Tree Frog Forestry News

Category Archives: Health & Safety

Health & Safety

Research group tracks movement of forest fire smoke

By Martha Dillman
CBC News
July 11, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada

Forest fires burning in northern Ontario are prompting heavy smoke throughout the region. Some communities have had special air quality statements issued by Environment Canada. Now, you can see how the smoke is moving and where it is expected to move next. Fire Smoke Canada is posting the information on its website.  Christopher Rodell, a research assistant at UBC says they get their data from a NASA satellite. “We get heat signatures from that and these heat signatures determine how smoke will rise based off of numerical weather prediction models we have created,” he said. “It’s an ongoing research project. We are trying to emulate how smoke plumes, a byproduct of wildfires disperses across North America.”

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Bat flew into hand of B.C. man who died of rabies infection

By Cheryl Chan
Vancouver Sun
July 16, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Nick Major

Nick Major was not doing anything out of the ordinary [when] he had a brief but fatal encounter with a bat infected with rabies. …Major, 21, had been driving and pulled over on the side of the road on Vancouver Island when a bat flew into him. Health authorities confirmed the patient was outdoors and in broad daylight when the nocturnal creature “struck” his hand then flew away. …Major had no visible puncture wound or scratch marks — something that’s not unusual because bat scratches can be microscopic… He developed symptoms of rabies six weeks after exposure. …He died Saturday, the first confirmed death from rabies contracted in B.C. since 2003… Rabies is a virus that attacks the nervous system. …Once symptoms appear, it is usually too late for effective treatment. …It is also unusual for bats to be flying during the day and could be a sign it is infected with rabies. Anyone who spots bats in daytime should take extra precautions.

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Vancouver Island Forest Contractors Recognized for Outstanding Safety and Environmental Leadership

Mosaic Forest Management
June 21, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

NANAIMO – Mosaic Forest Management is honouring 10 Vancouver Island contractors who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in safety and environmental initiatives this past year. From Duncan to Port McNeil, Campbell River to Sooke, the award winners took proactive steps to reduce their safety risks and achieve excellence in environmental performance. In 2018, Mosaic, including employees and contractors for both TimberWest and Island Timberlands, achieved a safety performance with the lowest average medical incident rate (MIR) in five years – an MIR rate of 2.9 per 200,000 hours worked. …Recent contractor safety initiatives include adding vehicle proximity alarms, a man overboard system for boats, deploying collision avoidance technology across log handling facilities, piloting driver fatigue detection sensors in log trucks, and piloting rollover risk detection sensors in log truck trailers. In addition, steep slope harvesting machinery has helped reduce risk by lowering the amount of harvesting with a chainsaw. 

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Advanced heli-rescuers give urgent care to remote workers in Sea-to-Sky region

By Jon Hernandez
CBC News
July 3, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Miles Randell and his team of helicopter-flying medics [have] made a lifelong difference to a forest worker who was struck by an 18-metre fir tree and catapulted down a hill. …The worker was in a remote site outside of Squamish, an area where air ambulance staff couldn’t reach. …But [the] specially trained crew, known as a Technical Evacuation Advanced Aero Medical (TEAAM), were called to the site within minutes. …TEAAM is a non-profit society that uses hoists to reach patients in remote settings …”The TEAAM model should be the standard of care for the industry — especially the tree-planting industry,” said John Betts, executive director of the Western Forestry Contractors Association (WFCA). The WFCA and the Truck Loggers Association are lobbying the province and WorksafeBC for additional support for the TEAAM program. The group argues that the service can save millions of dollars in both workers’ compensation and health-care costs.

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Man Attacked by Black Bear Kills It With an Axe

By Malcolm Johnson
The Outside Online
June 28, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

If it wasn’t for his dad’s hatchet, Alex Woods might not be alive.  On June 26, Woods, a forest pathologist who works for the provincial government of British Columbia, was attacked by an adult black bear while walking alone in the bush not far from the small Gitxsan village of Gitanyow. He survived the encounter, and the bear didn’t. Yesterday afternoon, he told me the story over a few much-needed beers on the patio of his home near Smithers. A lean 54-year-old with a close-cropped silver beard, Woods has been working in the backcountry for decades. He’s a whitewater paddler, hunter, and outdoorsman. Thoughtful and soft-spoken, he was still rattled as he ran through the details. …Woods will be back in the bush again soon, but the battle with the bear is making him think harder about being out alone.

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Smoky summers: Health experts extend their warnings to pregnant women

By Lori Culbert
The Vancouver Sun
June 28, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

When wildfire smoke enveloped Metro Vancouver last summer, Nikki Rogers noticed soot collecting on the walls of her White Rock condo. …This summer she will take even greater precautions because she is pregnant. And this is the first year that Vancouver Coastal Health and Metro Vancouver have included pregnant women on their list of people especially vulnerable to wildfire smoke, along with asthmatics, the elderly, and people with chronic heart and lung conditions. …Experts believe British Columbians are about to experience another hot, smoke-filled summer. …Since April 1, the B.C. Wildfire Service has recorded 377 fires that have burned more than 110 square kilometres. …Wildfire smoke contains many pollutants, but the most dangerous to human health is fine particulate matter, a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets that are generally 2.5 micrometers or less in size.

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‘It creates anxiety:’ Vancouver Island tourism operators dreading wildfire season

By Adam van der Zwan
CBC News
June 25, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

…The hiking company owner Ronda Murdock said the wildfire season on Vancouver Island last year disappointed her customers and many complained about the smoke. …Murdock (Pacific Rainforest Adventure Tours in Parksville) said customers told her last year they’d rerouted their trips because of the smoke, she’s now concerned about how this summer’s wildfires might impact business. “It’s not just the wildfires on the island,” she explained. “It’s the smoke from other areas as well.” …”Our fire danger rating is higher than pretty much everywhere else in the province,” Donna MacPherson, the Coastal Fire Centre’s information officer, told the CBC. …the region is on a high-to-extreme fire danger rating … Blake Johnson (Port Alberni Batstar Kayaking Adventure Tours) says he’s concerned that wildfires might hinder him from expanding his local sea kayaking company to include a cycling business. He said some of his customers have been concerned about their respiratory health. 

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Urban British Columbia No Longer Safe from Wildfire Threat

By Brandon Wei
The Tyee
June 27, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

…Fires like the blaze that closed lanes on the Sea to Sky Highway may be the new normal for urban dwellers. The consequences include property damage and health risks, particularly for the almost 10 per cent of people who suffer from serious respiratory diseases. The fire season is in its early stages, but the BC Wildfire Service already assesses the fire risk in southwestern B.C. as high to extreme. The District of Squamish teamed up with the Resort Municipality of Whistler this year to develop an evacuation plan as both regions rely on the Sea to Sky Highway as an exit route. Projections from the plan include a potential 13-hour southbound evacuation time on a peak day. That means the wildfire threat has increased for more densely populated — even urban areas — like North Vancouver, which is in the process of updating its evacuation plans. … Life in the wildfire interface zone today requires preparation — staying informed, having a grab-and-go bag and knowing the routes out of your community.

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Update on revised New Faller Training Program – BC Forest Safety Council News

BC Forest Safety Council
June 24, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Piloting of the New Faller Training Program by all three WorkSafeBC approved administrators (the BC Forest Safety Council, Energy Safety Canada, and
BC Wildfire Service) took place in 2018. Feedback was gathered during this time from all involved via interviews, surveys and workshops. The feedback received from the pilots and from an initial WorkSafeBC review is currently being applied to the program and should be completed by the end of this month for review and approval by the administrators before being submitted to WorkSafeBC for final approval. WorkSafeBC will review the training program starting next month (July) followed by a final pilot this fall, with anticipated final approval and rollout to industry in 2020.

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Up to 12 times more smoke due to climate change, warns prof

By Kevin Ma
The St. Albert Today
June 23, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Mike Flannigan

Alberta can expect to see twice as much forest fire and up to 12 times more forest fire smoke a year by 2100 because of global heating, says a University of Alberta wildfire expert. …St. Albert doesn’t usually see wildfires near its borders, but it does get the smoke from them, said Alberta Capital Airshed president Brent Korobanik. …“Wildfires can happen hundreds of kilometres away and have direct impacts on the air we breathe,” Korobanik said, as well as our health. …U of A wildland fire professor Mike Flannigan showed forum-goers stats and charts on how Alberta was seeing more forest fires now than it did several decades ago. …Flannigan said his research suggests Alberta would likely see the amount of land it loses to forest fires each year double by 2100 due to current climate trends. Those fires will burn wider and deeper into the forest floor, which means more smoke – six to 12 times more, he predicted.

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Port Alberni contractor earns safety award

Alberni Valley News
June 22, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Chad Campbell, Karlie Ward, Bill Chadwick & Jeff Zweig,

Mosaic Forest Management honoured 10 Vancouver Island contractors who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in safety and environmental initiatives this past year. One of those contractors is from Port Alberni. Ryder Contracting Ltd./Camson Contracting Ltd., a team of road construction crews based in Port Alberni, was awarded with an Excellent Safety Culture Award on Wednesday, June 19. Mosaic Forest Management, which includes employees and contractors for both TimberWest and Island Timberlands, achieved a safety performance with the lowest average medical incident rate in five years back in 2018. The downward trend has continued in 2019. …“Safety is our highest priority at Mosaic – nothing supersedes it,” said Jeff Zweig, president and CEO of Mosaic. 

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Ignoring climate change is bad for Albertans’ health

By Joe Vipond and Kim Perrotta
The Edmonton Journal
June 7, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

…Over the last week, thousands of residents from northern communities in Alberta were evacuated from their homes because of climate-exacerbated wildfires. …At the same, millions of Albertans were exposed to extremely high levels of air pollution as smoke from wildfires blanketed their communities. Edmonton, a city with a population just shy of one million, had Air Quality Health Index readings of 7 to 10-plus last week with a peak of 72 at one point. …High levels of air pollution are harmful for everybody. Nobody is immune. …But they are particularly dangerous for very young children, elderly people and those with pre-existing health conditions. …The premier inferred last week that climate change doesn’t cause forest fires and stated that “carbon taxes don’t fight forest fires in B.C. or Alberta” but neither of those statements reflect the science. 

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‘The apocalypse is back’: Air quality advisory in effect as wildfire smoke blankets city

By Trevor Robb
The Edmonton Journal
May 31, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Environment Canada issued a special air quality statement for Edmonton and much of central, north Alberta. “Smoke from wildfires in northern Alberta is causing poor air quality and reducing visibility in some areas,” the statement reads. “In central parts of the province smoke is expected to move back north by Friday morning as the flow shifts to southeasterly. …The Air Quality Health Index for Edmonton jumped to 10+ — the very high risk category — as of 4 p.m. after fluctuating throughout the morning and afternoon with moderate to high risk measurements of four to seven on the 10 point scale. The blanket of wildfire smoke left eyes stinging and forced several organizations to cancel outdoor activities. Alberta Health Services is advising people to take precautions to minimize the health risk posed by the wildfire smoke.

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B.C. man killed in logging accident ‘would have done anything for anyone’

By Brittany Gervais
Kimberly Bulletin
May 22, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

…“Petr Koncek had the utmost respect for the forest. He just always made sure that the animals that were living there were protected the best that he could — every life was valuable.” The 46-year-old Terrace man was killed in a logging accident down the Douglas Channel near Eagle Bay on April 18 after being struck by a falling tree. According to WorkSafe BC, Petr was falling on the forest road right-of-way when he was struck by a tree felled by another faller. His wife, Fleure Koncek says it’s likely Petr didn’t see it coming. “Safety and quality were his two priorities at work, so its very frustrating that he was so safe and this happened to him,” she says. WorkSafe BC considers manual tree falling is one of the most dangerous professions in the province. Petr’s death was the second out of three harvesting fatalities recorded this year, according to BC Forest Safety Council.

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Here comes the smoke: Health officials tell B.C. to prepare for new ‘5th season’

By Simon Little
Global News
May 15, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Sarah Henderson

Move over autumnal equinox, there’s a new season in town. …the BC Centre for Disease Control is advising British Columbians to be ready to protect themselves from the potential harmful effects of worsening air quality as wildfires begin to flare up once again. The agency has created a new hub with health information for residents, with fact sheets on health concerns, air cleaners and tips on how to prepare for the anticipated smoke. “​In addition to spring, summer, fall and winter, B.C. has added a fifth season to its calendar — wildfire season,” states the site. “And with the month of May now in full swing, fires are already burning in parts of the province.” …Sarah Henderson, a senior environmental health scientist at the BCCDC, says with annual smokey summers becoming a reality, British Columbians will need to be prepared to protect their health.

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Fine for death of three Western Forest Products’ workers criticized as inadequate

By Larry Pynn
The Narwhal
May 9, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

WorkSafeBC has fined a forest company $29,049 for the deaths of three workers in a “high-risk” railway accident on northern Vancouver Island. …This isn’t the only case in which a relatively small fine was levied against a company for a worker’s death. …These two cases involving work-place deaths contrast sharply with the $514,991 fine levied against the Township of Langley. …Craig Fitzsimmons, WorkSafeBC, said that the amount of a penalty is based on the nature of the violation, an employer’s history of violations and the size of the employer’s payroll. …The primary purpose of an administrative penalty is to motivate the employer receiving the penalty — and other employers — to comply with occupational health and safety rules, and to keep their workplaces safe, Fitzsimmons added. …Steve Hunt, a western Canada director with the United Steelworkers, representing forest workers, said the fines are insufficient.

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Valid Manufacturing among industrial park innovators

By Jim Cooperman
Salmon Arm Observer
May 7, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

…Valid Manufacturing began as a standard, sheet metal and electrical integration shop that produced electrical boxes and cabinets primarily for streets and highways.  …New products are being developed at Valid thanks to their well-funded research and development department… A few years ago, they met with the BC Forestry Council and inquired what was the most serious problem in the industry. Some of the most frequent injuries occur when chip truck drivers are covering their trucks with the tarps needed to keep the chips from flying out. Valid took on the challenge to build an automatic system to accomplish this task, which included designing an arm that had to defy gravity to reach out far enough to accomplish the job. They are now field testing the prototype …with the hope that… trailers on the road in B.C. will be equipped with this high-tech device that will cut down on injuries.

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Environment Canada issues air quality advisory in wake of forest fires

Timmins Today
July 10, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada East, Canada

High levels of air pollution due to smoke from forest fires will continue tonight for a large part of Northern Ontario. Smoke plumes are moving over the region from several forest fires located in the Sandy Lake – Pikangikum region. There are also additional smaller fires in Northeastern Ontario. Air quality may deteriorate if the smoke descends to ground level. If you or those in your care are exposed to wildfire smoke, consider taking extra precautions to reduce your exposure. Wildfire smoke is a constantly-changing mixture of particles and gasses which includes many chemicals that can harm your health. 

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Air Quality Warning Issued For Montreal As Smoke From Ontario Wildfires Looms Over Quebec

By Teddy Elliot
MTL Blog
July 9, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada East, Canada

Environment Canada has just issued an air quality warning for the city of Montreal and the surrounding area. Most of Southern Quebec around the city is under smog warning. Currently, the air quality index in some parts of Montreal is well over 60, which can be detrimental to people who are sensitive to air pollutants.  According to The Weather Network, “high levels of pollutants” are expected until Wednesday morning. It’s recommended that people with asthma, respiratory problems, or heart disease avoid strenuous outdoor activity. The smog warning is predominantly affecting the North Shore of Montreal but Downtown is still under the warning despite showing a higher level of air quality. …Smoke plumes from forest fires in Northern Ontario are being carried along by the air current and are dispersing their pollutants over parts of Southern Quebec.

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Northern Ontario tree planter transformed by insect bites

CBC News
June 26, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada East, Canada

Eamon Cunningham Closs

At first glance, it looks like Eamon Cunningham Closs had been a victim of assault. “My face looks like it’s dirty but it’s all dried blood,” he said. “There’s a slight gleam in my ear because my ear was full of blood. There was a glob of blood in my ear.” The culprits? Swarms of blackflies and horseflies that couldn’t resist. Cunningham Closs, originally from Sudbury, plants trees near Atikokan in northwestern Ontario.  He says when he first started the job, he worked to keep the flies away. “Now I try to ignore them,” he said. “I think it’s better if I just get used to them on me. But it’s difficult with the deer flies because they’re very painful.” …Despite his experience with the flies, Cunningham Closs says the job is worth it. “You can get quite a bit of money,” he said. “You get paid per tree. Right now, we’re getting 12 cents per tree and it adds up.”

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Inquest into death at pellet plant hears of inexperience, inadequate supervision

CBC News
June 26, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada East, Canada

Wanny Pelletier

A coroner’s inquest into the death of teenager Wanny Pelletier at a Saint-Quentin wood pellet plant has resulted in three recommendations for improved safety. Presiding coroner Steve Gibson and five jurors heard testimony Monday and Tuesday about the circumstances under which Pelletier, 17, was fatally injured in December 2016. Pelletier was cleaning the Groupe Savoie plant when he got his leg stuck under a conveyor. It took two hours to free him and he died four days later in hospital of his injuries. The inquest heard that the conveyor had broken two times in the days preceding the accident. After the second repair job, a safety device had not been reinstalled. The equipment was not used as the manufacturer had designed it, said Éric Brideau, assistant director of investigations at WorkSafeNB. Other factors contributing to the death were a lack of communication, inadequate supervision and inexperience, the inquest heard.

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Inquest begins into death of teen at wood pellet plant

CBC News
June 24, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada East, Canada

Wanny Pelletier and Stéphanie Labonté Côté

An inquest has begun in Edmundston into the death of a young worker at a wood processing facility in Saint-Quentin. Wanny Pelletier, 17, died on Dec. 26, 2016, of injuries he suffered four days earlier on the job at Groupe Savoie. The high school student had been cleaning the wood pellet plant when his leg was caught in the conveyor, according to a WorkSafeNB investigation. He was stuck under the conveyor alone for two hours. Groupe Savoie, a producer of hardwood products and Saint-Quentin’s largest employer, pleaded guilty in November 2018, to failing to provide necessary supervision. The company was later fined $125,000 for the infraction. The teen’s mother, Stéphanie Labonté Côté, launched a lawsuit against the company in December 2017.  This inquest is not meant to determine responsibility.

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Ontario firefighter says his human rights were violated because he wasn’t given vegan food during B.C. wildfires

By Liam Casey
Canadian Press in The National Post
May 21, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada East, Canada

Adam Knauff

An Ontario firefighter alleges his human rights were violated when he was not provided sufficient vegan food while battling a massive blaze in British Columbia. Adam Knauff has filed a complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario against his employer, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, over his treatment and subsequent suspension while fighting a fire near William’s Lake, B.C., in 2017. “The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry discriminated against me and failed to accommodate my sincerely held ethical beliefs (creed) when it failed to provide me with food that accommodated my personal commitment to ethical veganism, and then disciplined me and suspended me because I attempted to assert my right to accommodation of that sincerely held ethical belief,” he wrote in his application to the tribunal.

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Fatality confirmed at Gilchrist sawmill

By Holly Dillemuth
The Herald and News
July 8, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States

A worker at Interfor Corp.’s Gilchrist sawmill, in northern Klamath County, died following injuries sustained after a fall while he was on the job, according to Andrew Horahan, vice president of western operations at Interfor. Darren “Boone” Harrison, 52, served at the sawmill for a little over nine years, and was providing maintenance on equipment at the mill as an oiler, according to Horahan. Harrison leaves behind a wife and two children. …“We curtailed our operations that evening, due to the severity of the incident,” Horahan told the Herald and News in a phone interview. …Crews spent Monday refocusing on safety to ensure a similar incident doesn’t occur in the future. Full operations were in place as of Tuesday, Horahan added. …Horahan said grief counselors have been provided onsite for employees in the aftermath of the incident.

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Safety Check: Wood Dust Rules Need to Be on Your Radar Screen

By Jary Winstead
Pallet Enterprise
June 5, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States

Wood Dust: Safety expert, Jary Winstead explores specific policies and considerations for pallet lumber and pallet facilities related to wood dust. From respiratory hazards to combustible dust issues, these insights can help you ensure safety and compliance. These insights can help you ensure safety and compliance. The hazards of dust accumulation in the workplace have been a safety and health concern for many years. There have been many production facility explosions and fires that were directly related to dust accumulation, causing serious injuries and loss of life, not to mention property losses. With recent citations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), it has now become a hot issue in the pallet industry. The two major safety concerns involving dust accumulation in the workplace are employee health and safety concerns from dust exposure and fire and explosion hazards from combustible dusts.

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Quick lane change causes log truck to roll over; 4 vehicles hit by logs, troopers say

By Rolf Boone
The Olympian
July 16, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States, US West

A tractor-trailer hauling logs rolled over Monday and scattered logs across northbound Interstate 5 in Lewis County, according to the Washington State Patrol. Troopers say four vehicles were hit by logs. Two people were injured: the 49-year-old McCleary man driving the log truck, and a 33-year-old Tacoma woman in a separate vehicle. Both were taken to Providence Centralia Hospital. …the tractor-trailer was headed south on I-5 near Centralia when it failed to slow for traffic and made a quick lane change. The truck rolled over as a result and scattered its load over the freeway median into the northbound lanes.

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Agencies boost efforts to stop wildland firefighter suicides

By Keith Ridler
Associated Press in the Mail Tribune
July 14, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States, US West

BOISE, Idaho — Shane Del Grosso spent some 30 summers crossing smoke-shrouded mountains and forests to fight increasingly devastating wildfires in the U.S. West. Toward the end, his skills and experience propelled him to lead a federal multi-agency team that responded to large-scale national disasters. …But then came the long offseason lacking the shared-risk camaraderie. Isolation closed in, his family said, along with marital problems that can be exacerbated by first-responder jobs that require missed family events and birthdays. Del Grosso, 50, killed himself May 9, 2016, not long before the start of another wildfire season. …”It was maybe that male bravado firefighter thing where you don’t talk about what’s bothering you,” said his best friend, Noel Matson. Federal officials at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise have started making efforts to change that mindset after noticing an increase in wildland firefighter suicides in recent years.

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Scientists say health impact from smoke rises with more intense wildfires

By Matthew Brown
The Associated Press in the Peninsula Daily News
June 26, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States, US West

BILLINGS, Mont. — Climate change in the Western U.S. means more intense and frequent wildfires churning out waves of smoke that scientists have said will sweep across the continent to affect tens of millions of people and cause a spike in premature deaths, according to scientists. That emerging reality is prompting people in cities and rural areas alike to prepare for another summer of sooty skies along the West Coast and in the Rocky Mountains. …Even among wildfire experts, understanding of health impacts from smoke was elusive until recently. …With the 2019 fire season already heating up with fires from Southern California to Canada, authorities are scrambling to better protect the public before smoke again blankets cities and towns. Officials in Seattle recently announced plans to retrofit five public buildings as smoke-free shelters. Scientists from NASA and universities are refining satellite imagery to predict where smoke will travel and how intense it will be.

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Man airlifted with serious injuries after getting stuck in conveyor at Stimson Mill

KHQ
June 26, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States, US West

A man was transported by Life Flight after what emergency crews called an accident involving him being stuck in a conveyor at the Stimson Mill in Priest River, Idaho, Tuesday afternoon. Bonner County EMS responded to the incident at Stimson Lumber Co. after initial reports from 911 dispatch indicated a man was trapped in a conveyor, though dispatchers soon advised he was no longer trapped. Units arriving first on scene found the man seriously injured, stabilized him and transported him to the Priest River airport. He was airlifted to definitive care at Kootenai Health, where his condition is unknown at this time. [END]

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More Wildfires Bring Focus On How All That Smoke May Harm Firefighters Facebook Twitter Flipboard Email

By Jessica Burns
NPR – National Public Radio
June 12, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States, US West

When Timothy Ingalsbee thinks back on his days in the 1980s and ’90s fighting wildfires in the Pacific Northwest, he remembers the adventure. …But Ingalsbee, who went on to found the Eugene-based Firefighters United for Safety, Ethics and Ecology, doesn’t like to remember all that smoke. …As wildfires have grown more frequent and intense in recent years, communities have complained about the health impact of all that smoke. …But residents can seek relief by staying indoors and using air filters or masks. These aren’t options for the wildland firefighters fighting those blazes, or managing prescribed burns aimed at preventing them. …The hazards have long been known for those who fight fires in buildings. …But wildland firefighters have largely been left out of the research. …Only recently have federal fire agencies started considering the long-term health effects of chronic smoke exposure for wildland firefighters.

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Citronelle police investigating fatal crash on Highway 45

By Mark Kent
The Call News
July 16, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: US East, United States

CITRONELLE, ALABAMA — A head-on collision shortly before 11 a.m. Tuesday took the lives of a log truck driver and a man driving a Ford Fusion, Citronelle Mayor Jason Stringer said. …The logs of the log truck came loose, with some going through the cab and others taking down utility poles and power lines, also rupturing a gas line in the area, witnesses said. …The wreck left heavy amounts of debris on the highway, and the two vehicles ended up off the east edge of the highway, coming to rest about 500 feet apart. By noon, there was still some smoke rising from the area around where the log truck came to rest. …“The log truck was on fire, and it blew a gas main,” Burgin said. “Power lines were down, and there were logs all over the place.”

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Worker Exposures to Wood Dust Results in Second OSHA Citation for Pallet Manufacturer

WebWire
July 3, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: US East, United States

Minneapolis, MN – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently announced that a pallet manufacturer in Wisconsin has once again been cited for not protecting workers from exposure to wood dust. The citation resulted from a follow-up inspection and the company now faces penalties of over $188,000 for repeated, serious, and other-than-serious safety and health violations. The company was first cited by OSHA in 2016 for these hazards. Additional citations were issued after the follow-up inspection for failing to evaluate respiratory hazards, medically evaluate and fit test employees using respirators, and several other issues.

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Logging death in Webster County was 2nd this year

By Kate Mishkin
Charleston Gazette-Mail
June 28, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: US East, United States

A 24-year-old logger was killed on the job Thursday morning, according to a news release from Webster County emergency services. The logger was cutting timber about 9 a.m. Thursday morning, according to the release. He was working for Donald & Sons Logging Corporation, which was contracted by Weyerhaeuser, a Seattle-based timberlands and wood products company. He was working in Doddridge County about 12 miles from Gauley River Road, the release said. Doddridge County officials wouldn’t answer questions about the man’s identity. The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the death, a spokeswoman said. This was the second logging death this year in West Virginia, she said — the first happened in Braxton County. The logger was working for Pawpay Logging, Inc.

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New safety program to help loggers and reduce workers’ comp

Vermont Biz
June 26, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: US East, United States

Governor Phil Scott today announced a new initiative to address the high cost of workers’ compensation insurance for logging contractors in Vermont’s forest economy. The Vermont Logger Safety and Workers’ Compensation Insurance Program—developed collaboratively by the Departments of Financial Regulation, Labor and Forests, Parks and Recreation, with input from logging safety trainers, the National Council on Compensation Insurance, insurance carriers and business owners in the forestry sector—will modernize safety training for logging contractors and their employees, reducing injuries and insurance claims and allowing them to qualify for reduced insurance rates. “As we work to grow the economy and make Vermont a more affordable place to do business, the Vermont Logger Safety and Workers’ Compensation Insurance Program will help employers provide safer workplaces for their employees while lowering their costs and allowing them to create more jobs in this sector,” said Governor Phil Scott.

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Thompson presents flag to Domtar for being two years incident free

By Elaine Haskins
Courier Express
June 10, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: US East, United States

US Rep. Glenn Thomson (right) with Shane Frantz and Bob Tami

Earlier this year, Domtar Paper Co. in DuBois reached a milestone when it reached two years incident free. On Friday, U.S. Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson visited the plant and presented a flag flown over the U.S. Capitol to commemorate the achievement. Accepting for Domtar were two crew members on behalf of the facility’s 84 employees. …“I’m very proud of the employees of Domtar DuBois for their efforts and surpassing two years without a recordable incident and we’re honored to have received this flag from the Congressman,” said Plant Manager Kip Jones. “Safety is the most important thing we do here. It really is. It’s a culture.”

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Defendants get negative ruling from Superior Court in asbestos lawsuit

By Charmaine Little
The Pennsylvania Record
June 10, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: US East, United States

HARRISBURG – The Superior Court of Pennsylvania has overturned summary judgment for two companies sued over alleged asbestos exposure that possibly led to a man’s death. …Stabile determined if the evidence presented proved that the fire doors Franklin Lamson worked with that contained asbestos were manufactured by IP and Weyerhaeuser. …Stabile pointed out that since Franklin Lamson was diagnosed with mesothelioma, all his estate had to do was prove that IP and Weyerhaeuser manufactured even some of the doors. The court also disagreed with the appellees that even if their fire doors had asbestos, they didn’t emit asbestos-filled dust. …Franklin Lamson previously testified that he often drilled into the fire doors, which could generate dust that included asbestos. The judge said all of this was enough for Franklin Lamson to survive summary judgment.

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Composite Panel Association awards composite panel plants for safety

The Woodworking Network
May 20, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: US East, United States

NAPLES, Fla. – The Composite Panel Association recognized more than a dozen companies for safety achievements during the group’s spring meeting held recently in Naples, Florida. …The awards for the best long-term safety record over the past three years were given to Arauco North America, Moncure, North Carolina and Louisiana-Pacific Corp., Roaring River, North Carolina. …The annual safety awards for having zero incidents in 2018 were given to Arauco North America, Moncure, North Carolina and Timber Products, Martell, California for Class I plants, and Panolam, Huntsville, Ontario and Louisiana-Pacific, Roaring River, North Carolina for Class II plants. Two plants recognized for safety improvement were West Fraser Mills, Whitecourt, Alberta and Panolam, Huntsville, Ontario.

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Guidelines for forestry industry fatigue management released

OHS News Australia
June 26, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: International

The Logging Investigation and Training Association (LITA) has released guidelines for developing and implementing a fatigue management policy for the forestry industry. The material aims to assist forestry industry participants to identify, assess and manage the risks associated with fatigue. The guidance material offers a structured approach to the development of a fatigue risk management system including a fatigue policy, risk assessment tools and risk-based control options to manage fatigue. SafeWork SA commends the new forestry industry fatigue management guidelines and has visited a number of forestry businesses to check on fatigue management. It has issued Improvement Notices to encourage the development and implementation of appropriate fatigue management plans.

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Six killed after Mexican navy Mi-17 helicopter crashes fighting forest fire

The Defense Post
May 26, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: International

Six people, including five members of the Mexican Navy, died when their Mi-17 helicopter crashed during operations to put out forest fires, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Saturday. The crash approximately 89 km north of Jalpan de Serra in the remote, hilly Sierra Gorda area of the north-central state of Queretaro on Friday, May 24, the navy said in a release. The Russian-made Mil Mi-17 helicopter, which took off from Valle Verde in the neighboring state of San Luis Potosi, was carrying a helibucket with 2,500 litres (660 gallons) of water to fight a fire, the navy said earlier. Difficulties accessing the accident site meant authorities were not able to confirm the deaths until Saturday.

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Dealing with Substance Abuse… In The Sawmill

By Tony Kryzanowski
Logging and Sawmilling Journal
May 7, 2019
Category: Health & Safety

Substance use, where an employee is under the influence of alcohol, prescription, or other drugs, has been identified as the number one health and safety risk by sawmill representatives taking part in a series of workplace risk assessment workshops hosted over the past two years by Ontario’s Workplace Safety North. Initially, representatives identified over 80 potential health and safety risks and then narrowed it down to the top 10. Dr. Sujoy Dey, Corporate Risk Officer with the Ontario Ministry of Labor and a risk assessment expert, emphasized that the issue is substance ‘use’, not necessarily ‘abuse’. The other top 10 health and safety risks identified by the Ontario sawmill representatives were training issues; improper equipment lock-out; inexperienced new and young workers; distractions while working; slips, trips and falls; occupational disease such as hearing loss; job and family-related stress; working at heights; and, dangers working around mobile equipment.

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