warnings and reports of extreme weather have been coming into the BC Forest Safety Council office. Now that fire season has ended, we might want to relax, but the fall and winter weather creates different types of hazards:

HEAVY RAIN can create hazardous driving conditions. Watch out for water pooling on roads, muddy and slippery road conditions as well as reduced visibility. Drive appropriately for the conditions and make sure your vehicle is well maintained and equipped to handle the challenging conditions.

 

STRONG WINDS can cause blowdown causing road blockages and damage to vehicles caught under falling trees. When working on foot, be prepared to evacuate areas if it gets too windy. Get out before the trees start to come down.

LANDSLIDES can occur when heavy rains saturate and weaken soils. Measure the rainfall at your worksite and follow your rainfall shutdown procedures to help manage this hazard.

SNOW has already fallen in parts of the province. This creates slippery road and worksite conditions. Vehicles should have appropriate winter tires, tire chains and other winter supplies. Have the appropriate footwear and cold weather gear available.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Gerard Messier, BC Forest Safety Council,

messier@bcforestsafe.org

 

File attachments
Safety_Alert_BCFSC_Anticipate_Weather_Hazards_Oct_23-2017.pdf
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