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Supervisor Fatality

Safety Alert Type: 
Planning and Engineering
Location: 
Kingcome TSA
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2007-02-03
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A supervisor for a road construction contractor was killed during preparations for blasting
in a quarry. Following an initial safety meeting and preparatory work to clear hazards, a
crew prepared the site for blasting.
At that point, a 29 inch diameter by 107 feet tall cedar tree, located on a steep slope 85
feet above the quarry, blew over. Two of three people on the crew escaped the falling
tree, but the supervisor was struck and killed beside the front wheel of the drill.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

While the details of this incident are under investigation, it brings into sharp focus the
need for ongoing site and hazard assessment throughout the shift, particularly when
working for long periods within a limited site such as a quarry, and the need for all
workers (especially ground workers) to pre-plan escape routes for if and when a
controlled hazard becomes uncontrolled.

File attachments
2007-02-03 Supervisor Fatality.pdf

Close Call/Serious Incident

Safety Alert Type: 
Planning and Engineering
Location: 
West of Bear Lake on 3400 rd area BLK 254-002.
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2007-07-06
Company Name: 
North Aspect Contracting Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

An employee of North Aspect Contracting was walking on a cut block and heard a growling nearby at the timber boundary. She witnessed a cougar traveling about 200m away along the boundary. She then noticed a deer running into the adjacent cut block as she was backing away. The cougar was hunting the deer. The employee contacted another employee working in the area by radio and they both left the block.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Always stay alert and attentive in your work environment. Look for signs that may prevent dangerous encounters with wildlife. Always have radio communication with work partner.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Nick Hawes 250-562-3835

File attachments
2007-07-06 Cose Call With Cougar.pdf

Close Call/Serious Incident

Safety Alert Type: 
Planning and Engineering
Location: 
North White River, east of Canal Flats, B.C.
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2007-07-04
Company Name: 
Maple Leaf Forestry Consulting Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Two forestry workers conducting a stream assessment for timber development encountered a Grizzly Bear. The workers were approximately 40 meters apart when one the workers startled the bear. The bear then ran towards the other worker. Noting this, the worker quickly dove under a windfall for protection. The bear attempted to pull the worker out from under the windfall severely injuring his right leg and right arm. The worker was able to adjust himself squarely to the bear and kicked the bear directly in the face with his caulked boot. The bear then retreated and ran back towards the other worker. The other worker was aware the bear was approaching and was prepared to defend herself with Bear Spray. As the bear quickly approached she sprayed the bear with her spray and it instantly withdrew and retreated to the forest not to be seen again.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Make plenty of noise when working the bush whether you are alone or in pairs. Carry Bear Spray at all times when you’re in the bush. Wear Bear bells on your cruisers vest or backpack. Be Bear aware, look for the signs and make wise decisions.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Mark Serediuk, General Manager of Maple Leaf Forestry Consulting Ltd. (250) 489-0005.

File attachments
2007-07-04 Worker Encounters Grizzly Bear.pdf

Close Call/Serious Incident

Safety Alert Type: 
Planning and Engineering
Location: 
1.4Km Blind Creek Main, Knights Inlet
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2007-07-05
Company Name: 
Marine Pacific Engineering Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Early in the day on the first day of a shift a grizzly bear tracked and followed an engineering crewman for about 20 minutes. The bear left sign (scat and alder scrapes) and the area smelled strongly of bear. The bear appeared to lose interest and the crewman thought he had left but instead the bear had gone ahead to a break in a rock bluff. From this crux he charged directly at the crewman, knocking down alder trees in the charge. About ten meters away from the crewman, the bear suddenly, and without any obvious reason, changed directions and ran down the hill away from the crewman. This was the first of many bear sighting and encounters over a four day shift.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

1.Avoid known bear areas when bears are highly active and aggressive (summer/early fall).
2.Work in pairs when bears are an identified hazard.
3.Arm yourself.
4.Be alert and aware in grizzly country. Make Noise - don’t startle creatures.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Jamie Alguire (250) 923-4023

File attachments
2007-07-05 Grizzly Bear follows crewman.pdf

Close Call/Serious Incident

Safety Alert Type: 
Planning and Engineering
Location: 
Phinette Lake, off of Highway 24, Southern Interior Forest District
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2007-09-19
Company Name: 
Montane Forest Consultants Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Forestry worker was working in the Phinette Lake area laying out a Forestry road. Cougar approached to within 3m, predatory to forestry worker and his dog. Worker faced the cougar and backed towards the truck approx 200m away. Cougar followed worker to truck and worker and his dog arrived safely at the truck.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

All safe work procedures were followed as per our Health and Safety Policy.
A ll work in the area ceased operations and workers returned to their office. Ministry of Environment officials were notified.

File attachments
2007-09-19 Close Encounter With Cougar.pdf

Close Call/Serious Incident

Safety Alert Type: 
Planning and Engineering
Location: 
Auger Rd, Burns Lk
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2007-10-10
Company Name: 
North Aspect Contracting Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Crew was surveying a blk. It was hunting season and we had signs up Alerting people “Crew Working In Area”. At the end of the day the crew got in the truck to drive home, only to find the Rd had been de-activated. It took hours placing logs and wood to get through the de-activations. The vehicle also sustained damage.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Place sign at the beginning of secondary Rd where it joins main line. It is also the responsibility of the de-activation crew to drive to the END of the Rd being de-activated. If this had of been practiced, the situation could have been avoided. MOFR Burns Lake was informed of the incident, for investigation.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Nick Hawes 250-562-3835

File attachments
2007-10-10 De-Activated Road Causes Problems.pdf

Close Call Black Bear Incident

Safety Alert Type: 
Planning and Engineering
Location: 
Yeo Island, Mapsheet # 103A050-013, UTM Grid 9-5806-5600, Blk Y13. BCTS TSL A71396 is located approximately 125km west of Bella Coola and 15km north of Bella Bella. The log dump is located on the SW point of Yeo Island on Spiller Channel. Proceed 16km up the Yeo mainline to Block Y13.
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2007-10-14
Company Name: 
Coast Forest Management Ltd
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

9:30AM: 2 employees were conducting logging residue and waste surveys within block Y13. The crew accessed the block by helicopter from Shearwater (near Bella Bella). Both employees were working in a plot approximately 35m above the Yeo mainline at mid-block. While working, one of the employees turned and saw an extremely large black bear within 3+/- meters of himself and within 1-2+/- meters of his working partner. Both employees started yelling in an attempt to scare-off the bear. At this point, the bear realized he was very close to one of the employees and began to advance toward him. Both continued to yell but the bear kept advancing. One employee began to move uphill of the bear in an attempt to get clear but the bear continued to pursue him. The other employee moved downhill and continued to yell. This seemed to confuse the bear a little and both employees were able to put some distance between themselves and the bear. They both reached the mainline and noticed the bear had moved downhill to the road ahead of them to try to cut them off. One employee had left his vest at plot center which had the radio in the back pouch. Fortunately, there was another residue and waste crew working in the same block so the two employees began to walk/run towards the other crew. The second crew had a radio and called out on Marine 6 to relay a message to the helicopter pilot at Shearwater. At this time, all crew noticed the bear was walking up the road, advancing towards them so they all began walking/running down the mainline in a southerly direction. The bear continued to advance and followed them approximately 2km down the mainline. The crew continued to walk down the mainline and was eventually picked-up by helicopter 4km from Y13 at 11:00AM. The bear was not sighted at 4km.
The conservation officer was notified Monday, October 15th of the incidence and informed the crew (ordered) to stay out of the area until further notice.
It appears that the logging crew had several encounters with a very aggressive black bear while working in the same vicinity during logging operations (although not documented).

Learnings and Suggestions: 

-Alert any potential future forestry / recreation personnel of bear incidence.
-Contact conservation officer in Bella Bella for any updates or follow-up information to this incidence.
-Always work in pairs.
-Be aware of high risk areas.
-Be bear aware and always look for sign.
-Always carry bear spray, bells, bangers.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Dave Riddell, Coast Forest Management Ltd, Campbell River, BC @ 250-287-2077

File attachments
2007-10-14 Close Call With Black Bear.pdf

Close Call/Serious Incident

Safety Alert Type: 
Planning and Engineering
Location: 
Purcell Point, BC
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2007-11-03
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

On Saturday 3rd November a consultant working with me doing silviculture surveys at Purcell Point was confronted with what was undoubtedly a predatory black bear. The bear crept up on him silently while he was doing a plot, and even though there was only moderate brush he was unaware of the bear until it was about 10ft away from him. For the next 15 minutes he was fending off the bear with sticks, rocks and noise as the bear herded him into the corner of the block against the creek which is a very steep sided canyon.

The contractor was able to get me on his radio but under the stress of the situation did not make it clear to me exactly where he was and so I actually set off to help in what was not quite the right direction. It took me about 10 minutes before I got a falling corner number from him and managed to get down the steep timbered terrain to where he was. The contractor was blowing his whistle continuously which made it much easier to locate him once in the right vicinity. Although we both assumed the bear would take off when I joined him it did not, but by there being two of us we were able to scramble across the creek while still keeping the bear at a distance. However, we became "stuck" at the base of a very steep, wet slope we could not climb easily and at this point the bear came across the creek and climbed the bank to get above us and was only about 2m away on the other side of a log and a tree. At this point I decided to use the bear spray, as it was really just his head and upper shoulders that were visible as he prepared to push between the log / tree toward us. The spray hit the bear directly in the face (text book fashion) and after a few seconds of thinking about it, recoiled backwards and disappeared. We were then able to scramble up the creek further to a point we could get up the bank and then through the cut-block to the road, then up to where the atv was parked. The contractor said that as we climbed the bank he could see the brush thrashing around close to where we had been, no doubt as the bear tried to wipe the problem from his face. We went straight to the beach where we sheltered in a shop truck belonging to a road building crew until our water taxi arrived two hours later.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Needless to say, the consultant was considerably shaken, and I am sure that was the most frightening experience of my adult life. The situation lasted about 15-20 minutes for him and he was pretty much exhausted. There are a number of points worth stressing, which although common sense are very much worth detailing:
1. It is impossible to rummage in your cruise vest for radios, maps, bear spray or whistles when you need two hands to fight off a bear / cougar. Obviously the contractor did not have his bear spray with him, but his radio, map, whistle were all in a chest pack where he was able to use them with one hand. He also had a large knife which he straps on the pack. It was only by having the radio and map easily accessible that I was eventually able to find him.
2. Be sure you know where your partner is working. We had spoken about ten minutes before the bear came at him, and we had discussed where he was and the route he was taking to get back
to the road where I was. However, there are lots of creeks and leave patches and I made the wrong assumption as to where he was at that point. It was not till I told him exactly which Fc I was by that he tried to find one on his map.
3. At the very least, always carry bear spray. There is no doubt it prevented the situation becoming a serious injury or even worse. The obvious solution is a gun, and I will most certainly be wasting no time getting one. I have been putting it off for years and that has nearly proved disastrous.
Specifically, in terms of Bute inlet we all know there are lots of bears, but in Purcell this is the fourth incident I have heard of since working there. A Cougar Inlet road crew foreman had a bear chase him up onto the fuel tanks just a couple of weeks ago at the dump, we had a tree planter charged in 1997 and myself and the silviculture contractor had to throw rocks at a bear that was coming just too close about 5 years ago. Also, in CMH days we had a bunch of clothing left by the roadside ripped to shreds, which included my hard hat being bitten through.

The problem is we see bear frequently and get complacent. There was lots of sign around last week and the only way to move through the blocks is on the "bear trails" through the brush. I know I do not carry bear spray all the time, and was lucky it was in my vest that day. My radio and the bear spray is always in my back pouch where it is not easy to get. That is my second incident with silent, creeping bears and the next time the bear will be shot.

File attachments
2007-11-03 Aggressive Black Bear Stalks Crew.pdf

Worker Lost Overnight

Safety Alert Type: 
Planning and Engineering
Location: 
Plumper Harbor ect.
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2007-12-08
Company Name: 
Golden Spruce ventures Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

On the afternoon of the 8th day of December, 2007 at 2:30 pm. a worker in the occupation of tree topping became lost as he wandered away from his crew working on Nootka Island on the west coast of Vancouver Island.
The worker failed to inform his crew of his intentions to desert his station and as such neither his supervisor nor co-worker knew of his whereabouts, this junior crew member in a somewhat distraught frame of mind found himself in unfamiliar territory.
Due to poor planning, no map preparation or radio maintenance and in contravention of mandatory communication, this climber was unable to reverse what had for him become a sequence of events leading to a crisis. The worker ran out of daylight and with it his chances to reverse any of those events.
His only hope at this point was to abandon hope of return and stay the night in the trees. Search and rescue was called, the worker was not injured and he walked out of the trees to safety when it became daylight.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Kevin Beausoleil (250) 850-1521

Employee released brake on scow winch line and spoke of winch wheel struck employees finger breaking finger

Safety Alert Type: 
Manufacturing
Location: 
Duke Point Sawmill
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2007-02-02
Company Name: 
Western Forest Products
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Employee was in the process of slacking scow shore line (A) and he released the brake (B) of the scow winch. The wheel (C) spun and the wheel spoke hit the employees hand and broke his finger. The spoke on the original wheel that struck the employees finger was replaced with this solid wheel to prevent accident contact as caused this incident

Upset Conditions:
1. Scow was under shore line docking plate and had to be moved to free scow from plate.
2. Inadequate training/instruction for employee in doing this job

Learnings and Suggestions: 

1. Assess the risks of the task being done to ensure you are in a safe position and following safe procedures to do the job.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Terry Baker 250-714-9310

File attachments
2007-02-02 Released brake leads to broken finger.pdf
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