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Category Archives: Health & Safety

Health & Safety

Combustible Dust Fires and Explosions: Recent Data and Lessons Learned

By Chris Cloney
Chemical Engineering
November 1, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada

Fires and explosions in facilities that handle combustible dust remain an ongoing focus of process safety efforts across many areas of the chemical process industries (CPI). But how many dust-related safety incidents occur each year? This question is a major driver behind the formation of the Combustible Dust Incident Database. Created in 2016, the CDID features a twice-yearly report on fires and explosions having to do with combustible dusts….The information collected… is now helping to determine trends and tendencies in the materials, industries and equipment involved with these hazards. …The CSB report shows an increasing trend in the number of combustible-dust incidents, injuries and fatalities, with the numbers almost doubling during the 20-year period from 1980 to 2001.

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Statement from Minister Goodale on Fire Prevention Week

By Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada
Government of Canada
October 9, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada

OTTAWA – The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, made the following statement today to mark Fire Prevention Week: “This spring and summer, as wildfires burned in British Columbia, we saw firsthand the devastating impacts fire can have on our communities. All Canadians have an important role to play in keeping their communities and families safe. From October 7 – 13, we mark Fire Prevention Week in Canada. This year’s theme is “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware – fire can happen anywhere.”  I encourage Canadians to use this theme to familiarize themselves with three simple, but essential, steps to both prevent fires before they start and to learn how to escape safely and quickly in the event of one. The first step is to look for places where fires can start.

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Are Canada’s most dangerous jobs really worth the risk?

Finder
August 21, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada

…Many Canadians risk their lives every day by earning a living, and it might not be the cliché jobs that you’d expect. While logging and forestry is the most dangerous industry in Canada, the communications and utilities, as well as government services industries, weren’t far behind. …We’ve crunched the numbers to calculate the Finder Job Score that takes into account the level of danger and average salary for each industry. …We then ranked each industry based on this score… Logging and forestry ranked last, with score of just 2.2. While these jobs can yield an average weekly wage of $1,109, the industry is the most dangerous of the jobs listed with a Danger Score of 504. This is due to 11 recorded fatalities in the year 2016… This is combined with 1,324 claims (2.75% of all logging and forestry workers), making it the most dangerous, and the least rewarding job, of all industries listed.

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Loggers pull door off wreckage to get to Cariboo crash victim

BC Local News
November 13, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Witnesses say a log truck driver is lucky to be alive after his truck crashed on Highway 20 Tuesday. “We called in for a Medevac and landed it on the highway,” said Mike Elvin, who lives at the Old Riske Creek School House. “It’s all still in place as we speak. We got the highway all cleaned off but there are logs on each side of the road, the truck’s completely dismantled inside and it’s an absolute miracle the man’s alive.” Elvin said it was just before noon when he heard a ‘massive bang,’ looked out and saw a logging truck was flipped upside down. “I’m right in front of where the accident took place. It blew a front tire and went off into the ditch. We had logs scattered across the highway and it took out the gates and fences out front of our place.”

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Investigation into northern B.C. bus crash underway but all injured released from hospital

Canadian Press in Vancouver Sun
November 2, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

RCMP investigators say weather and a slippery road were possibly factors in a bus crash north of Prince George that put 18 people to hospital. RCMP Cpl. Madonna Saunderson says there’s nothing to suggest the driver was impaired or did anything wrong before the bus slid into a ditch Thursday on snow-covered Highway 97. The bus chartered by forest products company Canfor flipped partially on its side with 30 employees travelling from Prince George to the Polar Sawmill in Bear Lake. Northern Health spokeswoman Eryn Collins says 11 people had minor injuries and the rest were more seriously hurt but everyone has since been sent home from hospital. Canfor spokeswoman Michelle Ward says every worker had been released from hospital by 10 p.m., and operations at the Polar mill have not been affected.

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Four seriously injured in Prince George area bus crash, 12 others stable

The Canadian Press in the Vancouver Sun
November 1, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

A bus carrying workers to a sawmill crashed Thursday afternoon north of Prince George, sending 16 people to hospital, three of them in critical condition. B.C. Emergency Health Services says one person was in serious condition and 12 others were stable. Sixteen others were uninjured and taken back to Prince George by bus, said Libby Brown of EHS. …Forest products company Canfor said the bus was chartered by them and was transporting employees from Prince George to its Polar Sawmill when it was involved in an accident. “The accident is currently under investigation by the local authorities,” Michelle Ward, director of corporate communications, said in a statement. “Our focus is on supporting our injured employees and their families.”

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WorkSafeBC report cites safety failures in 2017 train derailment that killed three workers

By Dirk Meissner
The Canadian Press in The Globe and Mail
October 25, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Decaying railroad ties and the failure of a safety mechanism to prevent a train derailment are cited in a report by British Columbia’s workers’ safety agency as factors in a crash that killed three people and injured two others. The accident in April 2017 happened on the now-abandoned Western Forest Products rail line at Woss. …“Besides the deficiencies related to the ties, WorkSafeBC investigators also found that an insufficient number of spikes were used to fasten the failed derail to the ties,” the report says. …Western Forest Products Inc., which was not available for comment, was cited with one violation of the Workers Compensation Act for the failure to ensure the health and safety of its workers. …The Transportation Safety Board is also investigating the crash.

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Host of errors blamed in Woss derailment that claimed 3 lives

By Katie DeRosa
Victoria Times Colonist
October 25, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Faulty equipment and a host of mechanical errors caused the 2017 logging train derailment in Woss that killed three people and injured two, WorkSafe B.C. has found. …On April 20, 2017, a faulty coupler, the mechanism that connects rail cars, caused 11 cars loaded with logs to detach and roll freely toward the community of Woss. …The train would have derailed well before it reached the maintenance crew, but a derail mechanism wasn’t working properly. …However, the derail device was attached to old rail ties that had rotted away due to wet conditions. The derail device, instead of diverting the cars, came free when it was hit by the first set of wheels, making it useless. As a result, the rest of the wheels stayed on the tracks and the rail cars barrelled toward the maintenance crew. …In a statement Tuesday, Western Forest Products said: “The safety and security of our employees has and always will be our number one priority.

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Faulty coupling cited as cause of fatal 2017 logging train derailment in Woss

By Alistair Taylor
The Comox Valley Record
October 24, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Eleven rail cars loaded with logs rolled unrestrained towards a crew of five workers sitting unsuspectingly in a “speeder” and a backhoe near Woss on April 20, 2017. …Three workers, Roland Gaudet, Jacob Galeazzi and Clement Reti were killed and two were seriously injured, a WorkSafeBC report into the incident says. The report was released after a Freedom of Information request by the Victoria Times-Colonist. The cause of the crash was determined to be faulty coupler components failing to engage on a car attached to a braked rail car that anchored the string of 12 cars. That coupling failed, releasing the 11 cars connected to it. In addition, a safety mechanism called a derail then failed to stop the free-rolling cars. …The incident happened on Western Forest Products’ Englewood Railway at Woss.

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WorkSafeBC raising awareness about impairment in the workplace

WorkSafeBC
October 16, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Richmond, B.C. — WorkSafeBC is launching an awareness campaign to educate employers and workers about impairment in the workplace, as the legalization of recreational cannabis takes effect October 17. “Impairment in the workplace isn’t a new issue in B.C., but it’s become top of mind as cannabis becomes legal for recreational use,” said Tom Brocklehurst, Director of Prevention Practices and Quality for WorkSafeBC. “We’re reaching out to employers and workers to remind them that they share responsibility for managing impairment in the workplace.” …WorkSafeBC is advising employers to develop policies and procedures that address impairment in the workplace. To assist, WorkSafeBC has created a guide for managing workplace impairment and developing a policy. The need for an impairment policy is even more relevant with the legalization of recreational cannabis.

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Is Your Workplace Ready for Legalized Marijuana?

BC Forest Safety Council
June 15, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

The date for the legalization of marijuana in Canada is set for October 17, 2018. Employers may be concerned about the upcoming legalization of marijuana and how it is going to affect their business. Will it mean a big change for how forestry businesses run their operations? Not necessarily. Let’s look at six common questions and debunk some of the myths. 

  • Q: Does this mean that workers can now be impaired at work?
  • Q: My business already has a workplace alcohol and drug policy and procedures. Do I have to change anything?
  • Q: What about medical marijuana? Can an employee take marijuana at work if they have a prescription?
  • Q: Does removing the impaired worker mean that I can fire them?
  • Q: Is there a requirement to test workers for alcohol or drugs?
  • Q: What’s the bottom line here? How do I address legal marijuana at work without going broke?

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Conifex fined over $191,000 for worker injury and safety violation

Pulp and Paper Canada
September 26, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West
Conifex, the forestry company headquartered in British Columbia, has been fined over $191,000 for a worker injury and safety violation at its Fort St. James sawmill site.  According to WorkSafeBC, the BC worker’s compensation board, a worker at the sawmill was using a forklift to transfer rough-cut lumber from a pile to a planer. The lumber was unwrapped and stacked three loads high. The worker exited the forklift between loads to remove dunnage from the top of the next load. The load collapsed and fell forward, pinning and injuring the worker.

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A close look at what you were breathing during the B.C. wildfire season (video)

By Dan Ferguson
The Alberni Valley News
September 25, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

A high-powered microscope in a U.S. university has provided a disturbing close-up look at the pollution from the worst wildfire season in B.C. history. During the height of the forest fire season… a researcher at the University of Western Washington in Bellingham decided to take a closer look at the particles people were breathing in. In August, when the pollution from the burning B.C. forests drifted into Washington state, Dr. Mike Kraft, a research associate at Western Washington University (WWU), collected some samples and ran them through the university’s new Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). At the time, there were advisories on both sides of the border for people with chronic medical conditions. …Air in Whatcom County was rated “hazardous” for particulates. Metro Vancouver air quality was rated worse than Los Angels and Beijing.

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Sawmill fined $192K after lumber falls on worker

Cos-Mag.com
September 18, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Conifex has been fined $191,600 for an incident that occurred at its Fort St. James, B.C. sawmill. A worker was using a forklift to transfer rough-cut lumber from a pile to a planer. The lumber was unwrapped and stacked three loads high. The worker exited the forklift between loads to remove dunnage from the top of the next load. The load collapsed and fell forward, pinning and injuring the worker. WorkSafeBC inspected the site and determined that the lumber pile was on an unstable foundation of partially frozen soil, snow, and sawdust. Other lumber piles in the yard were observed to be similarly unstable and partially collapsing.

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VISC 2018 – 13th Annual Vancouver Island Safety Conference

BC Forest Safety Council
September 14, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Managing Risk – Empowering Good Decisions will take place Saturday, September 29th at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre. Presenters will provide the latest information on controlling risks and safety leadership. New this year, are shorter, high impact sessions to introduce new ideas in managing risk for forestry and wood products manufacturing operations. Conference highlights include presentations by: Terry Small – Brain Health Speaker; Eldeen Pozniak – Pozniak Safety Associates; and Alan Quilley – Safety Results. The conference planning committee is made up of representatives from Labour, Industry, Government, BC Forest Safety and WorkSafeBC. Generous sponsorships from industry, WorkSafeBC and other organizations allow for free admission for delegates. Refreshments and lunch are provided. There is also a trade show with targeted safety products and services for conference attendees. As there is no charge for this conference, please bring non-perishable food items for donation to the Loaves and Fishes food bank.

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Emergency preparedness under ‘continuous improvement’ MLA says

By Frank Peebles
The Prince George Citizen
September 11, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Jennifer Rice

One of the elected officials in the eye of the firestorm, as the forests have burned in B.C., is Jennifer Rice. The two-term MLA for North Coast is also the parliamentary secretary for Emergency Preparedness. She was in Prince George when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with fire officials and toured some of the burning forests of the region. She has been involved in the overall firefighting effort throughout the fire season, and is already looking towards the winter months when she expects to be involved in both the analysis of what just happened and the actions taken to reduce future forest fire problems. “It is continuous improvement,” said Rice, describing how the provincial emergency system responds to the systemic incidents on our landscape – fires, floods, earthquakes, storms, etc. 

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Psychologist says wildfire smoke can spark trauma from past fires

By Melanie Eksal
The Kelowna Daily Courier
August 28, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Forest fires have cast a smokescreen on mental health in the Okanagan. While most have been feeling the physical symptoms … for some, the smoke isn’t only affecting air quality. “When we look at smoke at a physical level, it’s the very same for mental health,” Dr. Heather McEachern of Kelowna Psychologists Group said Tuesday. “And there are groups of people highly affected in our communities.” It is unfortunate that a summer such as this brings back memories of 2003, when wildfires displaced tens of thousands of Okanagan residents from their homes and burned more than 230 buildings. “The smoke can be a trigger of past trauma,” McEachern said. …As McEachern sees it, employees in a male-dominated profession tend to seek less assistance from medical professionals than others. Embarrassment or shame seem to be a stigma that prevents employees from speaking up — a problem in the workplace that needs to change.

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Ontario Northland freight train service interrupted after derailment in Hearst

By Benjamin Aube
CBC News
October 26, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada East, Canada

Four freight cars from an Ontario Northland train carrying lumber derailed Friday morning in Hearst. The derailment occurred at around 6:45 a.m., said company spokesperson Renee Baker. No injuries were reported. …”Right now it would be a little bit too premature to speculate on the actual cause,” said Baker. “We have crews in place working as quickly and safely as possible to re-rail the equipment, make necessary repairs to the track and inspect it for safety so we can resume our freight service as soon as possible.”

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Workplace Health and Safety Award Winners

Workplace Safety North
October 21, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada East, Canada

Chris Serratore, Judi Tetro and Paul Andre

Each year, Workplace Safety North (WSN), the provincial health and safety association for mining, forestry, and paper, printing, and converting sectors, recognizes Ontario workplaces with a strong safety culture. “The President’s Award is our highest provincial health and safety honour, and recognizes exceptional commitment to the prevention of illness and injury, and to continuous improvement in occupational health and safety,” says Paul Andre, WSN President and Chief Executive Officer. …President’s Award winners for health and safety excellence—Forestry sector: Brinkman and Associates Reforestation Ltd., Thunder Bay; Workplace Excellence Award winners include: Brinkman and Associates Reforestation, Thunder Bay, Domtar, Dryden, Fleming’s Trucking and Logging, Hilton Beach, Resolute Forest Products, Thunder Bay Mill Operations

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Ford government to upgrade Ontario’s public safety radio network

By Shawn Jeffords
The Canadian Press in Global News
October 11, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Ontario government plans to rebuild the aging radio network first responders across the province rely on during emergencies, saying upgrades to the system are sorely needed. Premier Doug Ford said Thursday that the Public Safety Radio Network is prone to daily outages and must be modernized. The network covers 750,000 square kilometres across the province, including areas in the north where cellphone service is not available, and helps first responders communicate and co-ordinate during forest fires, police operations and medical emergencies. “You need modern, reliable equipment,” Ford said while speaking to a group of first responders near Alliston, Ont. “Sadly, Ontario’s public safety radio network is outdated. It’s falling apart.”

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Labour ministry investigates Kenora sawmill accident

Northern Ontarion Business
October 3, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada East, Canada

Joseph Dalcin

A Ministry of Labour investigation is ongoing after a worker at Kenora Forest Products was severely injured on Sept. 20. A ministry spokesperson said the worker was hurt when he was caught in a conveyor belt at the sawmill. The day after the accident, a MOL inspector attended the workplace and issued two orders to the mill owner, Prendiville Industries, with respect to guarding a specific part of a machine, along with a stop-work order until the first order was carried out. Janet Deline said the company has complied with both. On a Gofundme page set up by co-workers and friends, the injured worker was identified as Joseph Dalcin. 

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Workplace Safety North manager lauded for volunteer efforts

Northern Ontario Business
September 24, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada East, Canada

Tom Welton

Tom Welton, general prevention services director at Workplace Safety North, was recognized as 2018 Volunteer of the Year by the Board of Canadian Registered Safety Professionals (BCRSP). He was presented the award at the Canadian Society of Safety Engineers conference in Niagara Falls, Sept.16-19. …Welton has more than 30 years of experience as a health and safety professional in the forestry, pulp and paper industry. He has held numerous positions with the Ontario Forestry Safe Workplace Association, which was amalgamated into Workplace Safety North in 2010 and is headquartered in North Bay.

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Protecting Construction Workers’ Lungs is a Safety Issue

By Molly McGuane
For Construction Pros
October 26, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States

Although air quality often takes a backseat to occupational safety, lung cancer mortalities are 50% higher among construction workers than the general population. The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) and Duke University found that nearly one-fifth of lung diseases among construction workers may be a result of harmful emissions on site. While some of these toxins are considered respiratory irritants, others are long-known carcinogens directly linked to lung cancer. …As of late, silica has been referred to as the “new asbestos” because of its prevalence throughout the building trade and its ability to cause silicosis, an incurable lung disease. OSHA reports that 2 million construction workers are exposed to crystalline silica and over 800,000 workers exposed to levels beyond the recommended limit. Often a result of sawing or cutting concrete products, it has been found that these workers are twice as likely to develop chronic obstructive lung diseases like chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

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US wildfire smoke deaths could double by 2100

Phys.org
September 10, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States

A new study simulating the effects of wildfire smoke on human health finds continued increases in wildfire activity in the continental United States due to climate change could worsen air quality over the coming decades. The number of human deaths from chronic inhalation of wildfire smoke could increase to more than 40,000 per year by the end of the 21st century, up from around 15,000 per year today. Wildfire smoke is composed of a mixture of gases and microscopic particles from burned material known as particulate matter. Particulate matter from wildfire smoke often reaches nearby communities and can irritate human eyes, exasperate respiratory systems and worsen chronic heart and lung diseases, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. …The new study, published in GeoHealth, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, provides the first estimates of future smoke health and visibility impacts using a predictive land-fire model.

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Two men die in separate logging accidents

Statesman Journal
October 27, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States, US West

Two men died in logging accidents Friday morning, one in Benton County near Alsea and the other in Linn County near Lyons. Hector Rodarte , 27, was working for Wiest Logging off Lobster Valley Road near Alsea when a log rolled onto him and co-worker Ricky Payton, 29, of Independence at 8:40 a.m. An air ambulance was requested but declined because of bad weather. Emergency personnel declared Rodarte dead at the scene. Payton was hoisted out of a steep ravine and taken to Good Sam Regional Medical Center in Corvallis; as of Saturday morning, officials said he is in stable condition. Corvallis Mountain Rescue, Corvallis Fire Department, Alsea Rural Fire, Weist Logging Employees and Benton County Sheriff’s Office Deputies assisted in the rescue.

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Brigham Young University professor, chemical engineering students working to understand the science behind wildfire smoke

By Dora Scheidell
Fox News 13
September 27, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States, US West

PROVO, Utah — Brigham Young University Chemical Engineering Professor David Lignell, loves fires. “Understanding the math and physics behind them is just fascinating,” he said. However, he doesn’t love the affect they have on our air quality. …He developed an advanced model with his PhD students that can help predict pollution caused by wildfire smoke. “We’re trying to understand better the way that soot is formed from these fuels,” Lignell said. The smoke that we see from wildfires is a combination of gases and soot. Lignell’s model… predicts the initial formation of soot particles emitted during wildfires. “If you combine that model with a fire simulation model, that could help you to understand the smoke emissions from a fire,” he said. “If you were then able to couple that with an atmospheric model, you’d be able to understand how the smoke is transported through the valleys and surrounding areas.”

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Study shows health, reaction-time declines in firefighters

By Keith Ridler
The Billings Gazette
September 2, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States, US West

BOISE, Idaho — Randy Brooks’ son had a request three years ago: What could his dad do to make wildland firefighting safer? To Brooks, a professor at the University of Idaho’s College of Natural Resources who deals with wildland firefighting, it was more of a command. His son, Bo Brooks, is a wildland firefighter who a few days earlier during that 2015 fire season fled a wall of flames that killed three of his fellow firefighters in eastern Washington. The result of the conversation was an online survey that drew some 400 firefighters… That led to an ongoing health-monitoring study involving wrist-worn motion monitors and body composition measurements that last year found health declines and deteriorating reaction times among firefighters as the season progressed.

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Better forestry needed to avoid an age of bad air

Editorial Board
The East Oregonian
August 27, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States, US West

Americans have looked down our noses at the Chinese, whose dirty air we’ve seen on television. …How disheartening it is to find ourselves dealing with such ugly air here in the Pacific Northwest this August. Forest-fire smoke surrounds us. As the National Weather Service maps have clearly shown… smoke from fires in British Columbia and elsewhere in the Northwest collects and sticks. As a result of fires, air-quality monitoring systems in the two states have classified conditions as unhealthy across many thousands of square miles of the Pacific Northwest. …So when it comes to avoiding dangerously destructive forest fires and the harms they create, what might smarter management look like? Many solutions are likely to entail seeking and following the advice of professional forest managers, rather than either acquiescing to decisions forced by environmental lawsuits on the one hand, or back-room industry manipulations on the other.

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Safest in the Industry

By Molly Priddy
The Flathead Beacon
August 24, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States, US West

COLUMBIA FALLS — There was plenty for SmartLam president and general manager Casey Malmquist to be proud of as he stood in front of his employees at the mill in the middle of the afternoon. They’d taken a break from their shift duties creating cross-laminated timber to be recognized — by their boss, and also by the American Plywood Association — for having built the safest work environment of all companies in the industry with three or fewer member mills. The Safest Company 2017 Award means SmartLam has the best track record for safety out of the roughly 90 eligible mills in the category, according to APA Director of Quality Services Division Steve Zylkowski. …The APA and other industry leaders created safety programs and awards to highlight the companies doing right by their workers.

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Hornbeck man killed in job related accident

KTBS News
November 18, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: US East, United States

FLORIEN, LA – A Hornbeck man died early Sunday morning in a job-related accident at Boise Cascade in Florien. The victim, 24-year-old Tory L. Rainer, was pronounced dead in the scene despite life-saving efforts, Deputy Coroner Ron Rivers said. An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death. Rivers said the accident happened shortly after Rainer clocked in at 3 a.m. He headed to his assigned work area, which was down for maintenance, and began helping co-workers with changing out a lathe blade. That’s when the lathe swung down and pinned Rainer. Employees hoisted the lathe off Rainer and began CPR. They continued until paramedics arrived. Death was called on the scene, Rivers said. 

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Fatality under investigation at Boise Cascade plywood manufacturing facility

By Boise Cascade
Global Newswire
November 19, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: US East, United States

BOISE, Idaho – Boise Cascade is working with local authorities to investigate a fatal accident that occurred at the company’s plywood manufacturing operation in Florien, Louisiana. At approximately 3:20 a.m. on November 18th, an employee was performing maintenance repair on a piece of equipment. The details surrounding how the accident occurred is under investigation. …”We are saddened to report this tragic accident,” said Larry Hataway, Southern Region Human Resources Manager. “We offer our deepest condolences to his loved ones. Counseling and support resources will be made available to his coworkers.” The Florien location employs approximately 420 people. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been notified of the incident. Boise Cascade has suspended operations at the site until further notice.

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With workplace fatalities up, BOCES buckles down on safety with ‘model’ forestry program

By Colleen Wilson
The Journal News
November 14, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: US East, United States

The first thing John Madden shows his urban forestry students is how to properly adjust a hard hat and how to identify a worn one that could get a worker hurt. “There’s so few highly-skilled young people coming out to get into the industry and these industries are so dangerous, so without any skills it’s very easy to get seriously injured,” he said. Madden oversees the Urban Forestry and Arboriculture Career and Technical Education program offered at Putnam/Northern Westchester (PNW) BOCES. The program has been around for 50 years but is getting new notice. Last month, a state agency recognized the program as a statewide model for other technical education programs.

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Occupational Safety and Health Administration confirms fatal work accident at Tigerton Lumber Company

WSAW
September 13, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: US East, United States

TIGERTON, Wis. A man from Tigerton is dead after a machine accident at the Tigerton Lumber Company Thursday. The Shawano County Sheriff’s Office and Tigerton EMS and Rescue responded to a report of a 46-year-old man critically hurt while working with logging equipment at the Tigerton Lumber Company in the Village of Tigerton. The Shawano County coroner pronounced the man dead at the scene. Occupational Safety and Health Administration representative told NewsChannel 7 the Shawano County Sheriff’s Office sent a notification of the death today. An investigator is headed to the scene.

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The silent killer in our homes: Wood-burning stoves emit six times as much pollution as a diesel truck… and they’re ruining your health even if you don’t own one

Dr Gary Fuller, Leading Pollution Scientist
Daily Mail
November 17, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: International

Wood-burning stove may be doing the British atmosphere more harm than good. The smoke they produce is almost invisible, particularly when compared with smogs. Scientists measuring air have proven that wood-burning is not a thing of the past. …wood fires are choking the British atmosphere, adding to the smoke particles from traffic, industry and farming that cause thousands of preventable deaths. Although barely discussed, the evidence is shocking: just one of the latest ‘eco-friendly’ wood-burning stoves – those meeting all European tests – can produce about six times more particle pollution than a modern diesel lorry, or 18 times more than a modern diesel car. Worse, still, they release their fumes into residential areas and at times when people are likely to be at home. …As we suspected, a great deal of wood was being burned and it was making up ten per cent of the particle pollution that Londoners were breathing during winter.

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Person dead at sawmill, near Masterton, circumstances unclear

Stuff.co.nz
November 9, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: International

A person is dead after an incident at a Wairarapa sawmill on Friday morning.  Kiwi Lumber confirmed the incident happened at its mill near Masterton on Norman Ave, Waingawa in the Carterton district.  Spokeswoman Liz Read said “the staff and the site manager are extremely traumatised”.  The person died at 8.35am Friday, police said. … The circumstances which led to the worker’s death have not yet been publicly released.  … According to Kiwi Lumber’s website, the sawmill is “a structural mill focussed on producing framing timber primarily for domestic construction”.  …WorkSafe said it was notified of the fatality and was investigating.

 

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Improving farm safety: standards for agricultural machinery just updated

By Clare Naden
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
November 5, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: International

Tractors and self-propelled ride-on machines used in agriculture and forestry have evolved over the years since Old MacDonald’s days and now feature as many electronic parts and systems as your modern car. A number of these are designed to reduce risks by preventing unintended movements and recognizing errors and other possible hazards, because ensuring the vehicles function correctly is as important as the functions themselves. The series of standards ISO 25119Tractors and machinery for agriculture and forestry – Safety-related parts of control systems, is widely used by the agricultural industry and its suppliers and has recently been updated. It sets out the general principles for the design and development of safety-related parts of control systems on tractors and self-propelled ride-on machines used in agriculture and forestry. It can even be applied to mobile equipment used in municipalities such as street-sweeping machines.

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Maintenance work leads to crush injuries

By WorkSafe NZ
Scoop Independent News
November 2, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: International

WorkSafe New Zealand says businesses must learn from previous health and safety failings to ensure workers are protected. Carter Holt Harvey Limited appeared in Whangarei District Court yesterday following an October 2016 incident at their Ruakaka plant. A worker suffered life changing injuries after he was crushed by part of a machine he was working on. The worker was undertaking maintenance work on the machinery that makes laminated veneer wood products. Believing the machine was secured against inadvertent movement, the worker leaned into the machine to make adjustments. Part of the machine moved and collided with his chest and shoulders, resulting in significant crush injuries.

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MPs agree there’s much more to do on safety in forestry

By First Union
Scoop Independent News
October 11, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: International

Politicians have responded with shock to revelations from forestry and wood processing workers at a symposium on the future of work in the industry. FIRST Union’s Forestry & Wood Processors Symposium 2018 was attended by Union members, delegates and officials, Green Party leader Marama Davidson and Labour list MP in Tauranga Jan Tinetti. The symposium also hosted a panel of industry leaders including WPMA’s Dr. Jon Tanner, Refining NZ Chief Executive Mike Fuge, Professor Göran Roos from Intellectual Capital Services and Greenpeace Executive Director Dr Russel Norman. Workers told the panels they felt an increase in fatalities in the industry is due to a combination of issues deriving from the competitive contracting models used in forest. They cited decreases in training programmes and an increased pressure to work longer hours and to produce products faster.

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Australian firefighters shot at while battling US wildfire

By Kyle Loussikian
The Sydney Morning Herald
September 11, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: International

Daniel Barwick

Two Australian firefighters, on patrol with US Forest Service personnel in Washington state, were set upon by hunters, chased and shot at in an incident which has reached officials within the Foreign Affairs Department. The incident, which took place on August 23, shook Australia’s support operation in the northwest of the United States and led to demands for local fire services to upgrade security and guarantee the safety of the crew. Nearly 80 Australian firefighters have been working with the US Forest Service. …The incident, which involved two Australians and two local officers, led to the arrest of the two hunters. …The remote area, 160 kilometres from Seattle, is close to land in Oregon where armed anti-government activists seized and occupied the wildlife refuge headquarters for more than a month.

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Six Northland logging truck crashes a ‘very poor statistic’

By Imran Ali
New Zealand Herald
August 30, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: International

Six road crashes involving just logging trucks in Northland since December is a “very poor” statistic which the trucking industry should take note of, the region’s transport committee chairman says. John Bain made the comments while responding to the number of logging truck crashes involving no other vehicles, saying any crash on Northland roads was of concern and more so when it involved vehicles carrying large loads. This month alone, there have been three logging truck crashes, and Bain said there would always be one or two drivers who would try to extend the number of trips and their qualified hours of work. …First Union, which represents logging truck drivers in Northland, blamed low pay, fatigue, and road condition among other things for the number of crashes. …Road Transport Forum chief executive Ken Shirley said suppliers should take responsibility by not always going with the cheaper options that may not be the safest.

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