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Category Archives: Health & Safety

Health & Safety

Health and safety year in review 2018

By Jeremy Warning
Canadian Occupational Safety Magazine
December 17, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada

Jeremy Warning

This year saw significant developments in occupational health and safety law across Canada. …Employers must now deal with the myriad of issues accompanying the legalization of recreational cannabis. …In West Fraser Mills Ltd. v British Columbia, the Supreme Court of Canada found that a site owner could be penalized under British Columbia’s Workers Compensation Act. …The majority… concluded that the involved provision of the OHS Regulation was a reasonable exercise of the power conferred by the act. It found that an owners’ duties are not limited to those set out in the Workers Compensation Act as the involved provision of the OHS Regulation is a “natural extension” of the owner’s Workers Compensation Board duty to ensure compliance. The majority also held that West Fraser Mills was an “employer” for the act’s purposes. The upshot is that the penalty section of the act may be applied broadly.

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Wood stoves largest contributor to air quality issues in Houston

Houston Today
March 20, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Wood stoves are the largest contributor to air quality issues in Houston, according to the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. …A Wood Stove Exchange Program introduced in Houston last year offered residents a rebate if they swapped their wood-burning stove for a more energy-efficient appliance, but the program had no usage, said Gerald Pinchbeck, Houston’s chief administrative officer. …The ministry said Canfor and its pellet plant, which is run in partnership with Pinnacle Renewable Energy, are “generally in compliance” with their permit, which sets out limits for emissions. …Michelle Ward, a spokesperson for Canfor, said their Houston mill passed both inspections conducted by the ministry in 2018 with no deficiencies. …When asked if the curtailment of mill operations is advised during air quality advisories, the ministry said not necessarily, as curtailment can sometimes lead to increased emissions.

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VIDEO: Logging truck that crashed in Port Alberni had a close call minutes earlier

By Susie Quinn
Ladysmith Chronicle
March 12, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

A logging truck that lost its load in front of a Port Alberni hotel in February had nearly lost its load a couple of kilometres earlier, crossing a bridge over the Somass River. Dash cam video reveals the 25-year-old driver from Qualicum Beach taking a corner off the Orange Bridge at Falls Street on his left side wheels—the right side wheels in the air. Charlie Starratt, Beaver Creek Volunteer Fire Department chief, was approaching Pacific Rim Highway from Falls Street when his dashcam caught the logging truck coming fast off the bridge. He turned left and followed the truck, watching in horror when the truck turned right onto Stamp Avenue from Roger Street and tipped over. …Starratt’s dashcam video shows the truck turn the corner and shift left then fall all the way over, logs spilling over four lanes Stamp Avenue, cars narrowly missing a collision.

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Canfor fined $130,000 after Vavenby worker seriously injured by planer

By James Peters
CFJC Today
March 11, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

VAVENBY, B.C. — Worksafe B.C. has fined forestry giant Canfor nearly $130,000 after a worker at the company’s Vavenby sawmill operation was seriously injured in a planer accident. According to Worksafe’s latest list of penalties, the fine was imposed after the worker came into contact with a planer’s rotating top head, sustaining serious injuries. Worksafe’s investigation found that the employee was using a stick to unjam the planer, which had become jammed by a broken board. While the worker had locked out the planer, it had been switched to bypass mode a few days earlier, meaning that the planer head continue to spin even with the power turned off. …Worksafe says all three are considered “high-risk violations” and fined the forestry company $129,460.07.

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Report recommends batons, pepper spray for B.C. natural resource officers

By Maryse Zeidler
CBC News
March 10, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

British Columbia’s natural resource officers should be armed with batons and pepper spray to defend themselves against the intoxicated, confrontational people they sometimes face on the job, according to a recently released report.  Natural resource officers enforce provincial rules related to the environment. Their jobs include managing wildfire risks at campsites and on private property, investigating unauthorized use of Crown land and educating the public.  Joel Johnston, a violence prevention consultant, wrote the March 2018 report for the Forestry Ministry’s Compliance and Enforcement Branch. It was released last week as part of a Freedom of Information request. The report says the officers are not properly equipped for the risks they commonly face, which include groups of drunk campers, mentally unstable people living on Crown land and people with weapons like knives, axes and firearms.

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‘Pure anger’: Residents neighbouring Domtar site respond to cancer rate findings

By Jordan Omstead
CBC News
March 10, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Jason Reagan has already booked an appointment to get tested for lung cancer. He has lived beside the former Domtar site in northeast Edmonton for 13 years, along with his wife, Maureen, and their seven children. This week, a provincial health assessment revealed higher than expected rates of three types of cancer — lung, breast and endometrial — among people who lived near the former wood-treatment plant for 10 or more years. “Our main concern is what health risks we’ve already been exposed to. Is this actually going to hurt us in the future? Because if it is, they better get us out now,” Reagan said. …The Domtar site operated between 1924 and 1987, using creosote to preserve wood. The company did some remedial work on contaminated lands around the plant in 1994, before selling the site to 1510837 Alberta Ltd. in 2010.  

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Truck cab impaled by lumber after sudden stop in Vernon

By Howard Alexander
InfoTel News
March 6, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

VERNON – The driver of a semi hauling a load of lumber through Vernon is sure to be counting his lucky stars after avoiding serious injury when he engaged his emergency braking system to avoid hitting a small car. Thousands of pounds of manufactured lumber loosened when he slammed on the brakes and was propelled into the cab of the truck, according to an RCMP media release. Police say a small black vehicle allegedly cut off the semi and then stopped suddenly for a pedestrian in the crosswalk… “The driver of the semi truck was very fortunate to have sustained only minor injuries during this incident, given the amount of lumber that shifted and impaled the back of the drivers cab,” Vernon RCMP spokesperson Const. Kelly Brett said in the release.

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Prince George among cities with worst air quality worldwide in 2018: report

By Joti Grewal
BC Local News
March 5, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

The thick, black smoke last August that had people in Prince George waking up in the dark put the area among the 10 worst cities in the world that month for air pollution. That’s according to a new report, released Tuesday, from Greenpeace, sounding the alarm about the high level of air pollution recorded in B.C.’s Interior in 2018. The “unhealthy” range on the Air Quality Index is 55.5-150.4. Prince George, Quesnel and Williams Lake had readings of 74.2, 72.2 and 67, respectively – the worst in Canada for that month. …Comparatively speaking, the level of pollution in these regions was roughly five times the 2018 average, prompting the World Health Organization to flag them as well. “Our province’s vulnerability to forest wildfires has a major impact on the air we all breathe and has serious public health implications,” said Eduardo Sousa, senior campaigner at Greenpeace Canada.

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B.C. communities get $1.5 million in funding for evacuation route planning

Harrison Mooney
Vancouver Sun
February 26, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C.’s Ministry of Public Safety has approved approximately $1.5 million in funding for evacuation route planning to 60 local and regional governments and First Nations communities. Each of the communities and governments will be receiving up to $25,000 each through the province’s Community Emergency Preparedness Fund, bringing the total granted successful applicants all over the province to more than $17 million since September 2017. That’s just over halfway to the $33.5-million allocated by the government to help communities prepare for and respond to disasters. “We can’t predict exactly when a disaster may hit, but we can help our partners prepare so that if people have to be evacuated, they’re doing so in the safest, best way possible,” said Solicitor General Mike Farnworth.

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World’s most poisonous mushroom spreading in B.C.

By Joti Grewal
BC Local News
February 26, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

The world’s most poisonous mushroom is spreading in British Columbia, according to a recent article in the B.C. Medical Journal. The publication is alerting doctors, nurses and pharmacists to the dangers of people consuming Amanita phalloides, commonly known as the death cap mushroom, as well as to their roles in preventing related deaths.  “Healthcare providers need to be aware of the risk, as prompt recognition and appropriate management are critical for positive patient outcomes,” said authors of the article, Maxwell Moor-Smith, Raymond Li and Omar Ahmad. The death cap is not native to Canada and was brought to B.C. on the roots of imported European trees. Since the first death cap specimen was found and collected in B.C. in 1997, there have been numerous sightings of the mushrooms in the Fraser Valley, southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.

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Logging truck loses its load at busy Port Alberni intersection

The Victoria News
February 25, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

A 91-year-old Port Alberni man escaped serious injury after a logging truck taking a right turn onto Stamp Avenue from Roger Street toppled over and spilled its load in Port Alberni. The truck was on its side and logs had spilled across all four lanes of traffic in front of the Best Western Barclay Hotel, snarling traffic at one of Port Alberni’s busiest intersections. The driver of the logging truck, a 25-year-old man from Qualicum Beach, was also uninjured in the incident. He has been charged with driving without due care and attention under the Motor Vehicle Act, Port Alberni RCMP Cpl. Amelia Hayden said.

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Despite safety improvements, wood pellet plants still face risk of explosions Social Sharing

By Alexandra Zabjek
CBC News
February 13, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Gordon Murray

The investigation into an explosion this week at a wood pellet plant in Entwistle, Alta. has put the spotlight on a facility that is less than a year old and has touted its use of cutting-edge safety technology. …A 2014 report by WorkSafeBC found numerous plants in British Columbia failed to adequately address wood dust concerns. The report was commissioned, in part, after fatal explosions at sawmills in B.C highlighted the need to better manage combustible dust.  “Our industry came up short, for sure,” Gordon Murray, executive director of Wood Pellet Association of Canada, told CBC News Tuesday. “We were not managing the dust properly and so WorkSafe sat us down and pretty much told us that we need to get more serious about managing dust so we put a large focus on that.”  A “cultural shift” resulted after the meeting, Murray said. The association broadened to include a safety mandate.

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Log trailer breaks off truck on Terrace overpass

By Natalia Balcerzak
Terrace Standard
February 12, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

A detached logging trailer caused traffic delays at the Sande Overpass in Terrace Tuesday morning after blocking the left-turning lane going west on Hwy 16 for three hours. At approximately 7:10 a.m., a truck from Main Logging Ltd. was hauling a trailer of timber over the bridge when the driver noticed the hitch had broken off the truck turning onto the overpass. Nathan Voogd, roads area manager from the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure says that the incident is uncommon and that the driver made the right choice to stop. “He did a good job of actually preventing it from getting worse, he noticed it right away and put the trailer breaks on before anything happened,” says Voogd.

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Workers raised concerns about Entwistle wood-pellet plant before explosion

By Andrea Ross
CBC News
February 12, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

A wood-pellet plant in Entwistle where three people were injured in an explosion on Monday reported a fire six weeks ago and was recently inspected twice by the province after workers lodged complaints. A fire at the Pinnacle Renewable Energy plant was reported to Occupational Health and Safety on Jan. 2. No one was injured. OHS inspected the plant in December and again in January after workers complained. Those inspections resulted in an order being placed on the worksite regarding equipment safety. Monday’s explosion at the plant was so forceful that nearby residents say it rocked their houses and knocked pictures off their walls. …Occupational Health and Safety is at the scene and is investigating, said spokesman Gurshan Dhillon. Operations at the plant have been suspended, Pinnacle said in a statement. The cause of the explosion is not yet known.

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3 injured in industrial explosion at energy plant west of Edmonton

By Emily Mertz
Global News
February 12, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Three people were hurt — one critically — in an explosion and fire at a renewable energy plant near Entwistle, Alta., on Monday. “I felt the explosion,” said Kyle Wickstrom, who was one kilometre away. “It was nuts.” It happened at Pinnacle Renewable Energy, which is about 100 kilometres west of Edmonton. “There was an industrial explosion and a fire,” Parkland County Fire Chief Brian Cornforth said. “We responded with 40 crew, both from Yellowhead County and Parkland County — there was also a private fire contractor. …The CFO for Pinnacle told Global News she couldn’t say how many people were hurt but said nobody’s injuries were life-threatening. She said the company is working with Occupational Health and Safety to determine what caused the incident. Alberta Labour confirmed OHS had been notified and a team was heading to the scene.

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Smoke from wildfire is like a ‘chemical soup,’ says fire researcher

By Hina Alam
The Canadian Press in the National Post
February 5, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER — Inhaling smoke from a wildfire can be equal to smoking a couple of packs of cigarettes a day depending on its thickness, says a researcher studying wildfires in Western Canada. Mike Flannigan, a professor with the Department of Renewable Resources at the University of Alberta, said the smoke is like a “chemical soup” that can be trapped in the lungs and cause a number of health issues. “They are all kinds of particles, mercury, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, methane … there’s a whole long list.” Depending on the size of the particles, they get trapped in the lungs, accumulate over time and cause “all kinds of problems,” Flannigan said. Sarah Henderson, a senior environmental health scientist at the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, said the smaller the particles, the worse they are. Both Flannigan and Henderson will make presentations at the BC Lung Association’s annual workshop.

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Stronger barriers were supposed to protect B.C.’s truckers from the deadly impact of a sliding load. They aren’t.

By Michael Mui
The Star Vancouver
January 31, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER—WorkSafeBC is reviewing the deaths of two logging truck drivers who were killed when their cargo slid forward in low-speed crashes — even though they were protected by stronger barriers that should have stopped the logs. The deaths, in December 2017 and March 2018 near Fort St. James in Northern B.C., are two of three such incidents that have occurred since new regulations were passed in 2015 to strengthen the metal barriers that separate cargo from the drivers’ cabs.  In both cases, about 40,000 kilograms of logs shifted forward, crushing barriers that actually exceeded the new standards. Notably, investigators determined the collisions appear to have occurred at low speeds: approximately 20 km/h. …Tom Brocklehurst, WorkSafeBC’s director of prevention practices and quality, said the regulatory body is now reviewing the two incidents investigated.

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Logging truck driver fined for wedging rig under Kamloops overpass

By Karen Edwards
InfoTel News
January 30, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

KAMLOOPS — The driver of a logging truck who got stuck under a Canadian Pacific railway overpass in downtown Kamloops earlier this week has been issued a fine according to the Ministry of Transportation. In an emailed statement, ministry officials say the driver was issued a violation ticket for driving without reasonable consideration since the route was closed to commercial vehicles. …”It is important for commercial vehicle drivers to follow pre-approved trip routes and obey any route closures,” the statement says. …”We will be looking at repairing and potentially getting those pipes tucked up a bit higher,” he says. “There is signage up throughout the corridor indicating this is not a truck route… at the end of the day, that particular vehicle should not have been on that corridor.” 

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Fatigue responsible for 2017 occurrence in which a BC tug boat made bottom contact

By Transportation Safety Board of Canada
Cision Newswire
January 10, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER – Today, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada released its investigation report into a July 2017 occurrence during which the tug Ocean Monarch made bottom contact while transiting the Princess Royal Channel south of Kitimat, British Columbia. The report underlines the need to effectively manage the risk of fatigue in the marine industry. On 9 July 2017… the tug Ocean Monarch, with three crew members on board, made bottom contact while towing the loaded cement barge Evco No. 15. No pollution or injuries were reported, but the tug’s hull, starboard propeller and nozzle were damaged. …The investigation determined that the mate, alone on watchkeeping duties, fell asleep while the tug and barge transited on autopilot through the channel’s confined waters. …The investigation also found that the tug’s operator had no strategies in place to mitigate crew fatigue, despite a previous occurrence in 2011 where fatigue played a role.

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Worksafe BC says combination of human and manufacturer error led to Domtar worker’s death

By James Peters
CFJC Today
December 14, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

KAMLOOPS — Worksafe BC says a combination of human error and manufacturer’s mistake led to an accident that killed a Domtar employee last June. The accident on June 29, 2017 killed a crane operator and seriously injured another worker. A redacted incident investigation report released today (Dec. 14) refers to the fatality victim as ‘Operator 1’, but Unifor has identified the man as 57-year-old Jim MacLeod. The report says MacLeod and his co-worker were standing on a crane chassis, attempting to stow a jib — an extension to the boom of a crane — when the jib fell. The huge piece of equipment struck both men, causing them to fall more than two metres off the crane chassis and killing MacLeod. Worksafe’s report says the accident happened because the jib was not connected to the boom of the crane, and lists three contributing factors to the accident.

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Safety board issues letters over rail crash that killed three Vancouver Island workers

The Canadian Press in the Province
December 12, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

RICHMOND, B.C. — The Transportation Safety Board has issued rail-safety advisories involving a crash in April of last year. A WorksafeBC report issued in October said decaying railway ties and the failure of a safety mechanism allowed rail cars at a Western Forest Products reload centre to run uncontrolled and hit two work equipment vehicles with the five men aboard. The board’s report issued Wednesday adds to the conclusion, saying the 11 cars loaded with logs rolled away after a locking device between the cars inadvertently released. The report also says a safety device meant to derail the runaway cars failed to work because the rail ties were deteriorating and the device hadn’t been adequately secured. …It says another advisory letter went to B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation saying it may want to review how the derail devices are installed, maintained and inspected on properties operated by Western Forest Products.

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Unsuccessful coupling between rail cars and failure of a derail protection device led to April 2017 uncontrolled movement, collision and fatal derailment near Woss, BC

Transportation Safety Board of Canada
December 12, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Richmond, BC – Today, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada released its investigation report into a fatal derailment that involved an uncontrolled movement of rail cars and a subsequent collision with engineering working equipment in April 2017 near Woss, British Columbia. Although the occurrence railway company was under provincial jurisdiction, the TSB conducted the investigation at the request of the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. On the morning of 20 April 2017, a cut of 11 cars loaded with logs rolled uncontrolled out of the Woss Reload Centre, operated by Western Forest Products, near Woss, British Columbia.

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Revelstoke man honoured for saving friend’s life (AND good info on CPR)

BC Local News
December 1, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

…Three years ago, Russell Davies and his friend Shawn Sanders were working on Davies’ property when Davies fell to the ground from a cardiac arrest. “He just went over into a slump. I rolled him over onto his back and he was gone. Eyes wide open. Boom. Basically all white,” says Sanders. …According to the CPR Certification HQ website, the chances of a victim surviving decreases seven per cent every minute CPR is not administered. …The 911 operator gave Sanders the rhythm for CPR to follow. Incidentally, it’s the same beat for the song Stayin’ Alive by the Bee Gees. …“I hadn’t had a first aid course in 15 years. Thank god for 911,” says Sanders. …Amazingly, Davies made a full recovery. …The BC Ambulance Service in Revelstoke presented Sanders with the Vital Link Award, for citizens who are involved in saving a life through successful CPR efforts.

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J.D. Irving fined $80K in 2016 death of Sussex sawmill worker

By Rachel Cave
CBC News
March 20, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada East, Canada

Forestry giant J.D. Irving Ltd. says it takes full responsibility for the death of 52-year-old William Gregg, a veteran sawmill worker who suffered a fatal accident while working overtime on Feb. 29, 2016. The company entered a guilty plea Tuesday in Saint John provincial court to violating the Occupational Health and Safety Act. …The company admitted in court that it failed to ensure that Gregg complied with the legislative requirements by locking out and ensuring the chipper machine was in a zero energy state when he attempted to dislodge the logjam. …The fact that the company pleaded guilty was accepted by the court as a mitigating circumstance.

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Contractor working on Irving land in New Brunswick dies in logging truck accident

The Canadian Press in Global News
January 3, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada East, Canada

A contractor working on J.D. Irving, Ltd. land in northern New Brunswick has died after his logging truck left a road in Madawaska County. Irving spokeswoman Mary Keith says the truck left a woods road roughly 40 kilometres from Saint-Leonard at about 6 p.m. Wednesday. She says emergency services were called to the scene but that the driver, an employee of an independent contractor, died as a result of injuries sustained in the accident. Keith says Irving is actively co-operating with the investigation by police and WorkSafeNB. …Keith says the name of the driver is being withheld out of respect for the family. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of this driver at this difficult time,” she said. 

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Forest Fires Stunt Growth, Cause Permanent Loss of Human Potential

Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University
February 19, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States

Forest fires are more harmful than previously imagined, causing stunted growth in children who were exposed to smoke while in the womb, according to new research from Duke University and the National University of Singapore. The authors found pre-natal exposure to haze from forest fires led to a statistically significant 1.3 inches decrease in expected height at age 17. “Because adult height is associated with income, this implies a loss of about 3 percent of average monthly wages for approximately one million Indonesian workers born during this period,” the authors write. “While previous research has drawn attention to the deaths caused by the forest fires, we show that survivors also suffer large and irreversible losses,” they wrote. “Human capital is lost along with natural capital because of haze exposure.”

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2019 Wildfire Mitigation Award Winners Announced

Occupational Health and Safety
January 21, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States

The Wildfire Mitigation Awards committee announced Jan. 17 the recipients of the 2019 Wildfire Mitigation Awards, the highest commendation given to individuals and organizations for their outstanding leadership and innovation in wildfire mitigation. The awards, established in 2014, are co-sponsored by the National Association of State Foresters, the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the National Fire Protection Association, and the USDA Forest Service. …”State forestry agencies know firsthand that it’s always wildfire season somewhere in the United States,” said Lisa Allen, NASF president and Missouri state forester. “The 2019 Wildfire Mitigation Awardees know this, too. Year-round, they contribute to wildfire mitigation efforts that ensure the safety of thousands of communities nationwide. We congratulate them for receiving this honor and thank them for their dedication to this critically important work.” …The 2019 Wildfire Mitigation Awards will be presented at the Wildland-Urban Interface Conference in Reno, Nevada on March 27.

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Preliminary report on helicopter crash expected in two weeks

By Paul Gottlieb
The Peninsula Daily News
March 12, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States, US West

OLYMPIC NATIONAL FOREST — A preliminary report on a logging helicopter crash Friday morning that killed a member of a Montana family steeped in the timber industry will be issued in two weeks, a National Transportation Safety Board spokesman said Monday. …The chopper crashed in a rugged area of Olympic National Forest 7 miles west of Lake Crescent while hoisting logs during a logging operation, they said. …Tripp was subcontracted by the timber company Interfor U.S. Inc., to work out of a 193-acre tract in Olympic National Forest, U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Susan Garner said Monday. Interfor had contracted with the Forest Service to conduct thinning operations, Garner said. “We’re deeply saddened by the death of Josh Tripp, president of Iron Eagle Helicopters,” Andrew Horahan, Interfor vice president of operations, said Monday in a prepared statement.

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Weyerhaeuser Attempts to Suppress Evidence in Severe Workplace Injury Case- Lawsuit Alleges

By Parris Law Firm
Cision Newswire
March 12, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States, US West

LOS ANGELES — A lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court alleges Weyerhaeuser… is guilty of creating an unsafe working environment that led to severe injuries for one truck driver. The proceeding litigation also exposed an alleged attempt by Weyerhaeuser to suppress evidence showing that the company left a hired contractor for dead on its lumber yard. …Weyerhaeuser maintained security cameras on the property, but coincidentally claimed that the cameras did not pick up the incident and further refused to produce any footage. …On January 25, 2019, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge ordered Weyerhaeuser to turn over its investigative incident report among other relevant case materials “within 30 days.” …On March 8, 2019, The Second Appellate District Court for the State of California ruled against Weyerhaeuser’s petition to withhold the incident report.  

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Loggers raise funds for new memorial, museum at Camp 18

By Edward Stratton
Seaside Signal
February 26, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States, US West

ELSIE — A decade ago, a volunteer group of foresters opened a memorial in a small cabin-style building along U.S. Highway 26…for those who died while logging. In a testament to one of the deadliest and most storied local professions, the Camp 18 Loggers Memorial quickly filled up with shrines and artifacts from the woods. Volunteers are now raising between $3 million and $4 million for a new, 7,000-square-foot museum to continue honoring the past while providing a nod to the future. The Camp 18 Loggers Museum was founded in the 1970s by Maurie Clark and Gordon Smith, former owners of Camp 18 Restaurant. …The group has looked at incorporating green building concepts and newer construction materials such as cross-laminated timber, used in multistory buildings elsewhere. But the newer material and sustainability certification might be overkill for the museum’s size and backing, Doss said.

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Post Falls man dies in logging accident

Coeur d’Alene Press
January 28, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States, US West

A logging accident killed a Post Falls man Friday in Shoshone County. Joseph W. Johnston, 32, suffered fatal injuries while working on a logging operation for Goicoechea Logging, Inc., according to a news release from the Shoshone County Sheriff’s Office. The incident occurred in the Micah Meadows area, near Calder, when, according to witnesses, the ground beneath a processor Johnston was operating gave way, sending the machine about 450 feet down a hillside. Johnston was ejected from the machine.

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Firms to pay $9M to settle suit over 2012 California fire

The Associated Press in the Seattle Times
December 10, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States, US West

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Officials say a construction company and a logging firm have collectively agreed to pay $9 million for damages resulting from a 2012 wildfire that burned more than 1,600 acres of national forest land in Northern California. The U.S. Attorney’s office in Sacramento says Monday that the agreement settles a lawsuit brought by the federal government against Kernen Construction and Bundy & Sons Logging. Prosecutors say Bundy logging equipment hauled by Kernen became unsecured and dragged along a highway, causing sparks that ignited dry vegetation. The resulting blaze charred a swath of brush and timber within the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Neither company admits liability for the fire under the settlement. [END]

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Cancer predictors, tumor formations found in tree DNA

By Shannon Smith
WBIR.com
February 21, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: US East, United States

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. — Inside small poplar tree samples at Oak Ridge National Laboratory is what scientists believe could predict if someone will get cancer. Geneticists at ORNL started looking at poplar trees as a way to create better renewable resources. That species was chosen because the trees grow so fast. Along the way, they saw that the tree’s DNA responsible for forming growths was identical to the genes in humans that form cancerous tumors. “We found that those basic instructions that tell a cell how to behave in specific stages are exactly the same in the plant cell and the human cell,” said lead geneticist Wellington Muchero. When cells start acting out of order, tumors grow. That’s great for the poplar tree, but not so great for humans. The similarities between the two species genetically are nearly identical.

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Share the Road programme teaches Whanganui’s Carlton School students about logging trucks and road safety

New Zealand Herald
March 11, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: International

Carlton School students now know what it’s like to be in the driver’s seat of a logging truck and what they can do to help with road safety. McCarthy Transport, FOMS and the Southern North Island Wood Council, led by McCarthy’s Wanganui Transport Hub manager Greg Wood, spent Friday, March 8 talking to Carlton School pupils about the Share The Road programme. Developed by the Log Transport Safety Council (LTSC), Share The Road is a programme to educate students in schools that are located on or near routes that logging trucks travel. Carlton School is on Carlton Ave, which is part of State Highway 3. “It was a great opportunity to present to the 280 students,” McCarthy Transport’s HSQE manager Cheryl van der Heyden said.

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Tree bark ingredient could help treat patients of this deadly cancer

NBC
February 12, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: International

Researchers are determining whether a compound found in a rare tree bark may provide hope for pancreatic cancer patients. Pancreatic cancer is among the deadliest, most aggressive forms of cancer, with only about 7 percent of patients surviving five years after being diagnosed, according to the American Cancer Society. “We know that pancreatic cancer is going to be the second leading cause of death in the United States within the next 10 years, so we’re desperate for new treatments,” oncologist Dr. Christos Fountzilas said, WNDU-TV reported. According to a study published in October, a compound found in a rare Chinese tree bark can be used to treat pancreatic cancer that has been resistant to other forms of treatment, Medical News Today reported. …“It’s killing cancer cells and it’s helping our treatments be more effective in killing cancer cells, even if these cancer cells become resistant to treatment,” Fountzilas said.

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Dust explosion kills one, injures three at Belgian joinery plant

HazardEx
February 7, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: International

On January 25, NWS reported that a dust explosion at the Pouleyn door and window manufacturing company in Anzegem, Belgium, had killed one person and seriously injured a further three. The victims were employees of a company contracted to clean out a silo containing wood shavings. Two of the injured have critical burn injuries. According to NWS, after a small fire in the silo the previous day, a local cleaning company was tasked with clearing out the silo and the team reported the shavings inside were still warm. When a hatch was opened at a height of about four metres, oxygen came into contact with the still warm wood shavings which caused an explosion and metre-high flash flame.

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Rotorua wood processer fined $680k for workers’ serious injuries

By WorkSafe NZ
Radio New Zealand
February 1, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: International

Two similar health and safety failings within three months have cost Rotorua timber company Claymark Limited over $680,000 in fines, reparations and costs. WorkSafe says that one serious injury on a company’s watch is bad enough, but that a second in close succession shows an unacceptable approach to worker safety. Claymark was sentenced in the Rotorua District Court yesterday after two of its workers sustained serious injuries while operating machinery on two separate occasions. In the most recent incident at the company’s Vaughan Road site in Rotorua, a worker had his hand caught in machinery used to de-stack timber when trying to reinstate a dislodged chain. The worker lost the tips of his middle, index and little fingers as a result of the incident.

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Researchers race against extinction to uncover tree’s cancer-fighting properties

By Purdue University
Science Daily
January 17, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: International

Three Chinese fir trees on a nature reserve in Southeastern China are the last of their kind. As their existence is threatened by human disturbance and climate change, researchers are hurrying to learn everything they can about the tree — [including] ways to treat various cancers. Chemists in China were initially studying the tree, Abies beshanzuensis, to …treat diabetes and obesity. …The tree’s healing powers looked grim until Mingji Dai, an organic chemist at Purdue University, started tinkering with some of its molecules in his lab. His team created synthetic versions of two, and then a few analogs, which have minor structural modifications. In collaboration with Zhong-Yin Zhang, a distinguished professor of medicinal chemistry at Purdue, he found that one of the synthetic analogs was a potent and selective inhibitor of SHP2, an increasingly popular target for cancer treatment. The findings were published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

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Media report cites workplace concerns at site of Alberta plant explosion

The Canadian Press in the National Post
February 13, 2019
Category: Health & Safety

A media report says a wood pellet plant west of Edmonton where a fire and explosion occurred this week was also the scene of a fire early last month. Three people, including one with serious injuries, were sent to hospital after the blast Monday at the Pinnacle Renewable Energy site in Entwistle. CTV News says Alberta Labour reports there was a fire at the complex on Jan. 2 that did not result in injuries. …Andrea Johnston, Pinnacle’s chief financial officer, has said in a statement that Monday’s fire and explosion were a first for the plant and the complex has a strong safety record to date. …Pinnacle has not yet determined the cause of the fire and provincial investigators remain at the plant, which began operations last September.

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Collapsed floor traps worker at decommissioned North Island pulp mill

By David Gordon Koch
The Ladysmith Chemainus Chronicle
January 21, 2019
Category: Health & Safety

Campbell River — A collapsed floor trapped a worker and caused a gas leak at a former North Island pulp mill on Saturday, but nobody was harmed in the incident, according to Thomas Doherty, chief of the Campbell River Fire Department. …It’s unclear what caused the collapse. Demolition work is currently underway at the former mill, but not at the building where the collapse took place on Saturday, Doherty said. …The collapse resulted in the rupture of a 400-pound oxygen tank and a 100-pound propane cylinder, and firefighters cordoned off the area and let the gases dissipate, according to Doherty. …The site of the former Catalyst pulp and paper mill, which closed permanently in 2010, is currently owned by Rockyview Resources. 

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