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.”

Read More

Forest safety ombudsman warned province about Bamfield road in 2008 report

CBC News
September 17, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

John Geerdes and Emma MachadoB.C.’s forest safety ombudsman warned the provincial government 11 years ago about the dangers of the road to Bamfield, where a bus crash on Friday claimed the lives of two University of Victoria students. The route between Port Alberni, B.C., and the community on Vancouver Island’s west coast was highlighted in a 2008 report by Roger Harris on the status of the province’s 400,000 kilometres of gravel logging roads. It quoted a community member from a 2007 town hall, who said: “It scares me, the thought of those school and tour buses on the road each day.” Harris, who still holds the position today, warned the provincial government in his report that numerous communities in B.C., including Bamfield, are only accessible by old logging roads that are not adequately maintained. [An audio link to the complete interview with Roger Harris on The Early Edition is available in the story.]

Read More

In light of Friday’s tragedy, New Democrats can scarcely ignore Bamfield Road report

By Vaughn Palmer
Vancouver Sun
September 16, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA — A dozen years have passed since B.C. forest safety ombudsman Roger Harris got an earful about safety on the forest road linking Bamfield to the outside world. …The ombudsman flagged the growing risks on B.C.’s forest roads in No Longer the Road Less Travelled, a report he produced for the non-profit Forest Safety Council in early 2008. Harris was concerned that as forestry declined on the B.C. coast, logging roads, however narrow and rough, were being used more and more by tourists, campers and other travellers. …The safety ombudsman made 17 recommendations, the prime one being that the province should take over responsibility from the forest companies for critically important links like the one to Bamfield. …his report was greeted with zero enthusiasm by the then-Liberal government. Especially dismissive was Forests Minister Rich Coleman. …Responding Monday to the bus accident, the New Democrats said as little as possible.

Read More

Officials hope to upgrade logging road where fatal bus crash occurred

Ian Holliday
CTV News Vancouver Island
September 15, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Regular users of the road on which two people were killed in a bus crash Friday night say it has been in need of repairs and improvements for years. … A bus carrying 45 students and two teaching assistants from the University of Victoria went over an embankment on Bamfield Main Friday night, killing two and injuring several others. Though the road is privately owned and primarily used by logging trucks, it is also a primary route for accessing Bamfield Marine Science Centre, where the bus was headed Friday night, and the Huuayaht First Nation. Huuayaht Chief Robert Dennis told CTV News Vancouver Island his nation has been pushing for upgrades to the road for a long time. The road is unpaved, and the rainy winter season often leaves it full of potholes that make it difficult to navigate. It’s also remote, without cell phone service for much of the route. 

Additional coverage in Global News: Officials, drivers call for safety overhauls to remote B.C. road where bus crash killed 2

Read More

Vancouver Island road where bus rolled has been object of safety complaints for years, say local leaders

By Cathy Kearney
CBC News
September 14, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

The chief councillor of the First Nations in Bamfield, B.C. says the narrow, winding gravel road where two University of Victoria students were killed Friday in a bus rollover has been a safety issue for decades. The 83-kilometre logging road has no cell service, rest stops or gas stations, according to the Bamfield Chamber of Commerce, and is a regular route for commuters and logging trucks travelling between Bamfield and Port Alberni. …Two students died and 17 others were taken to hospital when the bus rolled off an embankment on a gravel road while on its way to the Bamfield Marine Science Centre. …Western Forest Products says it holds road permits for sections of the road. In a statement it said it is heartbroken to learn of the tragedy.

Read More

Nakusp mayor says logging truck fire shows need to review rules

By John Boivin
The Castlegar News
September 4, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

The mayor of Nakusp is calling for better co-operation between government departments after a logging truck caught fire on the highway north of the village on Aug. 22, sparking a forest fire that burned for days. Tom Zeleznik says the fire got progressively worse while several groups of responders figured out who could tackle it. “It’s very frustrating,” he says. “Here you have local resources able to tackle a fire like this, they have the training, but because of jurisdiction and liability, they can’t. Their hands are tied.” …“The fellow did everything correctly,” says Zeleznik. “He found a safe place to park, where people could get by him, he then called for help.” The logging company contacted 911 and reported the problem.

Read More

14th Annual Vancouver Island Safety Conference

BC Forest Safety Council
September 4, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Join us for the 14th annual Vancouver Island Safety Conference (VISC) – our annual, forest industry-driven safety conference. Saturday, October 5, 2019 at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre in Nanaimo. This year’s conference, Succeeding in Today’s Evolving Work Environment, will cover pivotal topics on how we can address and actionably manage increasing concerns impacting the forest industry today. Our keynote speakers are three leading industry experts who will present high-impact sessions focussing on the following topics: Change Management – presented by Dr. Mark Devolder, Drugs and Alcohol – presented by Dr. Ray Baker, and Mental Health – presented by Jennifer Sparks. Thanks to the generous sponsorships from industry, WorkSafeBC and other organizations, VISC is free to attend. As a reminder, we encourage you to pre-register early as registration closes on Friday, September 20, 2019. Attendees are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items for donation to the Loaves and Fishes food bank.

Read More

Nakusp mayor says logging truck fire shows need to review rules

By John Boivin
Arrow Lakes News
August 28, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

The mayor of Nakusp is calling for better co-operation between government departments after a logging truck caught fire on the highway north of the village last Thursday, sparking a forest fire that burned for days. Tom Zeleznik says the fire got progressively worse while several groups of responders figured out who could tackle it. “It’s very frustrating,” he says. “Here you have local resources able to tackle a fire like this, they have the training, but because of jurisdiction and liability, they can’t. Their hands are tied.” Zeleznik, who’s also a member of the local volunteer fire department, was one of the first people on the scene of the fire, near the Halfway River. A logging truck’s load started smouldering as it pulled onto the highway. After trying to douse the logs with an extinguisher, the driver called in to his head office. …Zeleznik hopes fire officials from various departments will review this incident to see how it could have been handled more effectively.

Read More

Speed a possible factor in logging truck crash near Campbell River

CTV News
August 6, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Police say speed and an unsecured load may have been contributing factors that resulted in a logging truck flipping north of Campbell River Tuesday morning, spilling its load across Highway 19. “We have several witnesses that described it as the driver did, which is saying that as he was coming into the corner, his trailer started going onto his side,” said Const. Dave Dormuth of North Island Traffic Services. …The driver was uninjured but the truck, owned by Critical Site Logging, was damaged when it landed passenger-side down facing north in the southbound lane. …Dormuth said logging truck crashes are unfortunately not a rare occurrence. “We average four or five a year on different various roads here due to corners and speed.” 

Read More

Logging company fined for 2018 death of machine operator

Northern Ontario Business
August 2, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

A Kapuskasing and Manitouwadge-based logging company will pay $100,000 in total fines stemming from a 2018 accident where the operator of a tree delimbing machine was killed. D & G Logging entered a guilty plea in a Thunder Bay provincial offences court, July 29, and was fined $80,000 by Justice of the Peace Zelda N. Kitchekeesik. The court also imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act. According to an Aug. 2 Ministry of Labour release, on Jan.18, 2018, a worker employed by D & G Logging was operating a Quadco delimber machine (used to remove branches from trees) in the Big Pic Forest, north of Wawa, near Long Pond Road. 

Read More

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.

Read More

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. 

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Workplace accidents trending downwards in Nova Scotia

The Chronicle Herald
September 5, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada East, Canada

Fewer people are being hurt on the job in the residential construction industry, leading to lower workers’ compensation premiums. The industry rate in residential construction is set to decline by nine per cent in 2020, WCB Nova Scotia announced this week, as part of its release of 2020 employer rates for workplace injury insurance. Over the years, the construction community in Nova Scotia has made progress through education and training, thanks to safety association initiatives, access to resources and awareness campaigns, the board said in a news release. …“This is a step in the right direction for our members,” said Karen Slaunwhite, executive officer of Canadian Home Builders’ Association — Nova Scotia. …Other industries that have improved their safety and return-to-work records include logging and forestry.

Read More

Resolute Employees Contribute to Important Research on Night Shift Worker Fatigue

By Resolute Forest Products
The Market Screener
September 5, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada East, Canada

Back in the early 2000s, the management team at Resolute’s La Doré (Quebec) sawmill noticed that the workers responsible for sorting lumber during the night shift were susceptible to making errors when they became drowsy. …Daniel Roy, Sylvain Bélanger and Dany Lamontagne became concerned about the workers’ safety and well-being. …Susanne Julien, a representative of the local health agency put them in touch with a research team from Laval University led by Dr. Marc Hébert, whose work focused on sleep disorders. Night-shift employees were invited to test a new device designed to adjust their biological clocks to the inversion of day and night. The lens of the device cut off blue light rays that are associated with daylight, thereby tricking the workers’ biological clocks into thinking it was nighttime and sending a signal to their brains that it was time to sleep.

Read More

Province Supporting Forestry Sector in Kenora

The Government of Ontario
September 3, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada East, Canada

Greg Rickford

Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, announced that Devlin Timber is receiving $268,010 to purchase logging trucks that will provide additional safety for drivers and enhance log hauling service in the region. Devlin Timber is a local forestry company in Kenora that cuts and hauls timber for several forestry companies in the area. “Our government is committed to creating good jobs and helping local economies grow,” said Minister Rickford. “This investment retains jobs in the region, and sends a signal to the world that Northern Ontario is open for business.” The investment made by the Ontario government will retain 43 full-time jobs.

Read More

Firefighter, 32, dies on the job during Quebec forest fire

The Canadian Press in the Toronto Star
August 5, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada East, Canada

MONTREAL—Quebec’s forest fire protection service has identified a 32-year-old who died Sunday while battling a blaze in the province’s Outaouais region. The fire protection service says Isaiah Nottaway lost consciousness while working to contain a fire in Notre-Dame-de-la-Salette, about 50 kilometres north of Ottawa. Resuscitation attempts were made until paramedics arrived, but Nottaway was pronounced dead after being transported to hospital. The service said in a statement that it is unclear what caused his medical crisis. Nottaway was a firefighter with the Algonquin community of Kitigan Zibi, which was offering auxiliary support to a crew with the provincial forest fire protection service.

Read More

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. 

Read More

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.

Read More

Early Detection of Spontaneous Combustion in Pellet Mills

By Derek Stuart
Biomass Magazine
July 26, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States

Derek Stuart

Wood pellets are increasingly being adopted as a fuel for both domestic and industrial applications at all scales, from small space heating to a 600-MW power plant. …Wood pellets are by their very nature combustible and can be ignited by a range of sources. Stored bulk piles of wood pellets tend to oxidize, which leads to self-heating and, potentially, spontaneous combustion. Additionally, the dust associated with the pellets, when dispersed and ignited, can give rise to a dust explosion under appropriate conditions of containment. Fortunately, there are techniques to detect the early stages of spontaneous heating and combustion, allowing operators the chance to prevent the problem and avoid costly damages. …Choosing the right detection method can significantly improve site safety by reducing fire risks.

Read More

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.

Read More

Tree at logging site falls in ‘unintended direction,’ kills driver on nearby road

KVAL 13 Oregon
September 4, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States, US West

EUGENE, Ore. – A tree at a logging site “fell in an unintended direction” Tuesday and hit a truck on a nearby road, killing the driver. …The Lane County Sheriff’s Office says the “initial investigation indicates that loggers were working in the area and a tree fell in an unintended direction and struck a 2011 Dodge 2500 truck that was traveling westbound on Hamm Road.” The driver – 59-year-old Michael Coop of Creswell – died at the scene, the sheriff’s office said.

Read More

Port Angeles man badly hurt while logging

Peninsula Daily News
August 18, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States, US West

FORKS — A Port Angeles man was in stable condition at Harborview Medical Center on Saturday after a log rolled onto him while he was logging in the Forks area on Friday. Terry Tyler, 29, suffered a broken pelvis and ankle and possibly has internal injuries, according to his sister-in-law, Ashley Gourley, on a fundraising Facebook page. She posted on Saturday that he would have surgery on Monday. …The wooded area is located north of Highway 101 and can be accessed from a logging road located near milepost 198. Law enforcement arrived a short time after the initial 911 call and learned that 29-year-old Terry Tyler from Port Angeles was working for The Dahlgren logging Company when he was seriously injured by a log that had rolled onto him. 

Read More

Growing program puts air quality specialists on wildfires

By Felicia Fonseca
Helena Independent Record
August 6, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States, US West

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Among the hundreds of firefighters, aircraft and engines dispatched to fight a recent wildfire in northern Arizona were two women whose focus wasn’t on flames. Their concern was smoke. Because of the health hazards from wildfires spewing smoke into the atmosphere, Congress earlier this year said all top-tier federal teams battling wildland blazes should have at least one specialist assigned to monitor smoke. The smoke itself can be more problematic than the flames that produce it. Smoke that poured into Seeley Lake, Montana, from a nearby wildfire in 2017 got so bad that health officials warned residents to leave or find somewhere else to sleep at night when smoke is at its worst. Other places have opened respite centers or set up air filtration systems in buildings to give people a place to go when it’s too smoky. 

Read More

Dust Eyed as Cause of Explosion, Fire at Oregon Sawmill

Powder & Bulk Solids
August 5, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States, US West

Officials said wood dust may have fueled an explosion and a two-alarm fire Friday afternoon at the Timber Products sawmill in White City, OR, a number of local news organizations reported. …Upon arrival, firefighters discovered flames inside of a wood chip hopper, Jackson County Fire District 3 said. Crews were able to contain the fire to the bin. “A lot of the fine dust is sanding dust from the plywood that they make in this facility,” Jackson County Fire District 3 Deputy Chief Mike Hussey told NBC. “So, it’s a really fine component and it doesn’t take a whole lot to get it ignited.” …In 2008… Timber Products received a warning letter from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration for combustible dust hazards. 

Read More

Wildfires prompt adoption of rule protecting California workers from smoky air

By Guy Kovner
North Bay Business Journal
July 31, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States, US West

Air tainted by so much wildfire smoke that it’s declared unhealthy to breath will require employers to take action to protect workers under an emergency state regulation rushed into effect Monday. The new rules give employers three choices: relocate workers to an area with cleaner air; move them into enclosed buildings or vehicles; or provide them with respirators, such as the N95 masks popular last year, for voluntary use. “We want to make sure we have protections in place for the wildfire season,” said Erica Monterroza, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Industrial Relations, noting that new work safety rules often take a year or more to establish. …adopted by the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board, the rule came in response to a petition submitted by labor advocates who said California’s catastrophic wildfires in 2018 “demonstrate the need for protection for workers” whose jobs expose them to unhealthy air.

Read More

More smoke expected in Southern Oregon this week, even with progress on wildfires

By Zack Urness
The Statesman Journal
July 31, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States, US West

Fire teams are making progress on two wildfires burning in southwest Oregon, but unhealthy air caused by the smoke is expected to linger through the rest of the week. The Milepost 97 Fire near Canyonville and the Panther Gulch Fire near Williams are both funneling smoke into Rogue Valley cities from Grants Pass to Ashland, keeping air quality degraded on a consistent basis. Smoke forecasts suggest air quality will linger between moderate and “unhealthy for sensitive groups” in the Rogue Valley through Thursday, with the worst times of day coming in the late afternoon and evening.  “We’re expecting this pattern to continue through the week,” said Connie Clarstrom, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Medford.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Hammond Lumber mills take first in safety

By Rod Wiles, Hammond Lumber
Boothbay Register
July 22, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: US East, United States

The Northeast Lumber Manufacturers Association (NeLMA) announced in July that it has given Hammond Lumber Company four awards for outstanding safety performance during 2018 at Hammond’s sawmill and planer mill in Belgrade. The awards are given to mills operating in the New England states, plus New York and Pennsylvania. A Maine family-owned business founded in 1953, Hammond finished first in Division 2 for the combined operations of both mills. Divisions are determined by the number of worker-hours logged during a calendar year. A Division 1 classification represents 1 to 25,000 hours, while Division 2 represents 25,000 to 50,000 hours. The Maine family-owned business also earned first place in Division 1 for planer-mill safety, first place in Division 2 for sawmill safety, and received a certificate for achieving an accident-free year in both mills.

Read More

Logging accident kills man in northeast Iowa

Associated Press in KGAN TV
July 19, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: US East, United States

Authorities say a man was killed by a logging accident in northeast Iowa. First responders were sent around 12:25 p.m. Tuesday to the worksite about 2 mile from the Mississippi River in the southeast corner of Clayton County. The Clayton County Sheriff’s Office says 38-year-old Jason Steger, of Greeley, was struck by a falling tree that had been knocked over by a log that was being moved. Steger was pronounced dead at the scene. He worked for Kendrick Forest Products, which is based in Edgewood. Work safety authorities have been notified. [END]

Read More

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.”

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Report: Conveying biomass – A guide to belt selection

Dry Cargo International
September 5, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: International
Conveyor belts carrying biomass have to face the perfect storm; they operate in highly explosive, combustible environ­ments. They need to be completely anti-static and self-extinguish as quickly as possible if ignited. They convey materials that contain potentially damaging materials in terms of oils and resins. They are under constant attack by the elements including ozone pollution and ultra violet. They have to be safe, reliable and provide an operational life that is as long as possible in order to be economic. Belts that can cope with this multitude of demands are, of course, available. However, operators need to be absolutely sure of their provenance and need to be as sure as humanly possible that what the manufacture is promising is actually delivered. When it comes to carrying biomass, belts that are not of the highest standard are a very dangerous and expensive liability. 

Read More

French waterbomber crashes during forest fire, one pilot dead

By Clement Charpentreau
Aerotime News Hub
August 5, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: International

A Grumman S2F Tracker of the French Civil Security crashed near Générac, France, during an intervention on forest fires. The pilot was killed. The plane was fighting criminal forest fires in the region of Générac, Southern France. According to witnesses, the Tracker was in a climbing phase when it entered a thick smoke, of which it came out at a very low altitude and leaning to the left. The BEA–É, the office responsible for investigating aviation accidents and incidents of state aircraft, has opened an investigation into the cause of the accident. “The initial hypothesis is that the pilot lost his bearings,” a source close to the investigation told AFP, adding “the pilot, who was in a descending phase, entered a very thick column of smoke and hit the treetops”. The firefighter on board was a former French air force Mirage 2000N fighter pilot with 28 years of experience. 

Read More

Hi-tech shirt could be a life saver for forestry workers

By Esther Taunton
Stuff.co.nz
July 24, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: International

A shirt with built-in sensors could help reduce fatalities in one of New Zealand’s most dangerous industries. Researchers at the University of Waikato are developing a hi-tech way to keep forestry workers safe on the job, with a ‘smart shirt’ the leading contender. Using sensors on the front of the shirt to monitor heart-rate variability and others on the back to measure perspiration, the garment could detect when workers showed signs of fatigue or dehydration. …Exton said he took on the challenge of making a prototype shirt because he liked the combination of software and hardware required for the project. …”How do we come up with an alarm that signals ‘you’re tired, you’re dehydrated’ from the combination of streaming data?

Read More

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.

Read More