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SERIOUS INCIDENT : Gunfire in forest endangers field worker

Safety Alert Type: 
Planning and Engineering
Location: 
Swift Creek FSR (near Squamish, BC)
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2015-11-11
Company Name: 
Infinity-Pacific Stewardship Group
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Worker was traversing boundary changes in a proposed cut-block. He was working alone and checking in every hour with the Safety Check-in via cell phone. He was removing an old boundary line working toward his truck, which was less than 50 metres away, parked on the Swift Creek Forestry Service road.

A shot was fired and he heard the bullet whiz by him. He immediately started yelling at the unknown shooter(s) and ran to the road. Once at roadside, the worker started walking toward the shooter(s) truck but it sped away, heading further up the FSR.

Worker could not get a licence plate number on the truck but immediately called his direct supervisor and informed him of the situation. Supervisor stated he had the right to refuse unsafe work if he felt uncomfortable with continuing his duties. Worker took his lunchbreak to see if the shooters(s) would come back but nothing happened. He decided it was safe to continue and finished the task for the day.

 

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Although the worker could not record the licence plate number because the truck was in motion, he gathered a description of the truck. However, the description was not enough for the police to investigate the incident further.

The police suggested that the employee / supervisor should have immediately dialed 9-1-1 to dispatch police to investigate and possibly locate the shooter(s) closer to the time of the incident.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Infinity-Pacific Stewardship Group Krys Stec, Safety Coordinator (604) 870-1191

File attachments
Safety_Alert_Infinity-Pacific_2015-11-11.pdf

Wheels lock up on icy road, crew truck slides to a “soft landing” in snow-filled ditch

Safety Alert Type: 
Crew Transport (land, water, air)
Location: 
Kenney Dam Road – Vanderhoof, BC
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2015-01-05
Company Name: 
Ponderosa Forestry Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Cruising crews finished work for the day at 4:00 p.m. While the two sleds were being loaded and the truck was warming up, the driver cleared the recent snow off the windshield (1-2cm).

Once everything was loaded and secured on the flat deck, the crew got into the vehicle while still wearing their rain gear and boots as they were chilled from the sled ride and it was a short 30 minute drive back to town.

The truck entered the main public road and drove a short distance (1,000m) when the windshield started fogging up. The driver removed a file folder from the dash thinking it was obstructing the heat flow, when the entire windshield became frosted and unable to see out of.

The driver applied the brakes (approximate vehicle speed of 40 km/h) but the wheels locked up on the ice and the vehicle gradually entered the right hand ditch, coming to rest at a 45 degree angle.

Previous freezing rain and snow accumulation of 30cm made for unusually poor road conditions. The large amount of snow in the ditch softened the impact for both the vehicle and the passengers. No vehicle damage or personal injury occurred.

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  • Before a crew vehicle leaves a worksite ensure all snow / ice is removed from the windshield and all other glass, mirrors and external marker lights
  • Snow must be fully removed from the hood, grill, front bumper and especially the roof, as it may quickly slide onto the windshield, obstructing the driver
  • Don’t drive a vehicle until there is sufficient cab heat to fully defrost the windshield. Keep on full defrost mode until it is safe to switch to a mix of floor / defrost
  • Ensure there are no large objects on the dash that may obstruct heat flow.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Dean Toll, Ponderosa Forestry Ltd. (250) 567-2469

File attachments
Safety_Alert_Ponderosa_Forestry_2015-Jan-05.pdf

Close Call: Lunch break triggers severe food allergy

Safety Alert Type: 
Workers
Location: 
Williams Lake area
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2015-12-10
Company Name: 
Kennedy Forest & Safety Consultants
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A forestry worker was eating lunch in the area of Riske Creek, BC. While eating a can of cold Chunky Stew the worker started to feel the side of his neck swelling up and his hands got very itchy.

The worker recognized he may be having an allergic reaction but had never experienced symptoms this severe. The worker drove himself to a nearby store in a small First Nations community looking for Benadryl to ease the symptoms. The store did not have any but the worker eventually found a member of the small community who went home and got some Benadryl. The worker took two Benadryl tablets and the itching in his hands immediately subsided and the swelling in the neck seemed to have stopped.

The worker decided to drive the 40 kilometres to the hospital in Williams Lake. On the way, the worker started to experience swelling around his throat area and was having difficulty swallowing. The worker had a Satellite phone and called the nearest RCMP detachment who transferred his call to the local 911 ambulance service. The worker was worried about a total shut down of his airway and the ambulance was dispatched immediately to meet the worker.

The worker was pulled over with 4 way flashers on about 15 kilometers west of Williams Lake when the ambulance arrived. The worker was able to walk into the ambulance and was transported to Hospital for treatment.

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  • Although the worker knew he had allergies to certain foods, he was always able to work through the symptoms without any issues and generally avoided those foods.
  • With the onset of the allergic reaction happening so quickly, the worker will carry a supply of Benadryl and purchase an Epi Pen to have in his First Aid kit.
  • The worker also should have had someone drive him to the hospital or stopped and waited on the highway after he made the call for help to Emergency Services. If his airway had closed and he became unconscious, he may have caused an accident or further injury.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Craig Kennedy at (250) 267-3722 or email: kennedysafety@gmail.com

File attachments
Safety_Alert_Allergic_Reaction_2015-12-10.pdf

Icy log slides off poorly-built load on steep grade

Safety Alert Type: 
Yarding and Loading
Location: 
West-Central Vancouver Island
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2015-11-24
Company Name: 
A.H. Green Log Hauling
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

After checking and tightening cinches, log truck driver left the landing with a load of logs covered with ice and began down a 25 per cent grade. The loaderman had not crowned off the load so the middle top logs were not restrained by the cinches.

Due to the steep grade and ice on the load, one log slid ahead and over the cab, causing extensive damage to the roof and shattered the passenger-side windshield. The driver sustained no injuries (see photos in attached pdf).

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  • Loaderman to be diligent in assessing the safety of loads in adverse conditions (such as ice or sap in the springtime)
  • Reminder issued to all loader operators and log truck drivers to communicate about load status before truck leaves the landing

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Tony Green, A.H. Green Log Hauling (250) 749-6570

File attachments
Safety_Alert_AH_Green_Log_Hauling_2015-11-24.pdf

Cougar encounter (near Lumby, BC)

Safety Alert Type: 
Wildlife encounter
Location: 
Camel’s Hump, Clier Lake Road
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2015-11-20
Company Name: 
Cabin Forestry Services
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

While a worker was engineering a road location, a small cougar appeared 6 metres above on top of a rocky slope.

Worker shouted at cougar and pulled bear spray out, but the cougar held its position. Worker shouted and chased after it until cougar retreated 15 metres without taking his eyes off of worker.

Coworker was then notified of incident as worker began walking back to the truck less than a kilometre away. When worker safely got back to the truck, the cougar appeared on the road in front of the truck.

The cougar had circled around to appear where the worker may have been had he continued to walk down the road.

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  • Always carry bear spray
  • Watch for tracks in the snow
  • Do not run. Flight might trigger pursuit
  • Face the cougar - don’t turn your back. Stand up
  • Maintain eye contact with the cougar
  • If you are working with a partner or crew use your radio to notify them that you have encountered a cougar. Let others within radio contact know your situation and location
  • Be aware of surroundings, especially what is up slope of your position.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Kevin Chau – Cabin Forestry Services, Vernon, B.C. Phone: (778) 475-3655 Email: kchau@cabinforestry.com

 

File attachments
Safety_Alert_Cabin_Forestry_2015-11-20-cougar-encounter.pdf

Log truck driver not in the clear while loading

Safety Alert Type: 
Yarding and Loading
Location: 
Interior Operations, Adams Lake Division
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2015-11-16
Company Name: 
Interfor
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Hazard: Truck drivers are at risk of being struck by a log if they are not in-the-clear while being loaded.

Summary: A log loader was loading a truck with cut-to-length logs when a log slipped from the grapple and slid over bullboard and in front of truck (shown in picture). As per safe work procedures, the driver was in the clear and there was no issue.

On a separate site, on the same day, a different truck driver was observed standing near his bullboard watching his air gauge while being loaded. He was NOT in the clear. Luckily, a log from this loaderman’s grapple did not slip out and strike him.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Actions to Prevent a Re-Occurrence:

  • Prior to loading, loader operators must confirm that the driver is in–the clear at ALL times
  • While being loaded, drivers must stay out of the “circle of danger” to prevent being struck by a log.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Erik Kok, RPF, Interfor, Interior Operations, Erik.Kok@Interfor.com (250) 679-6842

File attachments
Safety_Alert_Interfor-DriverNotInTheClear_2015-11-16.pdf

Tripping hazard in low light: barbed wire fencing

Safety Alert Type: 
Planning and Engineering
Location: 
Blue Springs (southern interior region)
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2015-11-17
Company Name: 
Cabin Forestry Services
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

It was getting dark early on a northern aspect. Worker could no longer read the slopes from clinometer and decided it was time to head back to the truck.

Worker was walking at a brisk pace along a brushed in trail and failed to see an old fence. Two rusted brown barbed wires hanging at shin height took out both feet, and sent the worker tumbling forward. In the dim lighting the fence was camoflaged by brown leaves on the ground, as well as being hidden in the cedar regen.

Fortunately no cuts or puncture wounds were sustained, perhaps in part prevented by raingear. Only injuries sustained were bruise lines across the shins.

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  • Watch out for old fence structures where private lands or range tenures exist - or may have existed
  • When walking down a trail for the first time, slow down and assess the hazards
  • Don't be in a rush getting back to the truck at the end of the day.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Kevin Chau – Cabin Forestry Services, Vernon, B.C. Phone: (778) 475-3655 Email: kchau@cabinforestry.com

File attachments
Safety_Alert_Cabin_Forestry-fence_2015-11-17.pdf

Fatigue during chainsaw use leads to close call

Safety Alert Type: 
Bucking and Limbing
Location: 
Tulip Creek, west Kootenays
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2015-11-05
Company Name: 
Cabin Forestry Services
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A worker became extremely tired with prolonged chainsaw use. After delimbing a branch, worker let his arms down while the chain was still turning and coming to idle.

A section of chain near the base of the bar hit the chainsaw chaps on his upper thigh and produced an 11 cm rip into the protective material within (see picture in attached pdf).

Worker did not sustain any injuries from the incident.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Recommended Preventative Actions

  • Always wear PPE
  • Be aware of the dangers of fatigue and meeting production expectations
  • Maintain proper nutrition, hydration and adequate sleep
  • Recognize and acknowledge inadequate physical abilities when operating saws
  • Take rest breaks when needed
  • Promote good posture and chainsaw techniques
  • Review chainsaw training prior to operation for new or returning operators

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Kevin Chau – Cabin Forestry Services, Vernon, B.C. Phone: (778) 475-3655 Email: kchau@cabinforestry.com

File attachments
Safety_Alert_Cabin_Forestry-chainsaw-chaps_2015-11-5.pdf

HAZARD ALERT : High pressure injection injury results in amputation of worker's finger

Safety Alert Type: 
Mechanical Service (Field)
Location: 
Vancouver Island
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2015-11-03
Company Name: 
Helifor
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A worker was working on a pressurized hydraulic line that had a pinhole leak. The worker inadvertently passed his hand over the leak while attempting to place a cloth over it to contain the escaping fluid.

Unknowingly the worker received a 1 centimetre cut on his right index finger caused by the high pressure from the escaping hydraulic fluid.

Due to the high pressure injection injury, infection spread rapidly resulting in the amputation of the worker’s right index finger (Warning: attached pdf contains graphic image).

Learnings and Suggestions: 

The Causes: Equipment such as paint or grease guns, diesel engine fuel injectors, hydraulic lines and pressure washers are all capable of emitting enough pressure to breach the human skin and inject contents into the human body which can cause workplace high pressure injection injuries.

Only 100 pounds per square inch (psi) is required to break intact human skin.

First Aid: Workers with injection injuries may experience little or no pain at the time of the incident. Entry wounds are frequently small or appear insignificant.

Any injury suspected to be from high pressure injection “Must be treated as Surgical Emergencies and RTC to appropriate facility”.

All details, including injection substances (SDS’s or non-hazardous materials ie: air, water) and observations must be recorded and accompany the injured worker.

Emergency Response Plans must include the name and contact information for qualified surgeons located at a minimum of 2 local hospitals. They must be notified that a worker has (or is suspected to have) a high pressure injection injury and is being medically evacuated to their location for immediate surgery.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Bill Clarke, Safety & Asset Manager - Helifor Office (604) 269-2002 bill.clarke@helifor.com

 

File attachments
Safety_Alert_Helifor_11-3-2015.pdf

MANUFACTURING: Planer head moves despite being locked out, worker suffers finger amputation

Safety Alert Type: 
Manufacturing
Location: 
Northern Interior Planer Mill
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2015-09-30
Company Name: 
BC Forest Safety Council
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

In an effort to control combustible dust, a manufacturing facility in the northern interior region increased the ventilation rate on their planer.

The planer was locked out, but due to the increased flow rate of the ventilation system, there was still an uncontrolled energy source present.

The increased air flow caused the opposite head on the planer to rotate. This situation contributed to a finger amputation at this particular manufacturing plant.

The employer did not do a re-evaluation of the planer for hazards after the modifications to the ventilation system were made.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Consider this potential risk and re-evaluate planer lockout programs if the facility has increased the air flow through the ventilation systems.

Video link that shows a planer head rotating despite being locked out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQRiVgupLn4

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Gary Banys, BC Forest Safety Council 1-877-741-1060

File attachments
Safety_Alert_BCFSC_Planer_Head_Movement_2015-9-30.pdf
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