Strategic Advisory Committee (SAC)

The purpose of the Strategic Advisory Committee (SAC) is to reduce workplace injuries and loss in British Columbia’s silviculture contracting sector. This goal is achieved through strategic objectives set out in the BC SAFE Silviculture Program. That program’s outcomes are guided and monitored by SAC members including volunteer silviculture workers and employers, government and industry clients and WorkSafeBC and the BC Forest Safety Council. As the membership suggests, collaboration among actors is the principal method used to achieve SAC’s purpose.

The SAC’s primary function is to make sure the BC SAFE Silviculture Program’s efforts to reduce injury and loss reflect the silviculture sector’s workplace safety priorities. As part of this sector-led process SAC monitors the Program for effectiveness. It also acts as a bridge between the silviculture sector and the BC Forest Safety Council.


  • Chris Akehurst - retired
  • Brian Beaudry - Brinkman Reforestation
  • John Betts – Western Forestry Contractors’ Association (WFCA)
  • Sara Keav - Akehurst and Galvani Reforestation
  • Caitlin Burge - Next Generation Reforestation
  • Marchena Hembroff - Next Generation Reforestation
  • Sylvia Fenwick-Wilson – Zanzibar Holdings Ltd.
  • Simon Hall - Spectrum Resource Group
  • Tammy Laidlaw - Blue Collar Group
  • Robin McCullough - Brinkman Reforestation
  • Chris Runnals - BC Timber Sales
  • Slaine Sutherland - Summit Reforestation
  • Dr. Jordan Tesluk – Forest Safety Advocate
  • Amanda Kugn - Canfor
  • Crawford Young – Spectrum Resource Group
  • Ryan Zapisocki - Windfirm Resources
  • Meg Webster - Meg Webster Consulting
  • Criag Moore - Rider Ventures
  • Richard King – Director, Programs & Training, BCFSC Staff Support

Ex-Officio Members

  • Caitlin Klaudt - WSBC Observer
  • Tom Pawlowski - WSBC Observer

Current Initiatives

  • Working with licensees and BCTS to improve the reliability and quality of tendering packages so that contractors can make appropriate planning for safety on project sites.
  • Collaborating with WorkSafeBC, nursery operators, and clients to best manage safety problems associated with heavy seedling boxes.
  • Consulting with subject matter experts to encourage the appropriate use of brushing and clearing saws among silviculture stand tending contractors.
  • Researching to identify specific physiotherapy techniques proven effective in reducing exposure and disability related to certain repetitive strain injuries common to tree planting. If feasible, training will be developed to further these promising practices
  • Partnering with WorkSafeBC to ascertain the level of risk associated with silviculture workers’ exposure to insect borne disease.
  • Coordinating with the various agencies, governments and foresters involved with the problem of reckless target shooting around forestry projects near the Fraser Valley.
  • Cataloguing of special emergency first aid and rescue equipment is being compiled to aid planning and practices in dealing with serious injuries in remote workplaces.
  • Conducting field work this summer on the disposition of silviculture workers towards their own health and working conditions will be combined with other incident and near-miss data collected over the season to produce an overview of emerging trends observed among crews recently compared to some previous findings.
  • Developing special first aid training and crew rescue skills guidelines will be developed to improve the chances of better outcomes for workers injured in remote workplaces.
  • Cooperating with the MFLNRO and the Industry Canada to develop protocols for emergency radio use on the resource road channels now in place.

Past Initiatives

  • Production of an initial needs analysis of the silviculture sector in 2003 under the aegis of the Forest Industry Safety Association;
  • Development, adoption or adaption of training standards for the following silvilculture activities:
    • ATV/UTV operator
    • Light truck resource road driver
    • Silviculture chainsaw operator
    • Silviculture supervisor
    • Wild fire fighter
    • Prescribed burn crew person
  • Delivered training to approximately 2,000 silviculture workers on the above activities.
  • Supported two consecutive studies measuring attitudes towards safety among tree planting crews in British Columbia.
  • Researched measuring worker exposure to chemical residues on tree seedlings and then developed guidelines for workers on how to avoid exposure.
  • Conducted field research into the effects of hard work on tree planters. This has led to the development of guidelines around nutrition, hydration and fitness training for silviculture and other forestry workers.
  • Development of specific fitness strategies and guidelines to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal injury based on the exposure of individual limbs and anatomy;
  • Implementation of a human-factors based approach to injury reduction employing participatory action research (PAR) and appreciative inquiry.
  • Used the PAR method SAC to establish workplace improvement teams, conference seminars and regional meetings sharing successes and setbacks in dealing with MSI and repetitive strain injuries in the field.
  • Early recognition of problems associated with emergency response planning in remote workplace settings following the deaths of two silviculture workers in 2008 with the foundering of the Jumbo B on the north coast. This led to ongoing work through SAC and the production of its 2014 Report on Matters Related to Remote Worksite Emergency Response in the B.C. Silviculture Sector. The recommendations of that work have informed ongoing efforts with this intractable problem.
  • Development of draft promising practices pertaining to persistent problems with road deactivation and the subsequent safety and access challenges created for crews and truck and ATV operators.
  • Completion of a field study of tree planting footwear and related equipment, supported by laboratory work conducted by FP Innovations, to produce guidelines recommending appropriate footwear and best practices to address deficiencies found among many workers.

Email us for more information about SAC.