Return to Work

Safety Alert Type: 
Worksites
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2007-10-16
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

This bulletin provides information and tools for companies and workers who are returning to worksites that have been idle due to recent labour stoppages. The information in this bulletin can also be used at any site where work has stopped for an extended period of time.

Even if you are returning to a site you have worked on before, it is important to remember that conditions and hazards may have changed, equipment may have been affected, and workers’ skills may be rusty.

Whether you are a company owner, a supervisor, an equipment operator or any other worker – take the time to make sure safety is taken care of.

Section 3.22 of the WCB Occupational Health and Safety deals with this situation:
"new worker" means any worker who is
(a)new to the workplace,
(b)returning to a workplace where the hazards in that workplace have changed during the worker's absence,
(c)affected by a change in the hazards of a workplace, or
(d)relocated to a new workplace if the hazards in that workplace are different from the hazards in the worker's previous workplace;

All owners, prime contractors, employers, supervisors, and workers have a responsibility to follow accepted safe work procedures as required by the Workers Compensation Act, the Regulation and good safety practices.

Supervision
For sites that have been inactive, Supervisors have a special responsibility during a return to work period. Remember, your responsibility is to:
1.Identify hazards and evaluate the situation
2.Train the worker in safe work procedures
3.Evaluate the worker to ensure they’re qualified
4.Keep records of the orientation

For people who have been involved in BC Forest Safety Council activities, the importance of safety orientations is very familiar:
−The Safety Tool kit that all SAFE Companies registrants receive discusses conducting a safety orientation process in Chapter 8, and provides various sample forms to use.
−The SAFE Companies audit addresses safety orientations and requires all workers who have been off work for more than 6 weeks to be reoriented before starting up again.
−People who have taken the Council’s Basic Forest Supervisor training received training in initial worksite orientation needs.

WorkSafeBC has also developed a sample worker orientation checklist that you can download as a Word document and modify to suit your needs.

Workers
If workers require licensing or certification to perform their jobs (i.e. drivers, fallers, blasters etc) make sure their credentials are still in good standing and up to date.
Remember, all workers must have the knowledge, training, and experience to recognize and control all hazards. Whether workers are returning to their job or starting a new one, take the time to assess their work and make sure they’re qualified for the job they’re doing.
After a long stoppage, people may have a tough time getting back into good work habits. They may have “off site” issues on their minds. It’s critical to make sure everyone is focused on the task at hand, aware of hazards and ready to apply controls once they arrive back at work.

Worksite
Even if you’re returning to a familiar location, the worksite needs to be assessed for hazards. If your company has a site inspection or hazard identification checklist, use it. If you do not have a current site inspection form, please click here to view a sample form created by the Council.
Each worker should assess hazards in their work area, evaluate the risks they present, report them to their supervisor and/or, and take steps to control them.

Equipment
Equipment can also suffer from a long period of inactivity. Before beginning to use equipment each piece should be inspected.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding restarting after an inactive period. To view a sample Mobile Equipment Operator Checklist, please click here.
Each worker should also check their personal protective equipment especially carefully after a long period off. If protective equipment has not been stored correctly, it may be ineffective or malfunction when it’s needed the most

Finally
Documentation of all safety activities specific to your worksite should be accurate and meaningful.
Remember, we are collectively and individually responsible for the safety of all workers and all worksites.
The Council has a variety of forms and checklists to assist with safety at the workplace.

File attachments
2007-10-16 Return to Work.pdf

Wear Your Personal Protective Equipment

Safety Alert Type: 
Heavy Equipment
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2005-06-30
Company Name: 
Interfor Coastal Woolands
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

There was an incident this year where a worker was sitting on a stump taking a break, apparently out of the line-of-fire. Unexpectedly, the 6-foot top portion of a danger tree came down from behind him and struck the worker. The worker suffered compression fracture of vertebrae in his back and will make a full recovery. However, if he hadn’t been wearing his HARD HAT, it would have been a different story.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Personal Protective Equipment needs to be worn at all times in our hazardous work environment. Even when we do our best to eliminate or control hazards, there are still remote but severe potential consequences from nature doing the unexpected. Worse yet, there is always the possibility of a breakdown in procedures.

SAFETY GLASSES or face shields are mandatory for workers in the shop or dry land sort, to protect against metal or wood debris flying in an unexpected but tragic direction—it has happened. The same applies to forestry & engineering crews when blazing trail in the woods, or for rigging and road crew workers pounding metal—even for a second—that’s all it has taken to lose an eye. When anyone is exposed to these worksite hazards, wear your PPE at all times, even during lunch and a break. Danger strikes when we least expect it, and your PPE is the last line of defence!

File attachments
2005-06-30 Wear your hard hat.pdf

Madill 071 Guywinch Inspection

Safety Alert Type: 
Heavy Equipment
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2007-07-09
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A recent guywinch failure on a Madill 071 yarder resulted in collapse of the tower. This is an area on machines of this type which will require closer scrutiny during Annual Yarder Tower Inspections.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Photos of the particular guywinch assembly are shown below. The problem area is where you can see the shiny new bush. The top of the bush supporting the left mounted winch spindle broke out allowing the spindle to bend and fail (at a fatigue crack at the end of the keyway); drum came loose, shock load caused adjacent guyline shackle to fail; tower fell over.

This failure has been discussed with the manufacturer and their advice is as follows:
1. This bush (item 43 on Madill Drawing No D1521 - attached) is to be closely inspected at least annually on machines of this type and age. (Practically, this requires removal of the winch drum and spindle).
2. Guy winch spindles should be removed annually and inspected using non-destructive testing (NDT) methods as they are subject to fatigue cracking.

File attachments
alerts-07-07-09-machine.pdf

SKIDDER INCIDENTS ON THE RISE

Safety Alert Type: 
Heavy Equipment
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2007-12-13
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Several reports have come in from WorkSafeBC and client companies about skidder incidents. They range in severity from a few bumps and bruises to fatal injuries.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

From these incidents the following preventative actions and safe work practices are recommended:
•Seat belts must be kept in good working order.
•Remove damaged/deteriorated seat belts immediately; replace with acceptable ones.
•Equipment operators must buckle up whenever the equipment is in motion, or if the equipment’s movement could cause it to destabilize.
•Work up/down a slope whenever possible.
•Use extreme caution when working on a side slope; watch closely for stability hazards (stumps, rocks, etc.).

File attachments
2007-12-13 Skidder Incidents On the Rise.pdf

HAZARD ALERT

Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2007-02-01
Company Name: 
Stones Bay Holdings Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Over the past week there have been 3 wildlife impacts with (SBH and subcontractor)vehicles traveling to and from the workplace. In addition there have been several sightings of wildlife on the edges of the roadways.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

This hazard alert is being issued to remind all employees to slow down and take care when traveling to and from work. REMEMBER the roads are radio assisted and not radio controlled. You may encounter wildlife or traffic that does not have a radio. Treat every corner as though there is someone coming toward you unannounced.

DRIVE ACCORDING TO ROAD CONDITIONS! WE WANT EVERYONE TO ARRIVE SAFELY AT WORK, BE SAFE AT WORK, AND MAKE IT HOME SAFE AT THE END OF THE DAY.

File attachments
2007-02-01 wildlife impacts workers safety.pdf

Logging Road Driving Safety Reminders

Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2007-08-23
Company Name: 
Canfor / Woodlands
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

During the past month, I have received a number of complaints and close calls has a result of s about logging road driving practices and procedures. The following are the main issues that have been reported to me, along with some quick safety reminders around each item.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Passing on Logging Roads
•Never pass any vehicle without notifying them on the radio and receiving the “OK”. The lead vehicle is responsible for slowing down, providing room and advising “OK” signal to vehicle requesting the pass. Do not pass until permission is granted from the lead vehicle!

Driving in Convoys
•Lead vehicle is responsible for calling for multiple vehicles in a convoy.
•Vehicles that become part of a convoy are responsible for notifying the lead vehicle of more vehicles becoming part of the convoy. For example if you catch up to a convoy, notify lead vehicle of an additional vehicle in the convoy.
•Use one km rule - Vehicles who are greater than 1 km ahead or behind a convoy MUST call there own kms.

Calling km’s
•Loaded traffic MUST call all loaded even kms (except on Lakeland 200 RD & 600 RD where procedure is to call loaded odd kms). Remember: Empty traffic is relying on the loaded traffic to call their kms so they can clear you.
•Road users are to call all their required kms regardless of how busy or light the traffic is on the logging road. A number of complaints have been received where road users are not calling their kms because they don’t think it is necessary because of the light volume of traffic.

Clearing on Logging Roads
•The following are the expectations for clearing on logging roads. These expectations were developed at the PG South and PG North Joint Canfor/Contractor Safety Committee meetings.
o Narrower Secondary Haul Roads (ie. West Creek, 300 Rd, 400 Rd, 600 Rd) - Empty vehicles must stop and clear in the designated pullouts.
o Wide Major Mainline Type Haul Roads (Examples of these types of roads are the Pelican FSR, Polar 200 Rd, Lakeland 200 Rd)
- Drivers must use common sense when deciding if they must clear or not.
- During good summer driving conditions - empty traffic have the option of clearing traffic by slowing down and creeping along edge of the road. Empty traffic MUST clear loaded traffic on straight road sections with a clear line of site. Empties MUST NOT clear loaded traffic on corners.
- During winter driving conditions: empty vehicles are expected to stop and clear all loaded traffic in designated pullouts. This requirement has been made due to the higher probability of slippery roads, higher snow banks along the roads, and possibly narrower road surfaces encountered in the winter.
o A reminder to all loaded vehicles that they must travel at or close to the speed limit otherwise empties cannot clear you in the location that they expect to meet you. Loaded traffic need to slow down, otherwise you will meet empties in poor clearing locations!!!
o New drivers who are unfamiliar with a certain logging road should take earlier pullouts to ensure they are in one before they meet the loaded traffic.
o Empty traffic who get in the situation where they can’t find a pullout, MUST notify the loaded vehicle that they can’t find a pullout.
o Reminder to all road users to be extremely careful of sweeper logs on off highway long log routes (Clearlake and Polar haul routes). Do not clear on sharp corners where log sweepers may side swipe your vehicle.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Neil Spendiff, PG Woodlands Safety Coordinator

File attachments
2007-08-23 Driving Safety Reminders.pdf

Speed of Pickups when Passing Graders

Location: 
Polar 200 Rd
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2007-09-26
Company Name: 
Canfor Woodlands
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

I received a report on September 26, 2007 from a gradermen operating on the Polar 200 Rd that pickups are passing him at high rates of speed.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

As per Rule #2 of the Canfor Rules of the Road/Radio Calling Procedures all drivers shall slow down for oncoming traffic, when passing a stopped vehicle, and when meeting any road maintenance equipment. The expectation is that all traffic including pickups must slow down to 15 km/hr and slowly pass road maintenance equipment.

Could all harvest contractors (quota and private) please remind their crews driving pickups of the importance of slowing down when approaching a grader or other road maintenance equipment on the logging roads.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

PG Woodlands Safety Committee

File attachments
2007-09-26 Speed of Pickups when Passing Graders.pdf

Close Call

Safety Alert Type: 
Log Hauling
Location: 
Ladysmith, BC
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2007-04-16
Company Name: 
CopCan Contracting Ltd
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

On April 16, 2007, a CopCan Contracting Ltd. lowbed operator was unloading a machine off a lowbed when it struck a gate, which swung open. The gate hit a gravel bank and recoiled, striking the diesel tank of the lowbed, leaving a large dent but not rupturing. If workers had not been in the clear and had been struck by the gate, they could have been seriously injured. There were two spotters positioned in the clear, but the lowbed operator did not use them and so they were unable to notify the operator until after the incident happened.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Drivers, Operators and Spotters must assess the area more closely, prior to unloading machines. All spotters must be well in the clear at all times.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

John Gregson 250-754-7260

File attachments
2007-04-16 Lowbed struck gate.pdf

Recreational Use of Logging Roads

Safety Alert Type: 
Log Hauling
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2007-02-01
Company Name: 
Ted LeRoy Trucking Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Recently there was an incident in which a Ted LeRoy Trucking Ltd. truck driver suddenly encountered an ATV being driven on a logging road. Fortunately, the truck driver was driving at an appropriate speed and was observing all the safe work practices for his job and was able to avoid a collision.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

It is possible to encounter people driving ATV’s, riding bicycles, walking and even riding horses within our working areas and haul roads. Many people are unaware of the hazards they may encounter in active logging areas and on haul roads. Therefore, it is incumbent on all of us to use extra caution in the event we suddenly encounter recreational users within our active areas. The chance of these encounters increases during warm weather when recreational use such as camping and fishing increases. Please stay alert and expect the unexpected.

File attachments
2007-02-01 ATV on logging road.pdf

Close Call/Serious Incident

Safety Alert Type: 
Log Hauling
Location: 
Silviculture Operation
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2007-06-01
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

IMPORTANCE OF CURRENT DRIVER’S ABSTRACTS

Foremen staff had been hired from previous years employees both returning foremen and one new planting foreman. Foremen are responsible for driving their crews in company supplied “crew” vehicles. All foremen were asked to provide current Drivers Abstracts at the beginning of the season. Abstracts came in after a push by management after having too many – “too busy” & “I forgot” excuses.

One foreman in particular continued to avoid the process and management traveled to the site to have the driver/foreman produce their license on the spot. A 1-800 number was to be called from the site to have the abstract faxed to the office. The license produced was an “N”, with the restrictions of only 1 passenger that was not a family. This driver was fully aware of his license restrictions and the fact that he was driving outside of his “scope” and illegally, but directly told management that he it was their “due diligence” to ensure he was legal and that he had no problem taking the chance.

This truck was returned to town with a “valid” drivers license holder and was parked. The driver in question was terminated immediately for breaching several of the criteria for “immediate termination” as laid out in the company’s health & safety program and its discipline model.

The employee in question had worked the prior season for another company in the province in the same capacity (as a crew foreman – responsible for driving). In his dealings with management he was asked how he was able to drive for the other company, which he responded that the license issue was known by his prior employers and that they had contacted ICBC to get clearance. A call to both the prior employer showed that this was a lie – the ICBC agent laughed and the it was the first the prior employer had heard that this employee did not have a valid license.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

1. All employees that will be or may be driving company vehicles, are required to present a current drivers abstract prior to driving company vehicles. A deadline will be set prior to the next season’s operational start up.
2. A 1-800 number is available during business hours and if an employee is not able to physically attend a local licensing branch, a copy will be faxed to the fax of choice within hours of the request being heard.
3. Internal policy that company vehicles will not be operated without a current abstact on file.
4. Abstracts to be updated annually, with the employers discretion to request an abstract at any time.

The employee in question was 28 yrs old – an age that makes it easy to assume they would have a valid license. References were checked regarding their foreman duties the prior season, which made it easier to assume they had a valid license.

File attachments
2007-06-01 Importance of driver abstracts.pdf
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