Tree Frog Forestry News

Category Archives: Health & Safety

Health & Safety

Dealing with Combustible Dust

By Anna Simet
Biomass Magazine
October 28, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, United States

To combat the common problem of dust collector fires and explosions often experienced in the woodworking industry, Flamex pioneered utilization of a new technology in North America by introducing its spark detection and extinguishing system in 1977, and it became the first of its kind to become FM Approved. Since that time, thousands of Flamex Systems have been installed in woodworking facilities across North America and beyond. When the wood pellet industry entered a period of rapid growth over a decade ago, it was a natural fit for the company. “We specialize in industries that handle combustible dust, so we’re germane to the wood pellet industry—there are many fire hazards associated with the processes,” says Allen Wagoner, Flamex president. Today, Flamex has thousands of installations in applications of all kinds across North America, belonging to global fire protection industry company Minimax-Viking.

Read More

Avoiding Combustible Dust Mistakes

By Jean Lian
Occupational Health and Safety Canada
September 24, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada

Combustible dust, which is a mixture of fine solid particles that are liable to catch fire or explode upon ignition when dispersed in the air, is a hazard common to many industries. …In 2018, there were 194 dust fires and explosions result ing in one fatality and 39 injuries in North America, compared to 145 dust fires and explosions resulting in six fatalities and 52 injuries in the previous year. …While conducting a dust-hazard analysis, implementing controls and documenting the effectiveness of the preventive measures taken is a good process to follow, “there are a lot of mistakes that occur,” says Reason, who spoke at Safety 2019 in New Orleans. …The most common mistake is not knowing the hazards of the dust present in a workplace. “Wood dust is not wood dust; corn is not corn,” says Reason, adding that there are differ­ences that affect their explosive properties.

Read More

Research to examine BCWS firefighters’ health

By Blair McBride
Houston Today
November 6, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

The BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) is funding research at two western universities that will focus on how wildland firefighters’ work affects their health. The $305,000 will fund projects to be conducted by researchers at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) and the University of Alberta, the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD) said in a news release on Oct. 29. …The UNBC portion of the research will be led by Chelsea Pelletier, an assistant professor at UNBC’s School of Health Sciences. Pelletier will examine scientific literature from around the world for all dimensions of firefighter health, including the physical, mental and emotional aspects. Her work will try to find solutions to reduce any health impacts firefighters face and “identify any gaps in the work-related health knowledge of wildland firefighters and associated personnel.”

Read More

Research into wildland firefighter health underway

By Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Government of British Columbia
October 29, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Two research projects will benefit firefighters and associated personnel by looking into their health and wellness. The BC Wildfire Service has provided $305,000 to help fund the research projects. The University of Northern British Columbia and the University of Alberta are conducting the studies to learn more about how firefighting activities affect the health of fire crews. “Our firefighters have worked hard on the front lines to keep British Columbians safe during difficult and record-setting wildfire seasons,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “These studies will help us support their long-term health and well-being.”

Read More

Floatplane industry crafting new safety protocols

Skies Magazine
October 1, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

So far this year, 34 aviation accidents and incidents are under active investigation by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB). Seven of those accidents involved floatplanes, including six which resulted in fatalities. …In 2016, Dustin Meierhofer, director of Transportation and Northern Safety for the British Columbia Forest Safety Council (BCFSC), voiced his concerns to the FOA about floatplane safety. Several forestry employees had lost their lives when floatplanes crashed during ferry flights to remote locations. These concerns prompted Hartwell to begin creating a set of safety protocols dubbed the North Star Practices (NSPs) – a voluntary initiative involving everyone with a stake in ensuring that the public in general, and workers in the natural resources industry in particular, have the safest flights possible. …One NSPs recommendation Hartwell was willing to share is that floatplane operations should be limited to “official” civil daylight hours…

Read More

Employer cleared for delaying employee’s return to safety-sensitive work in B.C.

By Jeffrey Smith
The Canadian HR Reporter
September 27, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

A BC employer acted reasonably when it delayed a worker’s return from medical leave an additional three weeks while it ensured it had sufficient medical information to clear the employee for work in a safety-sensitive position, an arbitrator has ruled.  Northgate/West Fraser Logistics and TC, Local 31 (Cherak) involved Northgate/West Fraser Logistics, which operates a lumberyard and warehouse in Delta, B.C. …The psychiatrist’s note stating Cherak could return to work on March 1, 2018, didn’t demonstrate any knowledge of the nature of Cherak’s work and “was insufficient to give the employer reasonable confidence was fit to return as a forklift driver in its lumberyard, even if exempted from car-moving work,” said the arbitrator. …The arbitrator determined that Northgate didn’t have sufficient medical information to return Cherak to his safety-sensitive position.

Read More

Investigators probe Campbell River helicopter crash

By Alanna Kelly
CTV News
September 25, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Ed Wilcox

Investigators continue to probe a helicopter crash in Campbell River that claimed the life of a pilot on Tuesday. …Ed Wilcock, the owner of E&B Helicopters, was the sole person on the helicopter when it crashed at about 11:25 a.m. Wilcock was well known and had decades of flying experience on Vancouver Island. A former co-owner of E&B Helicopters remembered his friend and partner as “very focused and very driven.” “Anybody in the community already knows him,” Alder told CTV News on Tuesday. “He’s done a lot for this community. He’s going to be missed, big time.” …Wilcock was given a lifetime-achievement-in-safety award by the BC Forest Safety Council in 2017, citing his “understanding and appreciation of workers’ safety in the forestry industry.”

Read More

WorkSafeBC fines local business

The Prince George Citizen
September 24, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

WorkSafeBC has levied a $5,000 fine against a Prince George business over improper handling of wood dust. According to a posting on the agency’s website, an inspection of Hyon Bedding Ltd. revealed “accumulations of wood dust on surfaces throughout the facility, including near ignition sources such as drive motors and electrical devices. “The firm failed to control and remove hazardous accumulations of combustible dust, a repeated and high-risk violation.” Hyon Bedding Ltd. sorts and bags sawmill wood shavings for secondary processing. The fine was issued on April 15.

Read More

Province takes ‘first steps’ on Bamfield road improvements

By Cindy Harnett
The Times-Colonist
September 24, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

The province will not take immediate action to upgrade Bamfield Main, but Premier John Horgan has committed to “first steps” for incremental improvements, says the chief councillor of the Huu-ay-aht First Nations. …The First Nation said Horgan told its representatives that the government began working on a engineering report for the road about a month ago. It said he has agreed to meet with the First Nation in November to review the study. …The 78-kilometre Bamfield Main includes 60 kilometres of road owned by Western Forest Products and 18 owned by Mosaic Forest Management, the Huu-ay-aht First Nations and the Ministry of Transportation, Dennis said. Western Forest Products owns the stretch of road where the crash happened. The province provides annual funding, but the forestry companies are responsible for maintenance.

Read More

Huu-ay-aht encouraged by premier’s pledge to fix logging road

The Canadian Press in the Times-Colonist
September 20, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Huu-ay-aht First Nations said they are pleased their call for action following a fatal crash on the Bamfield Main road has been answered. Premier John Horgan on Thursday promised upgrades to the gravel logging road where two University of Victoria students died in a bus crash last week. …Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis said his nation has long been seeking upgrades to the privately owned gravel road that is the only vehicle access between Port Alberni and Huu-ay-aht communities in Bamfield. Bamfield Main is a gravel logging road owned in part by forestry companies. It is also used by residents and tourists travelling between Bamfield and Port Alberni. The province provides annual funding, but the forestry companies are responsible for maintenance. Western Forest Products owns the stretch of road where the crash happened.

Read More

John Horgan promises action after fatal mid-Island bus crash

By Devon Bidal
The Penticton Western News
September 19, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

John Horgan

BC Premier John Horgan acknowledges the need for improvements to the logging road from Port Alberni to Bamfield where two students from the University of Victoria were killed on Sept. 13. …Horgan noted that the problems with the road aren’t new, nor are the concerns. …The premier said it’s unfortunate that it took a fatal tragedy for the province to focus its attention on the road. He promised that he, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Claire Trevena, the forestry companies and the local Indigenous community would be working together on the matter. Horgan acknowledged that the road itself is privately owned and under the purview of Western Forest Products… but pointed out that the public uses it so the province is “going to have to find a way forward.”

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

Death of worker at Fredericton sawmill under investigation by WorkSafeNB CBC.ca

By Bobbi-Jean MacKinnon
CBC News
October 11, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada East, Canada

Troy Lewis Bourque

WorkSafeNB is investigating the death of a worker at a sawmill in Fredericton on Thursday. Police were called to Devon Lumber on the city’s north side around 2:30 p.m., said Fredericton Police Force spokesperson Alycia Bartlett. “Several” officers responded, and the last officer cleared the scene at 200 Gibson St., just before 6 p.m., she said. An obituary posted online Friday identifies the worker as being Troy Lewis Bourque, 50, a married father. “Troy was always willing and able to lend a helping hand anywhere he could,” it states. …WorkSafeNB spokesperson Laragh Dooley declined to disclose any details about the nature of the incident. “The investigation will help us determine how the fatality may have been prevented and whether there were any violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act or its regulations,” she said in an emailed statement.

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

Smoke has serious impact on human health

By Peter Aleshire
The White Mountain Independent
November 7, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States, US West

WHITE MOUNTAINS — Bad news: Wildfire smoke contributes to 15,000 premature deaths every year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Worse news: Expect 40,000 premature deaths per year by century’s end thanks to rising temperatures and bigger wildfires. Wildfire smoke can cause heart attacks, asthma and lung disease, contributing to the toll of cigarettes, auto exhaust and emissions from coal-fired power plants. One study showed a 7 percent increase in heart attacks and a 2 percent increase in emergency room visits when wildfire smoke rolls into populated areas. So does that mean the Forest Service’s plan to both repeatedly burn a million acres in Rim Country and the White Mountains will take a toll on human health? …But here’s the real question: Will controlled burns have less impact on human health than wildfires? Answer: Wildfires are definitely worse, according to multiple studies.

Read More

Flames, gear and risks of photographing California wildfires

By Marcio Jose Sanchez
The Herald and News
November 4, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States, US West

SANTA PAULA, California — It’s ironic, but momentarily forgetting some of my safety gear ended up saving my life. It happened as I drove late Thursday into the heart of a wildfire that had erupted near the city of Santa Paula, a two-hour drive west of Los Angeles. …Dressed in flame-resistant clothes, heavy boots and carrying my two cameras, I spent a few minutes walking around and surveying the scene before starting to shoot photos. After a few minutes, I realized I had forgotten my helmet and fire shelter, essentially a tarp that can be deployed to cover and protect your body if you can’t escape flames. So I began walking back to my car, and a few minutes later two large burning branches crashed in the exact place where I had been standing.

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

Should lumber trucks be allowed highway access? Congressman says yes.

By Robert Dalheim
Woodworking Network
November 5, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: US East, United States

ALGOMA, Wisconsin — A new congressional initiative would lift restrictions for lumber trucks, allowing them access to the interstate highway system. Wisconsin Congressman Mike Gallagher is a sponsor of the Safe Routes Act of 2019, which would give truckers a choice of routes by allowing state legal, short haul, and commodity-specific log trucks access to highways, and therefore lessening the need to travel through back roads and towns. …According to a 2018 Virginia Tech study, 96 percent of logging truck collisions occurred on city, county, or state roads where they encounter school zones, cross walks, intersections, stop signs, oncoming traffic, and railroad crossings, write congressional supporters of the bill. A 2018 University of Georgia study found that 41% of logging truck collisions occurred within five miles of the Interstate. The Safe Routes Act of 2019 would allow logging trucks to travel on the federal interstate for 150 air miles.

Read More

Georgia driver survives harrowing crash as huge logs pierce car

Associated Press in 11Alive.com WXIA
October 20, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: US East, United States

COHUTTA, Ga. — Authorities say a motorist survived after several large logs from a logging truck pierced the car’s windshield and rammed all the way through the rear hatch. The Whitfield County Fire Department says firefighters pulled the driver from the car Friday in the Cohutta area in northwest Georgia. The fire department posted photos of the wreckage off Cleveland Highway on its Facebook page. Jaw-dropping images show trees inside the entire cab of the driver’s black SUV. WTVC-TV reports that the driver sustained only minor injuries. “Great job guys!,” the department wrote on Facebook, thanking its crew for the rescue. Cohutta is about 100 miles northwest of Atlanta, near the Georgia-Tennessee line.

Read More

WorkSafeNB investigating death of worker at Fredericton sawmill

By Andrea Jerrett
CTV News Fredericton
October 11, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: US East, United States

HALIFAX — WorkSafeNB is investigating the death of a worker at a sawmill in Fredericton. The workplace accident happened Thursday at Devon Lumber on Gibson Street. The Fredericton Police Force confirms it responded to the incident at Devon Lumber, but says the investigation has been turned over to WorkSafeNB. “The investigation will help us determine how the fatality may have been prevented and whether there were any violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act or its regulations,” said Laragh Dooley, director of communications, in a statement. Dooley says WorkSafeNB won’t be releasing any information about the worker or the circumstances surrounding their death at this time. Devon Lumber remains closed Friday.

Read More

Introduction to mechanized logging safety

Vermont Biz
October 2, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: US East, United States

October 8th and 9th 2019, The Logger Education to Advance Professionalism (LEAP) program is offering a modernized logging safety course. The program is one of the requirements for participants to become eligible for the Vermont Logger Safety and Workers’ Insurance program, a certification in high demand by contractors, that can result in a 15% discount on workers’ compensation insurance premiums. The course will cover many safety elements in a mechanized logging environment, as well as expectations set for employers and employees, delivered by safety qualified instructors. …Logging is statistically a high risk occupation and this program has been designed to reduce the risk of injury to those working on logging operations. A credible safety training program, combined with an on-site inspection of logging operations to ensure that safe practices learned in training have been implemented, have been proven to reduce injuries, claims and costs in other states.

Read More

Blood-red haze engulfs Indonesian province as forest fires and smog worsen

By Eric Cheung
CNN
September 24, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: International

The skies over the Indonesian province of Jambi have been turned blood red, as the toxic haze from widespread rainforest fires continues to affect residents across the country. …More than 328,000 hectares of ecologically-rich land have been burned across Indonesia in recent weeks. The raging fires have forced hundreds of residents to evacuate and led to the deployment of more than 9,000 personnel to battle the flames. …The ominous-looking red skies were caused by a phenomenon called Mie scattering, which occurs when sunlight is scattered by tiny pollution particles in the air. …The scattering happens when the diameter of the particles is similar to the wavelength of visible sunlight, the agency said. …Some residents have been forced to evacuate to other cities because of the hazardous air quality.

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

Forestry watchdog warned B.C. government about Bamfield Road in 2008

By Elena Rardon
The Penticton Western News
September 19, 2019
Category: Health & Safety

The author of a 2008 report on the safety of B.C.’s logging roads is accusing the province of ignoring his findings, in the wake of the fatal bus crash near Bamfield. Ombudsperson Roger Harris’s report on “resource roads,” or logging roads, contained 17 recommendations to improve maintenance and safety, following 16 related deaths in three years. Many of them have been adopted, but not what Harris calls his “cornerstone” recommendation – the creation of a new designation for logging roads that serve as a community’s primary or secondary access roads. This designation would have “clearly defined standards” for maintenance, construction and enforcement. …In a recent statement, the Ministry of Transportation said the issue is complex because the province doesn’t own the road. Private companies own and main it for forestry operations. But Harris argued it hasn’t been primarily used as a logging road for many years. …Bamfield is not the only B.C. community served by resource roads.

Read More