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

Fatality Alert Update - BCFSC # 2013-10-21

Safety Alert Type: 
Booming and Towing
Location: 
Sayward
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2013-10-21
Company Name: 
BC Forest Safety
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Updated on April 15, 2014: On October 21st of 2013, a cedar salvager was fatally injured near Sayward, BC.

The investigation into this incident is ongoing and the results will be released as soon as possible. However, some general information about the hazards present at the incident site is known. The following update will provide suggested best practices to manage these types of hazards.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Slope Instability:

  • Professionals and others developing harvest or salvage plans and overseeing forest activities need to be aware of the resources and expertise available to them that will assist in planning and implementing safe operations. Engineering and Geoscience consultants and terrain stability maps are examples.
  • Removal of logs that have been down for a significant period of time can negatively affect the stability of the slope and the stability of surrounding trees. This is especially important in cedar salvaging operations where the downed logs may have been on the ground for many years.
  • Rainfall measurement is important for operations on potentially unstable slopes. Develop guidelines that will move operations to safer areas when soils become saturated, unstable and prone to slides.
  • Guidelines for operating on potentially unstable slopes have been developed with heavy equipment operations in mind, such as logging and road building. However, it is important to recognize that small scale operations such as bucking of cedar for salvage purposes can also impact slope stability and worker safety.

Danger Trees:

  • Areas that have been subject to damaging wind storms often create hazardous leaning and blown down trees. Sites that have experienced wind events over long periods of time can have significant accumulations of trees leaning in random directions, trees with broken tops and standing dead trees in various stages of decay.
  • Dangerous trees must be removed from worksites if there is a risk that they could strike a worker. If they are to be hand felled, a certified faller must do this work. The faller or falling supervisor will be able to assess if the danger trees can be felled safely or if danger tree blasting or other means are required. As an alternative, the trees can be assessed by a certified Danger Tree Assessor to determine if they are safe and if not develop a plan to minimize the risk to the worker, for example a no work zone.
  • Helicopter operations create a significant amount of downwash that can jar loose overhead hazards which can strike workers. Make sure the worksite is free of danger trees, hung up branches, dead tops and other dangers that can come down to strike workers.
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) should be worn correctly and during all phases of an operation. Danger trees are significant overhead hazards and can be overlooked. Your hard hat will provide some protection if one of those unseen hazards comes down.

Blowdown Operations:

  • Working in a stand of blown down trees presents many hazards. When logging or salvaging in these sites, the downed trees are subject to bind and loading that is not usually present at most sites.
  • Unexpected movement of stumps is a significant hazard when logging in blow down stands. Bucking the logs and removing the weight of the stem may cause the stump to rapidly flip back upright or roll downhill if located on a steep slope.
  • Many falling and bucking incidents are the result of chain reactions on steep ground. A tree falls or log moves which jars something loose, which rolls or moves and hits the worker. Think about how your actions will affect the work environment and ensure that your actions will not create any chain reactions.

Emergency Response Planning:

  • Good emergency response planning includes testing communications and providing adequate resources to treat and move injured workers. Emergency plans need to take into consideration barriers to evacuation like steep slopes, blow down and large watercourses.
  • First Aid Assessments completed for operations with a small number of workers often indicate that only small amounts of first aid training and equipment are required. Consider additional equipment and personnel for remote worksites and high hazard work especially where there are barriers that will delay the evacuation of injured workers to a hospital.
  • Helicopter evacuation – if the only way to evacuate an injured worker is by air then you must have a helicopter available. Weather can be a limiting factor in helicopter availability and needs to be taken into account.
  • GPS coordinates should be available for the site as well as detailed, written driving directions to the site. If there is an emergency, these directions can be easily communicated to an emergency dispatcher. If a trail is required to access the worksite, it should be marked with flagging and cleared to aid moving an injured worker.

Small scale salvage operations warrant the same level of supervision or pre-planning as any other harvesting operation. The company owners, supervisors and professionals involved in planning these operations must make sure that potential hazards such as unstable ground or hazardous trees are identified and the workers in those operations are made aware of them and understand how to manage the risks.

File attachments
BCFSC-FatalityAlert-20131021-UPDATE-20140331.pdf

Extreme winds bring down snag onto truck

Location: 
Preacher Ridge Forest Service Road (near 100 Mile House, BC)
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2014-03-14
Company Name: 
Katchmar Construction (1997) Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A worker was out burning piles in a recently completed logging block. He was driving his pick-up to the next block when the winds started to get extreme, hail began to fall and he noticed trees blowing over in the nearby bush. At that point the employee decided to turn around and head for home, not knowing the severity of the storm that was blowing in.

On the way out of the bush, a dead snag fell - first landing on the snowbank alongside the road then falling onto the truck box before finally bouncing off onto the road behind the truck while it was still moving (see photos in attached pdf).

This close call could have been much worse. Thankfully the worker was uninjured but there was significant damage to the box of the truck.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

• Be aware during windy conditions on public & private roads as most roads in the Interior region have vast numbers of dead pine which are within reach of the roadway.

• Drive defensively and always expect the unexpected at any given time.

• Be aware of your surroundings as well as the weather conditions / forecast.

• Be sure to complete your scheduled check-ins with your supervisor if you are working alone.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

For more information: George Katchmar at Katchmar Construction (1997) Ltd. 250-395-2385

File attachments
Extreme winds bring down snag onto truck.pdf

Close Call: Snowmobile rollover involves two people

Location: 
Albreda Creek (between Valemount and Blue River, BC)
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2014-02-11
Company Name: 
Gilbert Smith Forest Products Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Access to the work area (for timber development) was by snowmobile and included travelling on a deactivated road. While sledding through a deep waterbar, the operator lost control and the snowmobile rolled over.

Both operator and passenger rolled in tandem with the machine. The snowmobile rested upside down with the throttle pinned in the snow, wide open. Both workers rolled in close proximity to the accelerating track. A third worker travelling close behind observed the incident and ran over to help right the sled and get it shut down.

This was a close call with the possibility for serious injury from workers coming in contact with the moving track and / or weight of the rolling sled itself.

Fortunately, there were no injuries to the workers or damage to the snowmobile.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

• Identify and prepare for hazards – Snowmobiling on deactivated roads and snowmobile moving parts.

• Follow SWP for use of snowmobiles. When doubling, passenger should get off around tricky areas allowing the operator better mobility and control of the snowmobile.

• The operator should ALWAYS have the kill switch lanyard attached to their clothing.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

For more information: Gilbert Smith Forest Products Ltd. 250-672-9435 gfoss@gsfpcedar.com 

File attachments
Close Call: Snowmobile rollover involves two people.pdf
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