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

Worker suffers amputation as lowbed crushes foot

Safety Alert Type: 
Heavy Equipment
Location: 
Timberlands Pit (Nanaimo, BC)
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2014-02-24
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A lowbed driver and grader operator began preparation to unload a grader. The operator got into the grader to start it up. At this time, the driver saw him in the grader and began to prepare to pull ahead to unhook from the lowbed trailer.

During the time it took the driver to ready the truck to pull away, the operator had gotten out of the grader and didn’t know the driver was already in the truck. He thought the driver was outside taking the tie-downs off on the driver’s side of the truck and proceeded to take the tie-downs off at the front passenger side of the lowbed.

The driver looked and thought the operator was still in the grader and pulled the truck away, which lowered the lowbed to the ground and caught the operator’s foot under the corner of the lowbed.

The emergency response plan was successfully enacted. The operator sustained injury to two toes on his left foot, requiring partial amputation of the big toe.

Both workers assumed that they knew what the other was going to do and proceeded accordingly. The driver did not develop a plan with the grader operator to safely unhook the lowbed trailer and unload the grader.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

• Put a notice out to remind workers that the truck driver is in charge when loading or unloading is taking place. They must follow the driver’s directions at all times.

• Stress the importance of all workers being visible to the driver or operator and in the clear before unloading takes place.

• Do not make assumptions.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

For more information: Copcan Contracting Ltd. (250) 754-7260

File attachments
Worker suffers amputation as lowbed crushes foot.pdf

Alert of the Month - February 2014 - Defensive Driving

Safety Alert Type: 
Other
Location: 
Various locations in British Columbia
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2014-02-28
Company Name: 
BC Forest Safety
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A good defense can win you an Olympic gold medal and it can also keep you safe on your drive to work. Recently, there have been several collisions involving pickups and log trucks. Here’s a summary of three of these incidents:

  • A crew cab towing a snowmobile trailer was traveling up a resource road and shortly after making a radio call at 18km, the crew heard an undecipherable noise on the radio. The driver started to ask for the transmission to be repeated when a loaded logging truck came around the corner. Both drivers proceeded to take evasive action and the pickup’s trailer slid out and contacted the tires on the logging truck’s trailer. This pulled the rear of the pickup into the trailer causing considerable damage to both vehicles. All drivers and passengers were wearing seatbelts and there were no injuries.
  • A pickup truck travelling on a logging road entered a corner and collided head-on with an empty logging truck travelling toward the logging work site. The driver of the pickup truck sustained serious head and chest injuries; the driver of the logging truck was not injured.
  • A loaded logging truck and an empty logging truck met on a stretch of snow-covered forest service road. The empty truck swerved to avoid direct collision and hit the rock wall cut. Injuries included a sore neck and possible injury to the driver’s lower body.

 

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  • A good, safe day starts with the proper preparation. Get enough rest and do your pre-trip inspection to make sure your vehicle is road worthy.
  • Don’t rely on the radio alone to indicate where all the vehicles are on the road.
  • Don’t be shy, do a radio check! Make sure you can communicate before hitting the road and know the communication protocols for the area.
  • Don’t rush. Trying to make it to the next pull-out before meeting oncoming traffic can lead to a collision.
  • If you have passengers, use them to help you listen to radio calls. Train your passengers to be good co-pilots instead of distractions.
  • Get a clear signal that it is OK to pass before going by trucks on resource roads.
  • If you don’t have a radio, consider following a radio equipped vehicle or choosing an alternate route if industrial traffic is heavy.
  • Always remember the last line of defense – your seatbelt.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

The following information will help you develop good defensive driving at work.

 

File attachments
AOM_Feb2014DefensiveDriving.pdf

Snowmobile use on forestry service roads: A hazardous environment

Location: 
TFL 30 – North Olsson Road (Prince George area)
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2014-02-21
Company Name: 
Canfor
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Incident #1: A truck driver was hauling a load out of the North Olsson Road when he met an empty pickup with a snowmobile trailer at 11 km. The truck driver veered to the right hitting the snow bank to avoid the pickup. When he hit the bank with brakes applied, the pup swung out to the left and hit the snowbank on the opposite side of the road blocking the entire road. The pickup managed to get stopped just in time to avoid contact with the pup. The truck driver was driving to conditions and was able to get stopped to avoid a serious accident.

Incident #2: A truck driver was driving down the 24km Rd (off the North Olsson Road). At approximately ½ km there is a trail across the road that snowmobilers use. As the driver approached the ½ km point, a snowmobiler failed to look for traffic and crossed the road just meters in front of the truck. The driver indicated that even just one second later and the snowmobile would have hit the truck.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Key Learnings:

• Forestry Roads are used for industrial use as well as recreational use

• Recreation users need to use extreme caution when using Forestry Roads, especially if they do not have radios

• Drive and ride defensively, always expect the unexpected

Safety Precautions:

• Call Canfor if you have any questions regarding road use

• Avoid using industrial roads during peak hauling times (Mon-Fri). Be aware weekends also have industrial traffic (i.e. low-beds and pickups). Be aware that as spring break up approaches night shift hauling hours will start.

• When in doubt contact Canfor to determine location of hauling activities

• Use a radio and follow radio calling procedures (see links below and in attached pdf) when on industrial roads

• Ask for assistance. When entering the roads, wait for an empty log truck or pickup with radio and follow them in.

• Never operate snowmobiles or ATVs on industrial roads

• Certain areas have been cleared to allow for parking, please use these areas to get off the road and not block or park in pull outs.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

For more information from Canfor: (250) 962–3500.

For more information on Forest Road procedures in the Prince George area, visit these webpages:

Forest_Road_Procedure 1 - Driving on Resource Roads

Forest_Road_Procedure 2 - Radio Calling

File attachments
Safety_Alert_Canfor-PG_Snowmobiles_on_FSRs_2014-2-21.pdf

Cougar encounter at woodlot

Safety Alert Type: 
Planning and Engineering
Location: 
Maple Ridge, BC
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2014-02-26
Company Name: 
Cascadia Environmental Services Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Worker was working alone engineering a cutblock, when she encountered a cougar in the woods. She yelled at the cougar, waving her arms and making herself look big; the cougar did not move towards her or act in an aggressive fashion, it just stood still staring at her.

She immediately contacted the safety coordinator (via text) of the encounter; the safety coordinator checked back (via phone call) every 5 minutes until the worker made it back to the truck. Once at the truck the worker immediately left the area.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

1. Staff immediately reviewed cougar safety pamphlet, found at http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/wld/documents/cougsf.htm 

2. Crews will not return to the area in question for one week; when they do return to the area they will work in pairs.

3. Working alone policy has been updated so that individuals cannot work alone in the woods unless there is another worker in the area. In addition the field crew check-in procedure when working apart (hourly via radio) was re-communicated to staff

4. Have purchased folding sheath knifes (with lockable blade and non-slip rubber grip) for field staff to carry with them in the woods

For more information on this submitted alert: 

For more information, please contact: Chris Gruenwald chris@cascadiaenvironmental.ca

 

File attachments
Cougar encounter at woodlot.pdf

Worker injured moving cargo in box of truck under cold, slippery conditions

Safety Alert Type: 
Workers
Location: 
Campbell River, BC
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2014-02-17
Company Name: 
Dennis Dystant Trucking
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

It was shortly after 7:00 a.m. when an employee was trying to move an empty spool in the back of a pickup. The conditions were cold and icy. When he placed his left foot on the edge of the box rail to get a better stance, it slipped causing him to lose his balance and fall backwards. He did not have enough time to put his hands out to cushion the fall and landed on his neck and back, causing extreme pain and the wind to be knocked out of him.

Another employee was outside opening a gate nearby and watched as this happened. He immediately secured the injured employee and a call was made to 9-1-1 for an ambulance. The injured employee was immobilized in case of a broken neck or head injury until medical aid arrived and was then transported to hospital.

It was determined the worker suffered a fractured rib and that there would be a 4 to 6 week recovery period before he would be able to maneuver normally again.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

• Use a forklift or crane to load/unload cargo instead of climbing into the back of the truck, whenever or wherever possible. Using equipment such as this is more effective and creates less exposure of the worker to possible injury and/or risk.

• Proper placement is important when moving anything, no matter if it is heavy or light.

• Three point contact should always be used when climbing on or off equipment. When it’s cold and freezing, traction and footing are not as effective.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

For more information: Chris Dystant (250) 287-0329

File attachments
Worker injured moving cargo in box of truck under cold, slippery conditions.pdf

Engine compartment fire destroys Feller Buncher

Location: 
Bowers Lake (northwest of 100 Mile House, BC)
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2014-02-07
Company Name: 
Katchmar Construction (1997) Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

The operator of CAT TK 732B Feller Buncher began his shift by conducting his daily pre-checks then began working. At approximately 8:00 p.m. he stopped for lunch and out of the corner of his eye he noticed flames coming from the engine compartment.

The operator immediately pushed the fire suppression system and shut down the machine. When the fire suppression system did not extinguish the flames the operator radioed for the help of his co-worker. He then proceeded to open the engine hatch and jumped out to take two 5 lb. extinguishers to the flames. Unfortunately the flames continued.

When the co-worker arrived the fire had taken over the machine and unfortunately there was nothing left for them to do. The fire eventually went out on its own (see photos in attached pdf).

The root cause is unknown. The machine was maintained regularly and had no history of fires or any known leaks. There was no threat to the existing forest as the machine was working in snowy conditions and very cold temperatures. Thankfully no one was injured during the incident. There were no unsafe practices to report.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

• Always be in contact with a co-worker in case of an arising situation.

• Always be aware of your surroundings and the machine you are operating.

• Make sure you’re properly trained on the equipment, and be sure the emergency equipment is up-to date.

• Remember “RADAR”:  Recognize the risk, Assess the situation (stop to think), Develop a safe solution, Act safely to fix the problem, Report and record the upset condition.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

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

File attachments
Engine compartment fire destroys feller buncher.pdf

Feller Buncher door pops open from falling debris

Location: 
Near Princeton, BC (Lamont Road)
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2014-02-03
Company Name: 
Upper Similkameen Indian Band
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A feller buncher operator was working on an up slope when some debris came down onto the front door, popping it open.

With the door open, the controls no longer were working and the operator had to cover his head and hope nothing came through into the cab.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

• Upon inspection, it was determined the door did not close securely as the latch was worn.

• As part of the daily pre-work checks, ensure all doors close securely. It may only require an adjustment of the door jam or latch, or it may be that the latch needs replacing.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

For more information: Doug Willis, Upper Similkameen Indian Band (250) 295-5317

File attachments
Feller Buncher door pops open from falling debris.pdf
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