Tree planting in blowdown leaves worker in stitches

Safety Alert Type: 
Interior region of BC
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
Company Name: 
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


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