Tick season is here - A reminder to workers in BC

Safety Alert Type: 
Workers
Location: 
Province-wide
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2017-06-21
Company Name: 
Econ Consulting
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A new worker discovered an attached tick on their abdomen while showering at the end of a day of engineering fieldwork.

Tick awareness and checking for ticks had been covered during a pre-work safety meeting at the beginning of the shift and the worker was wearing long sleeved shirt and long pants but routine daily inspections were not being done as no tick activity had been observed up to that point.

The tick was immediately removed and discarded. There have been no symptoms of infection.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

The Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation and BC Centre for Disease Control websites provide information and updates on the status of Lyme Disease in British Columbia.

  • A 2013 CDC Lyme Disease Risk Map for British Columbia indicates that the Lower Mainland, Sunshine Coast, and East Coast of Vancouver Island as well as southern interior valleys have optimum ecological conditions for the Lyme Disease organism to be present in the environment.
  • A November 2016 warning indicates that 2 of 3 ticks that tested positive for Lyme Disease in BC in 2016 came from the lower mainland (the other came from the Kamloops area).
  • A June 2017 bulletin indicates a new strain of Lyme Disease has been discovered on Vancouver Island.

The June 2016 Safety Alert of the Month (AOM # 2016-06-22) was reviewed at a safety meeting to refresh awareness and review procedures. The safety alert provides guidance on preventing tick bites:

  • Minimise exposed skin, tucking in clothing, using insect repellant
  • Perform thorough daily body checks as well as gear checks for stow away ticks.

It also provides guidance for safe tick removal and information about Lyme Disease including:

  • Prompt removal within 24-36 hours of bite to reduce potential for infection
  • Retain tick in a crush proof container. Take live tick to your doctor ASAP for testing or retain in fridge for a couple weeks in case you experience symptoms.

Additionally, company safety procedures have been updated to include a requirement that all tick bites be reported using an incident report form for internal record keeping purposes. It was also recommended that ticks involved in bites be retained for a few weeks in case of symptoms or forwarded for testing through a doctor.

Link to the Alert of the Month (June 2016): www.bcforestsafe.org/node/2808

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Len Apedaile RPF, Econ Consulting, 250 337-5588, email:len@econ.ca

 

File attachments
Safety_Alert_Tick Season-Econ_June_21_2017.pdf

Worker run over by large pickup truck

Safety Alert Type: 
Workers
Location: 
Williams Lake, BC
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2017-05-02
Company Name: 
Summit Reforestation Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A new tree planter was driven to camp. After the camp orientation, the planter went and laid down on a large section of grass that was being used for a parking area. The planter lay down behind a row of crew trucks that were parked perpendicular and adjacent to the road. Beyond this was a large grassy field.

All the crew trucks were parked facing outward, other than the last crew truck, which parked facing inward and perpendicular to the road. It had just arrived and was not able to back in due to the lane being blocked by another vehicle.

The driver of the crew truck left his vehicle to use the washroom. The driver returned to his vehicle a few minutes later along the road where the visibility to the location of the planter was blocked by the other crew trucks. The rear door of his truck was open and was obscuring his line of sight along his vehicle.

The driver walked around the back of the truck to the driver side door and then got in. The driver pulled forward and turned right, driving around and behind the end vehicle. His front tire missed the planter; however, as he made his turn the rear wheels went directly over the planter’s torso.

The planter received extensive crush injuries.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

HAZARD - Upset Condition: When someone is forced to do something that is outside of established policy or best practice of the normal course of duty, the risks associated with that act are increased. In this incident, there were at least two “upset conditions”

  1. The driver could not safely back into his parking space so chose to pull in forwards.
  2. The planter arrived in camp early before other employees, and before the planned orientation and training.

PREVENTATIVE ACTIONS - Ensure employees understand “why” a best practice such as backing in to parking spaces is in place. In understanding the intention of the best practice, the employee can mitigate the risks involved in taking alternate action.

HAZARD - New Employees: When new employees first arrive on site, they are yet to receive full orientation and training.

PREVENTATIVE ACTIONS - Designate safe spaces where new employees can be so they will be protected from the hazards associated with the worksite. Ensure new employees are not left unsupervised outside of these designated areas until orientation is completed.

HAZARD - Blind Spots and the DANGER Zone: Large vehicles have large blind spots both in front and behind them; for some drivers, these blind spots can extend over 12 metres from the vehicle. Employees and drivers may not be aware of the size of these areas.

PREVENTATIVE ACTIONS:

  1. Ensure drivers are consistently doing circle checks any time they have lost track of what may have entered this “Danger Zone”. Typically, this would be whenever they leave their vehicle for any period but may also include time spent talking or making notes where their attention had not been on the task of driving.
  2. Drivers should honk their horn before moving from a parked position.
  3. Drivers should adjust their seats to the highest comfortable driving position to maximize their field of vision around their vehicles.
  4. All employees need to be aware of this “Danger Zone.” Ensure employees are trained on how large this zone is and ensure that they are paying full attention when in this space. Do not allow employees to loiter in the immediate vicinity of vehicles. They should only be in the “Danger Zone” when necessary and exit as soon as possible.
  5. Keep parking areas as far from common areas as possible so employees are not tempted to loiter near them – ensure employees are only in designated parking areas when conducting relevant business.

HAZARD - Headphones limiting situational awareness: The use of headphones can severely limit a worker’s ability to hear what is happening around them.

PREVENTATIVE ACTIONS - Headphone use is not safe in a work environment –ensure policy limits use to safe spaces around camp (mess tent or personal tents etc). When a worker is on duty they must be aware of the possible dangers around them.

HAZARD - Travel fatigue: Workers often have extended travel to get to us. Their level of fatigue from this travel may be very significant.

PREVENTATIVE ACTIONS - Organize pick‐up times so that we pick up employees in a fresh state of mind. Know the flight and bus times and when they arrive in town. Encourage people to arrive a day earlier and spend the night in town where they can rest before you pick them up to start work.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Summit Reforestation Ltd. (250) 847-5125

File attachments
Safety_Alert-Summit_Reforestation-May_2-2017.pdf

Pickup truck caught in landslide

Safety Alert Type: 
Resource Roads
Location: 
Highway 20 (25 kilometres west of Williams Lake)
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2017-06-19
Company Name: 
BC Forest Safety Council
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A forestry worker driving to a job site in a pickup truck was swept down a steep embankment when a section of Highway 20 washed out. The worker was able to get out of the pickup and was rescued. However, he did sustain injuries and was transported to hospital for treatment.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Link to recent Landslide and Flood Safety Alert: http://www.bcforestsafe.org/node/2964

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Gerard Messier, BC Forest Safety Council 1-877-741-1060

File attachments
Safety_Alert_Pickup_Landslide-June_19-2017.pdf

Saturated ground fails during road construction

Safety Alert Type: 
Road Building/Deactivation
Location: 
near Beaverdell, BC
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2017-04-27
Company Name: 
Pilot Point Forest Consultants
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A medium-sized excavator was preparing a pilot trail on a new road. Snow depth was over 60 centimetres on approximately 40% side slope and soil types encountered had been well-drained and stable sandy loam.

The hoe reached a point that the design identified as a three metre cut in solid rock which was down slope of a shallow-to-bedrock cleared area. It was observed by the operator that there was snowmelt flowing on exposed rock above the centerline.

As the hoe travelled beneath the bedrock clearing, a deep pocket of soil suddenly gave way and the hoe began to slide below the centerline in a mass of liquefied soil. The operator, who is very experienced, immediately arrested the down slope movement using his bucket and constructed a rough water bar to channel the water flow away from the hoe. By pulling the hoe with the stick/bucket and installing several water bars, he was able to retreat back up the trail toward the starting point.

All work was ceased and the project shut down until drier conditions prevailed. Had the operator not been able to arrest the downslope movement of the hoe, the machine could have slid about another 30 metres down the 30-40% slope to a saturated boggy site and become very stuck (see photos of the ground conditions in attached pdf).

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  1. The design cross sections indicated solid rock with a very shallow layer of overburden, but the soil was actually a deep pocket of saturated sandy loam. Soil types in cross sections are a “best guess” and can be very different than actual conditions. Always anticipate a surprise and be prepared for it by having a plan.
  2. Never work alone without the ability to summon assistance. Always ensure that your method of contact (radio, cell or satellite phone) works at your location and have scheduled check-in times.
  3. The area was very wet with melting snow and another spur just built had extreme muddy conditions. Determine what your limits are for constructing in adverse soil conditions and use wet weather shutdown criteria to know when to stop.
  4. The operator, with years of experience, had an intuition that the ground ahead would be very poor. Learn to trust your intuition, your inner or gut feelings. Your intuition can be the result of years of practice and experiences, and can come to you without even thinking.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Rick Johnson, BCTS Implementation Contractor pilotpnt@telus.net

 

File attachments
Safety_Alert-Saturated_Ground_Bank_Failure-Apr_27-2017.pdf

Log truck spills load, loaderman suffers broken knee cap

Safety Alert Type: 
Log Hauling
Location: 
BC Interior region
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2017-04-07
Company Name: 
CANFOR
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A truck driver spilled his load of logs coming down a steep & bumpy road, which then required the loaderman to come and reload the logs.

The driver blocked off a leak on the trailer brakes, which caused the brakes to release and the truck to move forward toward an embankment.

The truck rode over a few logs causing one of them to flip up and strike the loaderman who couldn’t get out of the way fast enough, resulting in a broken knee cap.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Potential Hazards:

  • Driving too fast for the steep & bumpy road conditions
  • Upset condition: spilled load & unexpected defective equipment (trailer air leak).
  • Inadequate assessment of hazard putting themselves in the “line of fire” of a truck on a slope that had the potential to move forward.

Preventative Actions:

  • Drivers are responsible for ensuring the safe condition of their load before leaving the loader
  • Drivers must take whatever time necessary, given any road condition, to arrive at their destination safely
  • Take the time to STOP & Think about what might happen and properly assess upset conditions before proceeding
  • Properly chock the wheels whenever the braking mechanism is compromised.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Tyson von den Steinen, Canadian Forest Products Ltd. (250) 962-3229

Tyson.vondenSteinen@canfor.com

 

File attachments
Safety_Alert-Canfor-Spilled Load-Broken Knee Cap-April 7-2017.pdf

Driver outside cab struck by log during loading of his truck

Safety Alert Type: 
Yarding and Loading
Location: 
BC Interior region
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2017-01-05
Company Name: 
CANFOR
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A truck driver was making his way back to the truck cab after having just finished setting up the airlines. At this moment the loaderman swung the boom with a grapple full of logs while assuming the driver was inside the truck.

During the swing a 10” diameter log slipped out of the grapple and struck the driver. This resulted in lost time as the driver sustained serious injuries that included swollen foot & ankle, cracked ribs, and hematoma (severe bruising) in lower back.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Potential Hazards - The trucker was exposed to falling objects and moving equipment due to:

  • Not following safe loading procedures
  • Poor communication
  • Moving equipment despite not having visual contact with bystanders (i.e., trucker).
  • Complacency and rushing since it was the last load of the day.

Preventative Actions - The contractor has taken the following actions to prevent recurrence:

  • Every driver & loaderman has been informed that loading can only occur if the driver is now inside the cab
  • Drivers must notify loadermen by radio whenever they leave & re-enter the cab.

These procedures will be company policy going forward and will be reviewed with drivers & loadermen before every season. The incident & root cause will be reviewed with the OH&S Committee and with all drivers at their safety meeting to reinforce the importance of following these procedures.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Tyson von den Steinen, Canadian Forest Products Ltd (250) 962-3229 Tyson.vondenSteinen@canfor.com

 

File attachments
Safety_Alert-Canfor-Driver Struck By Log-Jan 25-2017.pdf

Machine Tips Over During Beaver Dam Removal

Safety Alert Type: 
Heavy Equipment
Location: 
BC Interior region
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2016-11-07
Company Name: 
CANFOR
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

An excavator operator was slowly dismantling a beaver dam by periodically halting work to allow water to flow at a rate that would not exceed the culvert flow capacity. At some point the road surface underneath the downhill track became too saturated with water and failed, causing the machine to slide down and tip over into the water.

Luckily the operator was able to exit the machine in time, however, the machine sustained significant damage.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Potential Hazards

Elevated risk due to the following factors:

  • Working alone near water under cold weather conditions
  • Working on unstable ground saturated with water
  • Working behind a large volume of stored water energy.

Preventative Actions

Developed “Working on, near, or above water” safe work procedures that includes the following:

  • A hazard assessment must be conducted ahead of time to ensure roads are drained in advance and don’t become saturated with water while equipment is on it
  • Any worker working on, near, or above water that poses a risk of drowning must wear a personal flotation device
  • Under no circumstance are workers to work on, near, or above water that poses a risk of drowning while considered alone.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Tyson von den Steinen, Canadian Forest Products Ltd (250) 962-3229

Tyson.vondenSteinen@canfor.com

 

File attachments
Safety_Alert-Canfor-Beaver Dam-November 7-2016.pdf

Pressure Washer Incident

Safety Alert Type: 
Hand and Power Tools
Location: 
Vanderhoof, BC
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2017-04-27
Company Name: 
Walter Neufeld Contracting Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

While a worker was using a hot water pressure washer, a co-worker needed a bucket of hot water.

The person using the pressure washer went to remove the pressure nozzle to fill the bucket and inadvertently triggered the wand, sending pressurized hot water out of the nozzle.

He was immediately taken to the hospital for assessment and treatment. The worker had a small cut near his ring finger.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

High pressure washing equipment can present a variety of hazards to workers. Understanding the hazards is the first step in reducing workers’ exposure. These hazards include:

  • WATER JETS - exposure to the high pressure water jet has the greatest potential to cause serious injury. The water jet can travel at speeds up to 3,300km per hour, and can slice through solid materials or damage any part of the human body. Even injuries that appear to be relatively minor can be fatal, as microorganisms can be injected into the body through the injury site along with air, water and debris.
  • HIGH VELOCITY IMPACT - Debris propelled by waterjets can injure eyes, skin, and body parts upon impact.
  • CHEMICAL EXPOSURE - Contact with hazardous chemicals is a risk while pressure washing.
  • MUSCULOSKELETAL INJURY - Workers are often required to work in awkward positions, lift heavy tools or materials and work with high reaction force. Workplace conditions are often wet, and increased slip hazards present themselves.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Valerie Dettwiler, Griffon Safety Solutions Ltd. (250) 567-7823

File attachments
Hazard_Alert_Pressure_Washer_Incident_April_27-2017.pdf

Risks with changing Resource Road Radio Frequency signs

Safety Alert Type: 
Resource Roads
Location: 
British Columbia
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2017-04-24
Company Name: 
BC Forest Safety Council
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Many resource roads have now been assigned standard resource road (RR) radio frequencies and signage will be in place to notify road users if these RR channels are in use.

Prior to starting work on these roads, make sure all vehicles involved have the correct channels installed. The RR channels are available to all mobile radio users, and can be obtained through commercial radio shops - provided the road users have a radio licence with the RR Appendix. These licences are issued by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED).

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Avoid changing the radio frequencies already assigned to a resource road. Changing the frequency from the assigned RR channel can lead to confusion and the potential for vehicles on the road to be on 2 different channels.

If there is a reason why the radio frequency must be changed (example - too much radio traffic on the assigned frequency), here is the link to the procedure to get the channel changed:

http://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/farming-natural-resources-and-industry/natural-resource-use/resource-roads/channelassignmentchgeproceduredec7-2015draft.pdf

For more information on this submitted alert: 

For more information regarding the RR channels or communication protocols contact:

1) A MFLNRO District Engineer within your area via Service BC 1-800-663-7867 or

2) The BC Forest Safety Council’s Transportation Safety Program 1-877-741-1060.

File attachments
Safety_Alert-Resource_Road_Radio_Frequency_Change-Apr_24-2017.pdf

The importance of keeping your rig clean: Log truck inspection reveals bunk mount failures “hidden” under road grime

Safety Alert Type: 
Log Hauling
Location: 
Campbell River, BC
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2017-04-08
Company Name: 
Fearless Contracting Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Fearless Contracting self-load truck was dispatched to a motor vehicle accident involving a log truck from another company which had lost its load.

While recovering the load, the driver noted that the cause of the accident seemed to be a weld failure on the bunk mount pad and reported this to his supervisor.

Mechanics were instructed to thoroughly inspect all trucks and in the process found one with a cracked weld developing on the mounting bracket.

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  • Thorough daily inspections by drivers supported by mechanical inspections are critical to ensure safe operation of a log truck
  • Regular washing is essential to reveal potential failures.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Ken Fear, Fearless Contracting Ltd. (250) 286-6630

File attachments
Safety_Alert_Fearless_Contracting_Ltd-April_8-2017.pdf
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