Winter Operations: Poor conditions, late start emphasize importance of driver diligence

Safety Alert Type: 
Resource Roads
Location: 
British Columbia
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2016-11-25
Company Name: 
BC Forest Safety Council
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Current State: Conditions provincially have been very challenging this fall due to wet and warm weather conditions. This has resulted in lower than normal operational activity which has increased the amount of wood in the bush and reduced the amount of wood making it to the mills.

It has also led to night shifts in many areas of the province which is unusual for this time of year.

Currently weather conditions are improving and operational activities are returning to normal levels. Night shifts in many areas have and are transitioning to normal operating hours.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

The hazards:

  • Stress caused by increased pressure for deliveries
  • Fatigue as staff transition from night to day shift
  • Road and environmental change to winter conditions
  •  

Considerations:

  • Speed - driving too fast for conditions - remains the number one contributor to fatal motor vehicle crashes in BC. Each fall, the number of people killed or injured in a crash as a result of driving too fast for conditions spikes upwards - nearly doubling
  • What is a safe speed? It is not simply the greatest speed at which you can "keep ‘er on the road." Safe speed includes obligations to drive at a speed that does not generate undue risks, and to apply behaviours that provide a margin of error - for you and other drivers.
  • Driving decisions must accurately consider the physical environment. Drivers have to think about the road (e.g. surface materials, lane width, sighting distance, grade, etc.) and the weather. More importantly, your calculations have to account for how these factors influence visibility, traction and vehicle performance.
  • At all times, especially if you are transitioning in or out of night shift you must ensure you are at the top of your game.

Factors that support this:

  • Well-rested and alert - 6 to 9 hours of sleep is recommended.
  • Patience - Use patience with other drivers, road maintenance crews, etc.
  • Proper hydration and diet - Heathy eating is part of overall wellness.
  • Physical / mental fitness - Helps ensure you are best prepared for the job.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Dustin Meierhofer, BC Forest Safety Council 1-877-741-1060

File attachments
Safety_Alert_BCFSC-WinterOperations-November_2016.pdf

EXTREME SLIDE POTENTIAL FOR COASTAL REGIONS

Safety Alert Type: 
Weather
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2016-11-15
Company Name: 
BC Forest Safety Council
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

This fall has seen an unusually high amount of rainfall in most coastal regions of BC.

As a result, ground conditions are saturated to maximum levels.

With little relief between rainfall systems moving through the coastal region, please remember to continue to ensure that ground and weather conditions are included in all daily hazard assessments – especially in areas pre-identified as High Hazard.

Many falling and logging crews have already missed multiple days due to rain fall limits exceeding safe levels.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Please continue to exercise appropriate caution and base decisions on you and your crews’ safety.

While we all know there is a cost to lost production days, no cost is worth your or anyone else’s life.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

BC Forest Safety Council 1-877-741-1060

File attachments
Hazard_Alert_Extreme_Slide_Potential_Coastal_Region-BCFSC-Nov-2016.pdf

Resource Road Radio Channels Bulletin

Safety Alert Type: 
Resource Roads
Location: 
British Columbia
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2016-10-26
Company Name: 
BC Forest Safety Council
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

(in conjunction with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada)

Revised resource road radio channel standard protocols have been introduced to BC in the last few years. The objectives have been to standardize and simplify a provincially consistent approach to radio communications in order to improve safety of travel on resource roads.

Most of the province has initiated and implemented new resource road radio communication protocols which consist of simplified and consistent procedures, standardized signage, standardized radio call protocols (including use of “up/down”), and establishing a standard bank of resource road radio (RR) channels.

The introduction of standardized resource road radio protocols has been a collaborative effort including: the FLNRO, ISED (formerly Industry Canada), FPInnovations, WorkSafeBC, BCFSC, forest and resource industry sectors, and other stakeholders.

The standard bank of RR channels has been assigned to FLNRO by ISED, to be managed and administered in conjunction with ISED. FLNRO will be responsible for operational administration, tracking and application of channel assignments in the field.

  • The standard bank of RR channels consists of 35 road channels and 5 loading channels. The road channels are for communicating location and direction when travelling on resource roads. The 5 loading (LD) channels are for communicating on landings and staging areas to avoid congestion of RR channels. In addition to the RR channels, there are the 4 LAD channels which can also be used for communications. Any of the RR channels may be used for emergency communications such as in the case of incidents. Idle chit-chat is to be avoided when using any mobile radio channel or frequency which is intended for safety communications.
  • It is important to note that there are only a relative few roads that are “radio-controlled” where use of a mobile radio is mandatory to communicate location and direction when travelling on a resource road. Most resource roads in the province are “radio-assisted” and there is no requirement to have and use a mobile radio. Additionally, resource roads on Crown Land, with some exceptions, are open to use by the general public that typically do not have mobile radios.
  • Those travelling on radio-assisted resource roads should not rely solely on mobile radio communications, and must drive safely according to road and weather conditions.

 

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Things to bring to your attention: Use the Resource Road radio channels or radio frequencies that are posted in the field. Do not solely rely on channel maps. What is posted in the field will govern over any map. Those using mobile radios for communicating on resource roads must call according to posted channels/frequencies and protocols.

  • Not all resource roads around the province have been converted to the standard set of RR channels; some industrial users are still using pre-existing frequencies; for some roads, RR channels are being adopted as they become industrially active.
  • The RR channels are available to all mobile radio users, and can be obtained through commercial radio shops, provided they have a radio license with the RR Appendix. Radio licenses are issued by ISED.
  • RR channel maps have been developed as planning tools. However, these should not be solely relied upon to determine the appropriate channels in the field; what is on a map may not be posted in the field; mobile radio users should be relying on what is posted on the roads they are traveling on. Link to RR channel planning maps: https://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hth/engineering/Road_Radio_Project.htm 
  • Programming of select channels into mobile radios (“cherry picking”) of channels is discouraged; all users are encouraged to have the full standard RR channel bank programmed into their radios by commercial radio shops.
  • All resource road users in the affected areas should exercise additional caution during the transition period to new resource road radio communication protocols.
  • A procedure has been developed for permanent and temporary changes to RR channel assignments. All changes require approval by the MFLNRO District Engineering Officer as well as ISED. This is a link to the Channel Change Procedure.
  • RR channel 13 has been removed from service due to conflict with an electronic system in certain Kenworth trucks. RR 13 should not be assigned or used until further notice; if assigned, please move to change the channel following the channel change procedure.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do the new resource road radio (RR) channels affect private radio channels ownership and use?

A: The new RR channels do not impact private channel ownership & use. However, radio channel or frequency use must reflect that posted on the road being used or area being accessed.

Are there channels available for use in addition to the RR channels?

A: Yes, LAD channels can be used as an addition to existing RR loading channels when radio congestion is an issue.

Is the use of old channel/frequencies (i.e. legacy channels/frequencies Appendix 6) allowed?

A: Yes, the use of existing/legacy road radio channels/frequencies should be used where signage indicates. As the transition of the roads within the province to the RR channels will take significant effort & time, the ongoing use of traditional channels/frequencies is anticipated to decrease.

Can an RR channel assigned to a road be changed?

A: Yes. There is a procedure in place which details the required process to change/assign a temporary RR channel. Link: Channel Change Procedure

Additional information and maps on the initiative can be found at: https://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hth/engineering/Road_Radio_Project.htm

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

MFLNRO District Engineer within your area via Service BC 1-800-663-7867 or the BC Forest Safety Council’s Transportation Safety Program 1-877-741-1060.

File attachments
Safety_Alert_RR_Radio_Channels_Bulletin-BCFSC-2016-10-26.pdf

Chain shot incident injures operator

Safety Alert Type: 
Heavy Equipment
Location: 
near Fort St. James, BC
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2016-10-16
Company Name: 
KDL Group (K & D Logging)
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Injuries and fatalities have been occurring in the forest industry due to processor ‘Chain shot’. Chain shot is when a processor chain breaks and the broken link is whipped or shot (sometimes in excess of 8,000 feet per second) from the processor head. This link travels at such a high rate of speed that it can severely injure or kill a worker if struck.

Recently, K&D Logging experienced a ‘chain shot’ which pierced through a 12mm Lexan window (see photos in attached pdf) and lodged in an operator’s leg, just below the knee. The operator required surgery to remove the 2 links from his leg.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Actions:

  • Ground crews should never work within a 300ft radius of an operating processor. If an individual is checking log quality (other than the operator), shut the processor off and join the individual with the quality check. Do not run the machine while anyone is within the 300ft limit.
  • Never operate the main saw in front of the cab. Always tilt the head so the bar is angled away from the cab. Positioning the head a few degrees can mean all of the difference in avoiding a direct chain shot.
  • Discuss with your supervisor if you are processing safely to avoid chain shot. Have someone else watch the way you process to ensure that you are being safe and that you are positioned correctly.

Currently, K&D Logging has a chain re-sharpening program. The current program disposes of chains when: there is a broken link, damage to 2 or more teeth, excessive wear or more than 3 sharpenings. There will be more information on this topic as we learn from our chain supplier (Stihl) and from others who manage a chain sharpening program.

WorkSafeBC is working with manufacturers and dealers to develop engineered controls (barriers or guarding) to limit the risk of chain shot. Until these controls are finalized, operators need to ensure proper head positioning while cutting and avoid using chains with excessive wear.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

KDL GROUP

www.kdlgroup.net

 

 

File attachments
Safety_Alert_KDL_Group_2016-10-16.pdf

Large stick grabbed by skidder’s tire chains, startles operator by entering cab

Safety Alert Type: 
Vehicles
Location: 
McLeod Block (near Fort St. James)
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2016-10-05
Company Name: 
DNT Contracting Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

While skidding on a block, a stick got caught (2-3" in diameter and several feet long) in the tire chains on the skidder.

The stick was small enough that it passed through the protective grating on the side window on the door of the skidder. The inside window on the skidder door was slid open.

The stick entered the cab about 12" startling the operator.

Root Cause: 

  • Maintenance
  • Chains Loose on Skidder
  • Eyes not on task
  • Inadequate assessment of hazard and risks.

 

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  • Proper maintenance
  • Keep skidder chains tightened on skidder to help prevent sticks from getting caught in them
  • Mind on task, and review hazards and risks for the job.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Clint Ludwig (250) 567-5167

File attachments
Safety_Alert_DNT_Contracting_2016-5-10.pdf

Good Samaritan Stabbed at Crash Scene

Safety Alert Type: 
Other
Location: 
Inland Island Hwy – North of Hwy #4 / Port Alberni Turnoff
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2016-09-21
Company Name: 
Mount Sicker Lumber Company
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A worker was heading to Port Alberni, for work, in the early morning. While en route he witnessed a motor vehicle veer across both northbound lanes, grass meridian and southbound lanes, ending up in the bushes, north of the Hwy #4 junction.

The worker called his Supervisor to advise him he was going to stop and instructed him to contact 911 to send out the police and ambulance.

The worker helped the vehicle driver out of the ditch and up to the road side. The vehicle driver then turned on the worker, stabbed him in the chest and stole the worker’s vehicle.

The worker was able to call his Supervisor back to report the stabbing and vehicle theft. An ambulance was already on its way to the incident and the worker was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

During a regular workday, forestry employees and supervisors are well versed in ERP for serious injury within their work environment.

The employees have not received ERP training for non-work related, non-industrial incidents or motor vehicle accidents that include upset conditions and unknown citizens.

  • Do not put yourself into an unsafe situation when you are not trained in the upset condition
  • If possible, wait until someone can render assistance
  • If leaving your vehicle ensure you contact someone to advise them first of the incident and location, along with a check back time. Follow working alone Man Check procedures.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Mount Sicker Lumber Company kent@mountsicker.com 

Feller-Buncher comes within 5 feet of unmarked rock cliff

Safety Alert Type: 
Mechanical Tree Falling
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2016-02-09
Company Name: 
CANFOR
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A buncherman was falling trees along the road right-of-way at night before luckily stopping within five feet of a steep rock cliff, which dropped fifteen feet down to a stream below. There was no indication of the steep rock cliff on the logging plan map, and there weren’t any “safety hazard” ribbons hung in the field as per the ribboning standards.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Potential Hazards:

  • A steep rock cliff that was a significant drop in the cutblock was not indicated on the logging plan or discussed in the prework
  • Layout contractor did not follow procedures by failing to mark the rock cliff as a “safety hazard” with the appropriate ribbons in the field and including all known hazards on the final layout map; contractor confirmed they were aware of the expectation to do this
  • An incomplete logging plan map that did not include any indication of a significant safety hazard.

Preventative Actions:

  • Review ribboning standards with all layout crews and permitting staff to ensure full understanding
  • Complete investigation with all layout crews to identify if ribbon & mapping standards weren’t followed in any previous blocks so any safety hazards can be identified before any logging activity
  • Review ribbon & mapping standards to identify opportunities for improvement (e.g., “ROAD R/W” & “Safety Hazard” ribbon are both pink w/ black).

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Tyson von den Steinen, Canadian Forest Products Ltd (250) 962-3229 Tyson.vondenSteinen@canfor.com 

File attachments
safety_alert_canfor_LOGGING_PLAN_1_21_2016.pdf

Gloves are PPE so choose the right ones for the job

Safety Alert Type: 
Workers
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2016-01-21
Company Name: 
CANFOR
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

An employee - while wearing fingerless wool gloves - was using a steel tape to complete log quality measurements. The tape had recently been repaired and the release mechanism was “stiffer” than before and did not release from the log when the attempt was made to do so.

The employee’s finger was cut by the tape while attempting to pull the tape loose; four stitches were required.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Potential Hazards:

  • Inadequate PPE worn while using a potentially sharp object (i.e., fingerless wool gloves & steel tape)
  • Lack of awareness due to an insufficient administrative control (i.e., hand PPE policy)
  • Abnormal condition as the release mechanism on the tape was not functioning as expected after having been repaired.

Preventative Actions:

  • Cut resistant gloves that offer the required amount of dexterity (similar to those pictured in the attached document) have been identified and will be available for staff at each operation
  • The policy for hand PPE in the OH&S Program will be revised to read as follows: "Employees must always wear SUITABLE gloves whenever risk of hand injury is present."

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Tyson von den Steinen, Canadian Forest Products Ltd (250) 962-3229 Tyson.vondenSteinen@canfor.com 

File attachments
safety_alert_canfor_HAND_PPE_1_21_2016.pdf

Towing a vehicle from a ditch: Beware of potential hazards

Safety Alert Type: 
Vehicles
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2015-12-15
Company Name: 
CANFOR
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

An employee had to leave the road and drive into a ditch to avoid an on-coming logging truck. The pickup could not be driven out on its own so arrangements were made for it to be pulled out by the next loaded logging truck that passed by.

The employee made the decision to be in the pickup, without securing a seatbelt, to assist with steering while being pulled out. The pickup eventually rolled over onto its roof with the driver inside as it slid along the ditch.

During the extraction the tow rope broke and came close to hitting the person assisting with the extraction.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Potential Hazards:

  • Encountering an unexpected vehicle
  • Occupying a vehicle that is not on a stable surface
  • Occupying a moving vehicle without having the seatbelt secured
  • Using a tow rope in disrepair and without the proper precautionary measures.

Preventative Actions:

  • Never occupy a vehicle that is not on a stable surface and always wear a seatbelt when it’s in motion
  • Know your limitations and when a tow truck might be required to safely tow a vehicle.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Tyson von den Steinen, Canadian Forest Products Ltd (250) 962-3229 Tyson.vondenSteinen@canfor.com

File attachments
safety_alert_canfor_TOWING_PICKUPS_12_15_2015_.pdf

WorkSafe Bulletin - Noise Levels: How loud is it?

Safety Alert Type: 
Workers
Location: 
Job sites throughout BC
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2016-10-11
Company Name: 
WorkSafeBC
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

As a worker in the forest industry, you may be exposed to hazardous levels of noise on the job. Regular exposure to sounds louder than 85 decibels (dBA) can cause permanent hearing loss. You may not work regular eight-hour shifts or be exposed to noise continuously, but you may still be at risk of hearing loss.

Noise levels and exposure time work together to create the risk. Working in higher noise levels for a short time or in lower noise levels for a long time can cause the same harm.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

In the attached WorkSafe Bulletin, a table shows how long you can be exposed to certain noise levels without harm. It also lists examples of typical noise exposures for several forestry occupations.

For example, if you work as a manual faller for 8 hours a day and are exposed to noise at 103 dBA, you can work in this environment for up to 7.5 minutes before the noise becomes hazardous. It's important to know how loud your equipment or work enviornment is to understand the risk you face.

If testing shows that your noise exposure is greater than 85 dBA (averaged over an eight-hour day), your employer must take steps to protect your hearing. These steps include reducing workplace noise and providing you with hearing protection. Your hearing protection must be comfortable and provide adequate protection from noise.

The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) rates hearing protection as Class A, B or C, depending on how much noise reduction the protection provides. The recommended protection for eight hours of exposure is explained in the attached bulletin.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

WorkSafeBC Prevention Information Line: 1-888-621-7233

File attachments
Safety_Alert_WSBC-How_Loud_Is_It-Forestry.pdf
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