Roadside gunfire an emerging threat to forestry workers, recreation seekers

Safety Alert Type: 
Other
Location: 
Resource roads throughout the province of British Columbia
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2016-05-24
Company Name: 
Western Silvicultural Contractors' Association
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Reckless target shooting is a growing threat to forestry workers around the Province. The fear is it’s only a matter of time before a worker gets caught in the crossfire.

In the Fraser Valley specifically, contractors report it is such a hazard that foresters have cancelled silviculture projects for fear workers will get shot by indiscriminate roadside shooters.

Planters have learned it’s best to stay home on the weekends when gun owners arrive in greater numbers on forest service roads and cut-blocks and begin firing.

Besides shooting trees and signs, irresponsible gun owners often bring old household appliances and furniture to set up as targets.

They leave the roadside covered in spent shells on dozens of sites throughout the working forests in the area.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

The BC SAFE Silviculture Program (www.wsca.ca) has committed to sorting out the authorities involved and in the hope of proposing measures to keep workers safe.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

The Western Silvicultural Contractors’ Association: www.wsca.ca  

File attachments
Safety_Alert_Roadside Gunfire_2016-May 24.pdf

Rushing to complete task results in ATV incident

Safety Alert Type: 
Vehicles
Location: 
Kirton Creek, Summerland, BC
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2016-05-17
Company Name: 
Gorman Bros. Lumber Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Worker was completing quality checks on tree planters on a large cut block, using an All-Terrain Vehicle to get around. While heading back to the pickup, worker was observing the block above the road and hit a water bar unexpectedly, causing the worker to be thrown from the quad.

Worker was aware of water bars on the road, but misjudged the distance between them and was not looking ahead. Worker was also rushing to get back to their pickup, in order to load up and move to a different cut block to continue quality checks.

First aid was provided in the field, and worker proceeded to the local ER where they received stitches.

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  • Rushing results in carelessness and carelessness leads to accidents
  • Always keep eyes on the road/direction of travel when operating an ATV
  • Approach water bars with caution
  • Ensure proper PPE is used when operating mobile equipment
  • Keep First Aid supplies stocked and certifications current.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Stefanie Bulmer, Gorman Bros. Lumber Ltd (250) 768-6249

File attachments
Safety_Alert_Gorman_Bros_2016-5-17.pdf

Close Call: The importance of eye protection

Safety Alert Type: 
Workers
Location: 
Residential property, Parksville, Vancouver Island
Company Name: 
Baseline Archaeological Services Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A worker was standing and monitoring a shallow machine excavation, which involved removing a small concrete structure.

While watching the digging, a small piece of debris flew through the air and into the worker’s eye.

The worker rinsed his eye with water and returned to work. No lost time, or first aid kit or attendant was required.

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  • Ensure your PPE is appropriate for the task at hand. For example, plastic safety glasses opposed to a mesh face shield. This will stop all small airborne particles and dust from entering your eye
  • Only stand as close to a working machine as necessary for the task.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Baseline Safety Representative, Stephanie Allester at (250) 897-3853 or email sallester@shaw.ca 

File attachments
Safety_Alert_Baseline_2016-1-21.pdf

SLIPPING HAZARD: Caulk boots on rocky ground leave planter with broken wrist

Safety Alert Type: 
Silviculture
Location: 
Rivers Inlet (coastal BC)
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2016-04-10
Company Name: 
Evergreen Forest Services Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

It was a clear, dry day as a tree planter was working a steep rocky cut block in one of B.C.’s mainland inlets. He’s a strong planter with 5 years’ experience in planting this type of challenging terrain.

It was the very end of the work day and the planter was heading back onto the block to help a buddy plant his last few trees. As usual it had been a grueling day, as this type of ground is very physically demanding. He had very recently changed his spikes so that his caulk boots were nice and sharp.

The planter began his descent from the logging road onto the block. The slope averaged about 60% but there were pitches in excess of 80%. The land below the road was covered in rocks cast over the side when the road was built, plus scattered slash and logging debris (see photos in attached document).

He stepped onto a large boulder and his sharp caulks skidded on the rock causing him to fall down and into a hole. He landed heavily and broke his wrist.

When interviewed he said that he probably shouldn’t have gone down into this challenging piece of land at the end of the day when he was tired and hungry.

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  • Caulks can be a hazard when walking on rock as they make it very easy to slip and skate like you are on roller skates.
  • You have the right to refuse any work you think is unsafe; any work you determine puts you in imminent danger of injury.
  • Remember that there are certain times of the day when you are tired and perhaps you haven’t eaten for a while so your blood sugar is low. These are the times when you really need to focus and make sure that every step you take is a safe one, that you have tested every step and every handhold and always take the safest route, not the fastest one.
  • Do you have your whistle or hand held radio at the ready so you could call for help if this happened to you?

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Dave Jenkinson, Evergreen Forest Services Ltd. egn@netidea.com 

File attachments
Safety_Alert_Evergreen Forest Services-2016-04-10.pdf

Poor road and weather conditions: A dangerous combination

Safety Alert Type: 
Weather
Location: 
Northeastern BC
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2016-03-21
Company Name: 
EW Services Inc.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

One of EW Services Inc.’s drivers was injured in a single vehicle accident when the fully loaded logging truck they were driving came in contact with loose snow and material on the shoulder of the highway.

It was early morning and weather conditions were far from ideal: -4◦C, blowing snow, thick cover of snow on roadway, poor visibility - and maintenance crews had not gotten to that stretch of highway yet.

Driver was travelling at slower than highway speeds, had chains on and had engaged his rear differential locks but despite these interventions this incident was unavoidable.

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  • Travel at appropriate speeds to the conditions
  • Maintain situational awareness and react to changing weather and road conditions
  • Allow yourself time to travel, it is not a race
  • Stop/take breaks if necessary
  • Recognize the potential for hazard before you encounter it. (e.g. have the highways been cleared yet? Does the FSR need a grader?)
  • Avoid soft shoulders and undefined road edges. If this creates a problem with other traffic then slow down to speeds appropriate enough to safely encounter other people
  • Always wear seatbelt and employ any available safety features
  • Never forget how much a fully loaded logging truck weighs and the potential for that kinetic energy to continue moving
  • Avoid any and all distractions while driving. (e.g. cell phones, etc.).

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

EW Services Inc. (250) 788-2054

File attachments
Safety_Alert_EW Services Inc-2016-3-21.pdf

Serious Incident: Driller's helper loosens cap on pressurized system

Safety Alert Type: 
Road Building/Deactivation
Location: 
BC Southern Interior (near Nakusp)
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2016-01-13
Company Name: 
Galena Contractors Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A Driller's Helper was checking the water reservoir level on a tank drill but forgot to relieve the pressure built up in the system before removing the pressure cap. Just before the Drillers Helper had finished loosening the cap, it flew off its fitting and struck the worker's hard hat with such force that it knocked it off his head and into the air. The hard hat landed about 10 metres away from the worker, and the water reservoir cap landed some 20 metres away from its fitting.

The driller's helper sustained minor facial injuries (cut / bruised lip) and received on-site first aid (cleaned wound and applied band-aid).

This incident could have led to very serious injuries to the young worker.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

The young worker was interviewed during the incident investigation, and he was asked why he didn't relieve the system pressure with the relief valve before removing the reservoir cap. He said that although he had carried out the process a number of times prior to the incident, this time he was in a hurry and had forgotten to relieve the pressure first.

The young worker had participated in an initial Employee Orientation when he was hired but because this incident had the potential to cause serious injury and directly involved a young worker (under 26 years old), the young worker received another thorough, documented employee orientation with emphasis placed on reminding the worker to think before taking action.

The company decided that although the young worker had forgotten the safe work practice of checking the water reservoir safely, the company should re-assess the hazard and develop better controls to eliminate or reduce the hazard. The hazard could not be eliminated or substituted, so administrative controls were developed and implemented.

Those controls were:

  1. Develop pressurized system hazard warning labels and attach those labels beside areas of pressurized liquid systems that can be readily depressurized.
  2. Develop a dedicated Safe Work Practice (SWP) - "Pressurized Liquid Systems Safety" and incorporate the SWP into the company's Safety Management System.
  3. Ensure that all company personnel who are involved with pressurized liquid systems maintenance / repairs / work practices are trained to do so safely and are provided with relevant, documented Safe Work Practices.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Galena Contractors Ltd. Safety Coordinator - Dak Giles Phone: (250) 353-8978

File attachments
Safety_Alert_Galena_Contractors_Ltd_2016-1-23_Driller's_Helper_Loosens_Cap_on_Pressurized_System.pdf

Snowmobile Loading Close Call

Safety Alert Type: 
Vehicles
Location: 
Beaton Arm (near Nakusp, BC)
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2016-02-10
Company Name: 
Downie Timber Ltd. - Woodlands Division
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Two snowmobiles were securely loaded onto a sled deck on the back of a pick-up truck.

Upon arrival at the unloading site the sled ramp was pulled out roughly 10 feet and the machines were untied for unloading.

When the operator of the Arctic Cat attempted to unload the machine, the right ski slipped off the ramp causing the sled to roll slowly onto its side. The sled may not have been adequately aligned with the ramp.

The operator was not pinned or injured but did require assistance to right the sled.

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  • Snowmobile transport set ups can vary between vehicles. If you are inexperienced at loading/unloading seek training or coaching.
  • If you are with someone inexperienced, help and instruct them on safe loading and unloading procedures, or do the unload yourself.
  • Review your companies SWP’s to ensure they include procedures for loading and loading snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Downie Timber Ltd. - Woodlands Division (250) 837-2222

File attachments
Safety_Alert_Downie_Timber_2016-2-10_Snowmobile_unloading_incident.pdf

Fire at MDF Mill in Quesnel

Safety Alert Type: 
Manufacturing
Location: 
WestPine Medium Density Fibreboard (Quesnel, BC)
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2016-03-09
Company Name: 
West Fraser Mills Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

On the evening of Wednesday March 9, a process-related upset condition led to a fire at the WestPine MDF (medium density fibreboard) mill in Quesnel.

Employees acted quickly, the mill was evacuated and no one was injured. Emergency crews responded and were able to bring the fire under control within a few hours.

The fire has caused damage and the facility will not be operational for a period of time.

WestPine MDF is owned and operated by West Fraser Mills Ltd.

Additional Information:

  • At approximately 5:30pm on March 9th a fire occurred in the process equipment of WestPine MDF, resulting in a fire at the facility.
  • There were no injuries. All personnel on site were accounted for and safe.
  • Fire detection systems were in place at the mill.
  • Employees were able to engage the facility’s fire suppression system and the mill’s emergency evacuation procedures were activated immediately.
  • WorkSafeBC and West Fraser Mills are conducting investigations to understand the circumstances of the incident.

 

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Resources: Although the details of this incident are still unknown, review the following general safety information:

 

File attachments
Westpine MDF Explosion Alert.pdf

Backing manoeuvre results in loaded rock truck leaving road & upside down

Safety Alert Type: 
Road Building/Deactivation
Location: 
Nootka Island
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2016-02-24
Company Name: 
Strathcona Contracting Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

The driver of an articulated rock truck was hauling talus rock from a pit location, following loading by an excavator. Because the haul distance was very short, the truck was backing up to dump loads. Although previous trips had been completed that day, this was the first load to be hauled from this particular direction. Road grade and width were not an issue at this location and, although the road alignment featured a slight curve, it was not significant.

The rock truck driver was backing up using only the drivers’ side mirror until he noticed the truck was edging away from the ditch line. He turned his head to check the outside mirror but by this time it was too late, as the truck box was already going over the bank. To this point, the truck had backed up less than 37 metres from his loading point at the excavator.

The box of the truck continued over the fill slope, rolling over as it went. This caused the cab of the truck to follow, but in a more abrupt manner as it attempted to “catch up” to the angle of the box. The entire truck came to rest upside down, only prevented from rolling further down the slope by the presence of a large cedar tree (see photos in attached pdf).

The rock truck driver sustained a cracked rib, bruising and concussion. The driver reported that he was wearing his seatbelt.

Damage assessment of the truck continues to determine if further repairs are needed beyond some cosmetic body damage and broken glass.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

1) Prior to moving equipment initially, the operator should capture a mental picture of the worksite and become familiar with their surroundings, taking note of any items of particular interest, such as:

  • Road width and alignment
  • Grades
  • Potential soft shoulders and/or narrow shoulders
  • Estimated distances to locations of concern (culvert crossings, pullout locations, etc)

2) An obvious recommendation is to check behind using BOTH mirrors PRIOR to backing up

3) Use both mirrors WHILE backing up.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Strathcona Contracting Ltd. (250) 286-1148

File attachments
Safety_Alert_Strathcona Contracting Ltd_2016-2-24.pdf

Feller Buncher runaway on steep slope

Safety Alert Type: 
Mechanical Tree Falling
Location: 
Grand Forks (Knappen Gulch worksite)
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2016-01-15
Company Name: 
Lime Creek Logging Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

While working on a slope in excess of 35 per cent, a hydraulic failure occurred causing a Feller Buncher to freewheel out of control for about 20 metres to the bottom of the slope (see photo in attached pdf).

Both travel motors failed at the same time causing this to happen. The buncher was operating in high range due to the inconsistent nature of the slope which ranged from 0-50%.

This hydraulic failure issue has occurred before to others with similar machines.

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  • While cutting on slope in excess of 35 per cent, machines must be operated in LOW range. If left in HIGH range it is possible the machine could run away unexpectedly.
  • Follow operators manual.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Shawn McIver, Lime Creek Logging Operations lcl.shawn@outlook.com

File attachments
Safety_Alert_Lime_Creek_Logging_2016-1-15.pdf
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