Tree planting in blowdown leaves worker in stitches

Safety Alert Type: 
Silviculture
Location: 
Interior region of BC
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2017-05-23
Company Name: 
CANFOR
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A tree planter was attempting to hit their target density by planting a tree in a high blowdown area. The tree planter misjudged their footing and slipped despite discussing the dangers of walking in slash during the morning tailgate meeting.

The tree planter slipped from a log onto another and punctured the posterior side of their thigh; the wound was approximately 2cm wide x 1 cm deep and required stitches to close.

Potential Hazards - Elevated risk due to the following factors:

  • Working in an isolated area far from the nearest hospital
  • Walking in high blowdown area with logs & slash that were wet
  • Planter wasn’t aware of the injury until later in the day during a break back at the pickup truck.

 

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Preventative Actions - Reviewed alternate planting techniques with the planting crews, such as:

  • Go around fallen logs & slash, rather than over
  • Take advantage of planting minimums by planting right up to obstacles and around them
  • Never jump off blowdown; climb off instead while always maintaining 3-point contact
  • Avoid high slash areas, especially in wet and rainy conditions
  • Take lighter “bag-ups” in high slash areas to reduce the weight being carried that would impact balance
  • Always assess ground & footwear before starting work for the day; caulked boots must be worn in wet and/or slashy conditions.

 

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-Tree_Plating_in_Blowdown-May_23-2017.pdf

Lightning strikes, risk of fire threaten field workers

Safety Alert Type: 
Weather
Location: 
Interior region of BC
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2017-07-09
Company Name: 
CANFOR
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A storm developed at the end of the day while workers were walking out of the block. The storm came up quickly and included high winds, rain, hail, thunder and lightning.

The crew was walking out in the open on a built road without any standing timber around them.

Potential Hazards:

  • Risk of being struck by lightning when exposed or working in the open
  • Being trapped without an evacuation plan when lightning strikes ignite a wildfire.

 

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Monitor the weather and make suitable plans when lightning is forecast, which should include evacuation and identified shelter locations. Suspend activities at first sign of thunder & allow sufficient time to get to shelter.

Safe shelters include:

  • Pickup truck with windows fully up
  • Under mature forest canopy with uniform tree heights - or if necessary, low ground (i.e., ditches or under clumps of bushes).

Wait a minimum 30 minutes from the last lightning strike or thunder clap before resuming work if required to work in the open. When thunder is heard, AVOID solitary trees, water, open fields, small rain/sun shelters/gazebos, and using the telephone or touching appliances. (Portable radios & cell phones are safe to use.)

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-Lightning risk-July_2017.pdf

Roadside harvesting work creates numerous hazards

Safety Alert Type: 
Booming and Towing
Location: 
Northern Interior region
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2017-06-30
Company Name: 
CANFOR
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

There have been multiple incidents recently reported involving equipment working along mainline roads with inadequate signage and/or radio communication.

Drivers have been unable to contact the feller buncher operator because they are only monitoring the contractor’s private radio channel. These drivers on mainline roads not aware that falling activities are taking place.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Potential Hazards

  • Falling timber and/or logging debris landing adjacent or directly on the road surface.
  • Passing vehicles driving too close to heavy machinery operating nearby.
  • Inadequate communication when vehicles can’t alert machine operators that they are approaching and require access.
  • Surprised or distracted drivers due to unexpected machinery or debris, which could result in a more serious incident.

Preventative Actions

As per WSBC Regulation sec 26.14.3 effective traffic control must be in place whenever vehicles on a road in a forestry operation are required to drive through a hazard area or through a safe work area.

  • “Effective traffic control” will require either signage, radio communication, flag person, or even physical barriers if necessary.

All heavy equipment must be monitoring the road channel at all times when working alongside active roads, which includes RR channels when working beside mainline roads.

Consider adjusting falling pattern to fall areas along roadsides in sequence during low traffic times and when supervisor, or designate, is available to direct traffic.

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-Roadside Harvesting Hazards-June 30-2017.pdf

Tick season is here - A reminder to workers in BC

Safety Alert Type: 
Workers
Location: 
Province-wide
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2017-06-21
Company Name: 
Econ Consulting
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A new worker discovered an attached tick on their abdomen while showering at the end of a day of engineering fieldwork.

Tick awareness and checking for ticks had been covered during a pre-work safety meeting at the beginning of the shift and the worker was wearing long sleeved shirt and long pants but routine daily inspections were not being done as no tick activity had been observed up to that point.

The tick was immediately removed and discarded. There have been no symptoms of infection.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

The Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation and BC Centre for Disease Control websites provide information and updates on the status of Lyme Disease in British Columbia.

  • A 2013 CDC Lyme Disease Risk Map for British Columbia indicates that the Lower Mainland, Sunshine Coast, and East Coast of Vancouver Island as well as southern interior valleys have optimum ecological conditions for the Lyme Disease organism to be present in the environment.
  • A November 2016 warning indicates that 2 of 3 ticks that tested positive for Lyme Disease in BC in 2016 came from the lower mainland (the other came from the Kamloops area).
  • A June 2017 bulletin indicates a new strain of Lyme Disease has been discovered on Vancouver Island.

The June 2016 Safety Alert of the Month (AOM # 2016-06-22) was reviewed at a safety meeting to refresh awareness and review procedures. The safety alert provides guidance on preventing tick bites:

  • Minimise exposed skin, tucking in clothing, using insect repellant
  • Perform thorough daily body checks as well as gear checks for stow away ticks.

It also provides guidance for safe tick removal and information about Lyme Disease including:

  • Prompt removal within 24-36 hours of bite to reduce potential for infection
  • Retain tick in a crush proof container. Take live tick to your doctor ASAP for testing or retain in fridge for a couple weeks in case you experience symptoms.

Additionally, company safety procedures have been updated to include a requirement that all tick bites be reported using an incident report form for internal record keeping purposes. It was also recommended that ticks involved in bites be retained for a few weeks in case of symptoms or forwarded for testing through a doctor.

Link to the Alert of the Month (June 2016): www.bcforestsafe.org/node/2808

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Len Apedaile RPF, Econ Consulting, 250 337-5588, email:len@econ.ca

 

File attachments
Safety_Alert_Tick Season-Econ_June_21_2017.pdf

Worker run over by large pickup truck

Safety Alert Type: 
Workers
Location: 
Williams Lake, BC
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2017-05-02
Company Name: 
Summit Reforestation Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A new tree planter was driven to camp. After the camp orientation, the planter went and laid down on a large section of grass that was being used for a parking area. The planter lay down behind a row of crew trucks that were parked perpendicular and adjacent to the road. Beyond this was a large grassy field.

All the crew trucks were parked facing outward, other than the last crew truck, which parked facing inward and perpendicular to the road. It had just arrived and was not able to back in due to the lane being blocked by another vehicle.

The driver of the crew truck left his vehicle to use the washroom. The driver returned to his vehicle a few minutes later along the road where the visibility to the location of the planter was blocked by the other crew trucks. The rear door of his truck was open and was obscuring his line of sight along his vehicle.

The driver walked around the back of the truck to the driver side door and then got in. The driver pulled forward and turned right, driving around and behind the end vehicle. His front tire missed the planter; however, as he made his turn the rear wheels went directly over the planter’s torso.

The planter received extensive crush injuries.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

HAZARD - Upset Condition: When someone is forced to do something that is outside of established policy or best practice of the normal course of duty, the risks associated with that act are increased. In this incident, there were at least two “upset conditions”

  1. The driver could not safely back into his parking space so chose to pull in forwards.
  2. The planter arrived in camp early before other employees, and before the planned orientation and training.

PREVENTATIVE ACTIONS - Ensure employees understand “why” a best practice such as backing in to parking spaces is in place. In understanding the intention of the best practice, the employee can mitigate the risks involved in taking alternate action.

HAZARD - New Employees: When new employees first arrive on site, they are yet to receive full orientation and training.

PREVENTATIVE ACTIONS - Designate safe spaces where new employees can be so they will be protected from the hazards associated with the worksite. Ensure new employees are not left unsupervised outside of these designated areas until orientation is completed.

HAZARD - Blind Spots and the DANGER Zone: Large vehicles have large blind spots both in front and behind them; for some drivers, these blind spots can extend over 12 metres from the vehicle. Employees and drivers may not be aware of the size of these areas.

PREVENTATIVE ACTIONS:

  1. Ensure drivers are consistently doing circle checks any time they have lost track of what may have entered this “Danger Zone”. Typically, this would be whenever they leave their vehicle for any period but may also include time spent talking or making notes where their attention had not been on the task of driving.
  2. Drivers should honk their horn before moving from a parked position.
  3. Drivers should adjust their seats to the highest comfortable driving position to maximize their field of vision around their vehicles.
  4. All employees need to be aware of this “Danger Zone.” Ensure employees are trained on how large this zone is and ensure that they are paying full attention when in this space. Do not allow employees to loiter in the immediate vicinity of vehicles. They should only be in the “Danger Zone” when necessary and exit as soon as possible.
  5. Keep parking areas as far from common areas as possible so employees are not tempted to loiter near them – ensure employees are only in designated parking areas when conducting relevant business.

HAZARD - Headphones limiting situational awareness: The use of headphones can severely limit a worker’s ability to hear what is happening around them.

PREVENTATIVE ACTIONS - Headphone use is not safe in a work environment –ensure policy limits use to safe spaces around camp (mess tent or personal tents etc). When a worker is on duty they must be aware of the possible dangers around them.

HAZARD - Travel fatigue: Workers often have extended travel to get to us. Their level of fatigue from this travel may be very significant.

PREVENTATIVE ACTIONS - Organize pick‐up times so that we pick up employees in a fresh state of mind. Know the flight and bus times and when they arrive in town. Encourage people to arrive a day earlier and spend the night in town where they can rest before you pick them up to start work.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Summit Reforestation Ltd. (250) 847-5125

File attachments
Safety_Alert-Summit_Reforestation-May_2-2017.pdf

Pickup truck caught in landslide

Safety Alert Type: 
Resource Roads
Location: 
Highway 20 (25 kilometres west of Williams Lake)
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2017-06-19
Company Name: 
BC Forest Safety Council
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A forestry worker driving to a job site in a pickup truck was swept down a steep embankment when a section of Highway 20 washed out. The worker was able to get out of the pickup and was rescued. However, he did sustain injuries and was transported to hospital for treatment.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Link to recent Landslide and Flood Safety Alert: http://www.bcforestsafe.org/node/2964

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Gerard Messier, BC Forest Safety Council 1-877-741-1060

File attachments
Safety_Alert_Pickup_Landslide-June_19-2017.pdf

Saturated ground fails during road construction

Safety Alert Type: 
Road Building/Deactivation
Location: 
near Beaverdell, BC
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2017-04-27
Company Name: 
Pilot Point Forest Consultants
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A medium-sized excavator was preparing a pilot trail on a new road. Snow depth was over 60 centimetres on approximately 40% side slope and soil types encountered had been well-drained and stable sandy loam.

The hoe reached a point that the design identified as a three metre cut in solid rock which was down slope of a shallow-to-bedrock cleared area. It was observed by the operator that there was snowmelt flowing on exposed rock above the centerline.

As the hoe travelled beneath the bedrock clearing, a deep pocket of soil suddenly gave way and the hoe began to slide below the centerline in a mass of liquefied soil. The operator, who is very experienced, immediately arrested the down slope movement using his bucket and constructed a rough water bar to channel the water flow away from the hoe. By pulling the hoe with the stick/bucket and installing several water bars, he was able to retreat back up the trail toward the starting point.

All work was ceased and the project shut down until drier conditions prevailed. Had the operator not been able to arrest the downslope movement of the hoe, the machine could have slid about another 30 metres down the 30-40% slope to a saturated boggy site and become very stuck (see photos of the ground conditions in attached pdf).

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  1. The design cross sections indicated solid rock with a very shallow layer of overburden, but the soil was actually a deep pocket of saturated sandy loam. Soil types in cross sections are a “best guess” and can be very different than actual conditions. Always anticipate a surprise and be prepared for it by having a plan.
  2. Never work alone without the ability to summon assistance. Always ensure that your method of contact (radio, cell or satellite phone) works at your location and have scheduled check-in times.
  3. The area was very wet with melting snow and another spur just built had extreme muddy conditions. Determine what your limits are for constructing in adverse soil conditions and use wet weather shutdown criteria to know when to stop.
  4. The operator, with years of experience, had an intuition that the ground ahead would be very poor. Learn to trust your intuition, your inner or gut feelings. Your intuition can be the result of years of practice and experiences, and can come to you without even thinking.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Rick Johnson, BCTS Implementation Contractor pilotpnt@telus.net

 

File attachments
Safety_Alert-Saturated_Ground_Bank_Failure-Apr_27-2017.pdf

Log truck spills load, loaderman suffers broken knee cap

Safety Alert Type: 
Log Hauling
Location: 
BC Interior region
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2017-04-07
Company Name: 
CANFOR
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A truck driver spilled his load of logs coming down a steep & bumpy road, which then required the loaderman to come and reload the logs.

The driver blocked off a leak on the trailer brakes, which caused the brakes to release and the truck to move forward toward an embankment.

The truck rode over a few logs causing one of them to flip up and strike the loaderman who couldn’t get out of the way fast enough, resulting in a broken knee cap.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Potential Hazards:

  • Driving too fast for the steep & bumpy road conditions
  • Upset condition: spilled load & unexpected defective equipment (trailer air leak).
  • Inadequate assessment of hazard putting themselves in the “line of fire” of a truck on a slope that had the potential to move forward.

Preventative Actions:

  • Drivers are responsible for ensuring the safe condition of their load before leaving the loader
  • Drivers must take whatever time necessary, given any road condition, to arrive at their destination safely
  • Take the time to STOP & Think about what might happen and properly assess upset conditions before proceeding
  • Properly chock the wheels whenever the braking mechanism is compromised.

 

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-Spilled Load-Broken Knee Cap-April 7-2017.pdf

Driver outside cab struck by log during loading of his truck

Safety Alert Type: 
Yarding and Loading
Location: 
BC Interior region
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2017-01-05
Company Name: 
CANFOR
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A truck driver was making his way back to the truck cab after having just finished setting up the airlines. At this moment the loaderman swung the boom with a grapple full of logs while assuming the driver was inside the truck.

During the swing a 10” diameter log slipped out of the grapple and struck the driver. This resulted in lost time as the driver sustained serious injuries that included swollen foot & ankle, cracked ribs, and hematoma (severe bruising) in lower back.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Potential Hazards - The trucker was exposed to falling objects and moving equipment due to:

  • Not following safe loading procedures
  • Poor communication
  • Moving equipment despite not having visual contact with bystanders (i.e., trucker).
  • Complacency and rushing since it was the last load of the day.

Preventative Actions - The contractor has taken the following actions to prevent recurrence:

  • Every driver & loaderman has been informed that loading can only occur if the driver is now inside the cab
  • Drivers must notify loadermen by radio whenever they leave & re-enter the cab.

These procedures will be company policy going forward and will be reviewed with drivers & loadermen before every season. The incident & root cause will be reviewed with the OH&S Committee and with all drivers at their safety meeting to reinforce the importance of following these procedures.

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-Driver Struck By Log-Jan 25-2017.pdf

Machine Tips Over During Beaver Dam Removal

Safety Alert Type: 
Heavy Equipment
Location: 
BC Interior region
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2016-11-07
Company Name: 
CANFOR
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

An excavator operator was slowly dismantling a beaver dam by periodically halting work to allow water to flow at a rate that would not exceed the culvert flow capacity. At some point the road surface underneath the downhill track became too saturated with water and failed, causing the machine to slide down and tip over into the water.

Luckily the operator was able to exit the machine in time, however, the machine sustained significant damage.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Potential Hazards

Elevated risk due to the following factors:

  • Working alone near water under cold weather conditions
  • Working on unstable ground saturated with water
  • Working behind a large volume of stored water energy.

Preventative Actions

Developed “Working on, near, or above water” safe work procedures that includes the following:

  • A hazard assessment must be conducted ahead of time to ensure roads are drained in advance and don’t become saturated with water while equipment is on it
  • Any worker working on, near, or above water that poses a risk of drowning must wear a personal flotation device
  • Under no circumstance are workers to work on, near, or above water that poses a risk of drowning while considered alone.

 

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-Beaver Dam-November 7-2016.pdf
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