Tree Frog Forestry News

Category Archives: Health & Safety

Health & Safety

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

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

Sarah Henderson

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

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

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

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

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Valid Manufacturing among industrial park innovators

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

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

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Three killed, one survives after plane crash near Smithers

By Trevor Hewitt
The Terrace Standard
May 5, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Lorne Borgal

…The three men who died in the plane crash northeast of Smithers on Saturday were part of a crew contracted by the BC Wildfire Service to do aerial imaging. “A conscious male passenger was seen outside the crash site, but due to the landscape the helicopter was unable to land,” said RCMP Sgt. Darren Durnin in a statement. Rescuers were lowered from the helicopter further away and then hiked to the crash site. The survivor of the crash was taken to hospital and remains in stable condition. A social media post from the wife of one of the victims …has confirmed that Lorne Borgal was a passenger on the Cessna 182 that went down near Smithers Landing. Borgal was the former president and CEO of Hudson Bay Mountain Resort in Smithers. “I understand …the plane Lorne was aboard (he was not flying) crashed killing Lorne, his colleague Amir, and the pilot Pete from Lakes District Air in Burns Lake with 1 survivor,” the post reads.

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Minister’s statement on wildfire contractor aircraft crash

By Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Government of British Columbia
May 6, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, has issued the following statement in response to the crash of an aircraft transporting BC Wildfire Service contractors in the Northwest Fire Centre: “Shortly after 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 4, 2019, a Cessna 182 fixed-wing aircraft crashed about 95 kilometres northeast of Smithers. On board were four contractors who were conducting infrared scans of some of the 2018 wildfires, on behalf of the BC Wildfire Service. “The crash site was located shortly before 11 a.m. Three of the four people on board did not survive, but one person was transported from the site by a Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre helicopter and is now being treated in a Vancouver hospital. That person is expected to recover.

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11th hour note causes rush to hold Day of Mourning ceremony in Lake Cowichan

By Lexi Bainas
Cowichan Valley Citizen
May 2, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Lori Iannidinardo

In spite of a rocky run-up, the annual Day of Mourning ceremony for fallen workers at Lake Cowichan’s Forestworkers Memorial Park went smoothly Sunday, April 28. There was some doubt Friday, April 26 that it was going to happen at all. A late message from the Nanaimo, Duncan & District Labour Council — the usual organizers of the event — said that they wouldn’t be holding it. No reason was given. A quick post on Facebook to let everyone in Lake Cowichan know led to an immediate response. Lakers would do it themselves, since it was an important recognition of the area’s deep roots in the forest industry. Before the dust had settled, CVRD chair Ian Morrison, and Lake Cowichan council were on board, WorkSafe BC was ready to take part, long-time loggers’ safety advocate Lori Iannidinardo said she’d be there…

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Logger killed on the job identified as 46-year-old Quesnel man

By Katie DeRosa and Bill Cleverley
Victoria Times Colonist
May 1, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

A husband and father of six has been identified as the man who died in a logging accident on Northern Vancouver Island over the weekend. Dylan Montjoy, a 46-year-old Quesnel man, died Sunday while working near Nahwitti River near the remote village of Holberg, about 50 kilometres west of Port Hardy. …Madison Montjoy said it was a “freak accident” that took the life of her father, who had been working for Port McNeill-based Lemare Lake Logging for 10 years and in the woods as a faller since he was 14 years old. …The union said a representative from its emergency-response team will be in contact with the family to offer support. Anyone affected by the death will be able to access help and counselling through the Employee Family Assistance Program, it said. WorkSafe B.C. and the B.C. Coroners Service are investigating. Neither agency has released details on the cause of death.

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Sobriety checks implemented at Tolko following boom boat driver’s death

By Kathy Michaels
InfoTel News Ltd
May 1, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

KELOWNA – It’s been more than two years since the boom boat Ivor Lundin was captaining off the shores of Okanagan Lake sank, prompting Tolko Industries to adopt new protocols addressing employee sobriety and invest in better safety equipment. Changes to the logging company’s safety regime were highlighted this week in a WorkSafeB.C. report, detailing the investigation into the Jan. 30, 2017 incident. …Tolko did not have “a firm policy regarding the assessment of the sobriety of workers at the start of the shift.” …”Since this incident, they’ve implemented a system for all workers to check in with a supervisor for assessment at the start of the shift and a company-wide training program to assist supervisors in the detection of substance abuse in the work place.”

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Man dies in workplace incident at logging site on northern Vancouver Island

By Katie DeRosa
Victoria Times Colonist
April 29, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

A man in his 40s is dead after a workplace incident on a forestry operation on northern Vancouver Island. B.C. Coroners Service and WorkSafe B.C. were notified Sunday of the death, which happened at a logging site near Holberg. The Forestry Ministry said the logger worked for Lemare Lake Logging, a company based in Port McNeill. According to the company’s website, it has a team of 400 forestry workers and has been operating on northern Vancouver Island and B.C.’s central coast for more than 30 years. Richmond Plywood Ltd. holds the forest licence. …Neither the B.C. Coroners Service nor WorkSafe B.C. has released the cause of death, but both agencies are investigating. …WorkSafe’s investigation will try to determine the cause of the incident and contributing factors to prevent similar incidents in the future, Fitzsimmons said. Last year, five logging workers were killed in workplace accidents.

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New review of worker safety underway, 7 years after deadly B.C. mill explosions

Canadian Press in the CBC News
April 30, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

The union representing four workers who died in two British Columbia sawmill explosions in 2012 says it hopes a new review of worker safety ordered by the provincial government will lead to overdue justice for survivors and families of the victims. Steve Hunt, district director for the United Steelworkers union, said previous inquiries into the explosions at Babine Forest Products in Burns Lake and Lakeland Mills in Prince George raised more questions than answers, and he hopes the new review prevents similar disasters from happening in the future.  …But Hunt said he has been advocating for a further review and alleges WorkSafeBC, also known as the Workers’ Compensation Board, mishandled its part of the investigation in a way that prevented criminal charges from being laid in either case. …He accused WorkSafeBC of acting in the interests of industry instead of the workers it is supposed to represent

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New review of worker safety underway seven years after B.C. mill explosions

Canadian Press in Vancouver Sun
April 30, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER — The union representing four workers who died in two British Columbia sawmill explosions in 2012 says it hopes a new review of worker safety ordered by the provincial government will lead to overdue justice for survivors and families of the victims. Steve Hunt, district director for the United Steelworkers union, said previous inquiries into the explosions at Babine Forest Products in Burns Lake and Lakeland Mills in Prince George raised more questions than answers and he hopes the new review prevents similar disasters from happening in the future. “The best I can hope for out of this is we don’t do a repeat ever in any industry, and we make an adjustment that makes a societal change. This one screams for that,” Hunt said.

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Lawyer to review WorkSafeBC followups to sawmill explosions

By Mark Nielsen
Prince George Citizen
April 29, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

A Vancouver lawyer has been contracted by the provincial government to assess how well WorkSafeBC has taken up recommendations to improve worker safety in the wake of the fatal explosions at two northern B.C. sawmills in early 2012. Lisa Helps will also provide advice on potential legislative changes, the Ministry of Labour said in a statement issued this month. …Juries in both inquests produced series of recommendations, as did the authors of two reports, John Dyble and Gord Macatee. Helps will also seek input from relevant stakeholders and staff in WorkSafeBC and the ministries of attorney general, public safety and solicitor general, and labour. She will also invite workers affected by the explosions, and their families, to share their perspectives on the issues under review, the ministry said.

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Man dies in workplace incident at logging site on northern Vancouver Island

By Katie DeRosa
Victoria Times Colonist
April 29, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

A man in his 40s is dead after a workplace incident on a forestry operation on northern Vancouver Island. B.C. Coroners Service and WorkSafe B.C. were notified Sunday of the death, which happened at a logging site near Holberg. The remote village of Holberg is accessed by a 50-kilometre gravel logging road west of Port Hardy. Neither the B.C. Coroners Service nor WorkSafe B.C. have released the cause of death, but both agencies are investigating. The name of the logging company has not been released.

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Man killed in northern B.C. logging accident

By Gerry Leibel
Victoria News
April 26, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Kitimat RCMP have confirmed that a 46-year-old Terrace man died on Thursday, April 18, following a logging accident. RCMP media relations officer Cst. Kurt Fink said the accident occurred at a remote logging operation down the Douglas Channel near Eagle Bay. “The man appeared to have been struck by a tree and succumbed to his injuries. The location of the fatality was very remote and extremely difficult to access,” said Fink. He said the RCMP, BC Coroner’s Service and WorkSafe BC were on site on Thursday, adding that while the accident was still under investigation, the RCMP weren’t treating it as suspicious. “The RCMP would like to thank our partners, like Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue (RCM SAR) 63, who are volunteers, as well as the man’s co-workers for their efforts and professionalism.”

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Tree faller killed on the job

By Colin Dacre
Castanet
April 24, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. Forest Safety Council says a tree faller was killed on the job in Kitimat earlier this month. The faller was fatally injured on April 18 when he was struck by a tree that was felled by another logging operation, marking the second harvesting fatality of 2019. The incident remains under investigation and details are still to be determined, said the safety council in a brief notice. Regulation requires all workers be clear of the area within two tree lengths of any tree that is to be felled, with an exception for falling supervisors at the base of the tree. Workers must contact fallers by radio to seek approval before entering into the area.

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United Steelworkers Welcomes B.C. Government Review of WorkSafeBC Actions In Sawmill Explosions

By Stephen Hunt
United Steelworkers
April 11, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER, April 11, 2019 – The United Steelworkers (USW) is welcoming today’s announcement by the Government of British Columbia that Vancouver lawyer Lisa Helps has been retained to assess the actions WorkSafeBC in relation to sawmill explosions at Babine Forest Products and Lakeland Mills.  The explosions in 2012 killed four workers and injured dozens more in the communities of Burns Lake and Prince George. The USW has been fighting for answers and justice for the victims and families who continue to be affected by the tragic events. “For seven years, we have been standing with victims, families and community members who have been desperate for answers,” says USW District 3 Director Stephen Hunt. “Through the Coroners’ Inquests, the Dyble Report and the Macatee Report, we learned that WorkSafeBC failed to live up to its responsibility to protect the health and safety of workers.”

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Province to assess implementation of worker safety recommendations

Ministry of Labour
Government of British Columbia
April 10, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver lawyer Lisa Helps has been contracted by the Province to assess how WorkSafeBC implemented worker safety recommendations following the two sawmill explosions at Babine Forest Products and Lakeland Mills. Helps will also provide advice on potential legislative changes to improve safety for B.C. workers. …Helps will seek input from relevant stakeholders and staff in WorkSafeBC and the ministries of Attorney General, Public Safety and Solicitor General, and Labour. She will also invite workers affected by the explosions, and their families, to share their perspectives on the issues under review. A report, including recommendations, will be delivered to the attorney general by mid-July 2019. 

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Fire damages pellet plant

By Frank Peebles
Prince George Citizen
April 9, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

A fire at Pacific Bioenergy on the weekend did significant damage to some areas of the wood-pellet facility. “We are continuing to investigate the incident and assess the efforts to effect and complete repairs,” Pacific Bioenergy (PacBio) president John Stirling told The Citizen. “No workers were injured. All workers continue to work their regular shifts at the plant.” The incident was detected by employees at approximately 8:30 a.m. on Saturday. They carried out the company’s emergency response training, and were soon joined by the city’s fire department. …Stirling described the fire’s initial location as “at the top of a bucket elevator which transports wood pellets” and concurred that it was a strong wind that spread the flames to the nearby electrical room. …PacBio staff continue to monitor the facility for undetected hotspots, and are checking over the factory’s equipment looking for answers to the cause.

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West Fraser Mills in Quesnel fined $637,000 for workplace injury

By Ashley Legassic
CFJC News
April 8, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

QUESNEL, B.C. — A lumber mill in the Cariboo region has been fined after a worker sustained serious injuries at the plant. The incident happened at West Fraser Mills in Quesnel. WorkSafeBC said in its penalty decision that a worker from a subcontractor’s firm was vacuuming ash from a hatch midway up a multi-cone hopper when compacted hot ash broke free. The ash rushed out of the hatch and onto the worker, causing serious injuries. “WorkSafeBC’s investigation determined …not conducted an adequate assessment of the risks associated with accumulated hot ash”. “Safe work procedures had not been communicated to the subcontractor firm, and the subcontractor’s workers had not been trained in the work task.” WorkSafeBC imposed a $637,415 fine.

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Forest company admits guilt, pays fine in 2015 death of Sask. worker

By Danny Kerslake
CBC News
April 5, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

One of the major players in Saskatchewan’s forestry industry has been fined for its role in the death of a worker near Big River more than three years ago. Prince George, B.C.-based Carrier Forest Products, which also operates in Saskatchewan, pleaded guilty to one charge under Occupational Health and Safety regulations in January of 2018. A fine was imposed last month, following an appeal by the Crown. An additional charge was stayed in court. The plea comes after an accident at Carrier’s site at Big River, about 100 kilometres northwest of Prince Albert, in 2015. A worker died on Sept. 8 of that year, after being hit by an object thrown from a machine that reduces logs into smaller woodchips.

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Sande Overpass open after delays caused by tipped logging truck

By Brittany Gervais
Terrace Standard
April 1, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Sande Overpass is now open after a logging truck tipped over on its side, spilling its cargo across the road. …The truck had been turning right onto the overpass from Hwy 16 eastbound when it turned over on the driver’s side. There are no injuries and no other vehicles were damaged. …This isn’t the first time logging trucks have had issues turning onto the sharply-angled Sande Overpass. …an accident similar to this most recent one was fatal. In 1986, a woman was killed while walking across the overpass when a loaded logging truck overturned at the south end of the bridge. …The RCMP Inspector at the time said the narrow lanes and acute turns on both access routes to the Sand Overpass require semi-trailer trucks to infringe on adjacent traffic lanes, and in the case of logging trucks, the rear load overhang generally swings into another lane.

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BC Forest Safety News – April 2019

BC Forest Safety Council
March 27, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Welcome to the April edition of Forest Safety News, covering news about safety topics in forestry. Competency-based assessment & training to best meet due diligence: The BC Forest Safety Council’s Director of Training and Program Development, Gerard Messier, provided an update at the 2019 TLA Convention and Trade Show on the competency-based assessment and training model being developed at the request of industry by the BCFSC. Free EHS Analytics Safety App and Dashboard demonstrated at the 2019 WFCA Convention and Trade Show: The BC Forest Safety Council, in conjunction with the BC SAFE Forestry Program Strategic Advisory Committee, has embarked on a new initiative to provide forestry and silviculture employers with an advanced electronic safety reporting system. If successful, the project will be extended to other subsectors in forestry if there is demand. 2019 update on WorkSafeBC’s Harvesting High Risk Strategy: WorkSafeBC is already more than a year into its 2018-2020 Forestry High Risk Strategy 

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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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Workplace health and safety conference aims to alleviate substance abuse issues

By Michael Charlebois
The Thunder Bay News Watch
May 5, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada East, Canada

Elisha Malette

THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO — In 2017, the Ministry of Labour asked sawmill and forestry workers what issues posed the greatest risk in the workplace. The answer: substance abuse. …It’s what sparked the Workplace Safety North and Public Services Health and Safety Association to dedicate a day to the issue at the inaugural Health and Safety Conference. On Thursday, workers from the industry including Fort William First Nation’s Resolute Forest Products were on hand to learn about the harms of potential substances, and what services are available to them. …The WSN’s main recommendations include procedure of how to address substance use in the workplace, and having specific criteria that senior staff can implements, and workers understand.

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Manitoulin mother tells her story about the need for workplace safety

CBC News
April 17, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada East, Canada

Employees with EACOM Timber Corporation in Nairn Centre spent some time learning about the importance of workplace health and safety on Tuesday. They heard from a mother whose son was killed on the job. Joanne Wade is from Sheguiandah on Manitoulin Island. Her son, Brent, was 22 years old when he was killed in 1999 in Acton, Ontario. …She’s made it her mission to tell his story. She has been doing this since 2003 as a volunteer with Threads of Life. …EACOM Timber is in a partnership with Threads of Life to spread the word about workplace safety. In her presentation… Wade stressed… how devastating the impact of a workplace death, injury, or occupational disease can be. …She concluded by reminding employees to do everything they can to work safe and come home safe.

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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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American Loggers Council Supports Bipartisan ‘Safe Routes’ Legislation for Log Trucks

The American Loggers Council
Cision Newswire
May 2, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States

HEMPHILL, TEXAS — The American Loggers Council applauded the introduction of the bipartisan Safe Routes Act of 2019 (H.R. 2453) allowing log trucks to utilize federal interstates for short-haul trips. The legislation was announced today by U.S. Representative Mike Gallagher (R-WI). …The ALC along with its partners have advocated “Safe Routes” legislation to allow the industry’s trucks to haul state legal weight tolerances on the Federal Interstate Highway System, which often provide safer routes to mills. Due to inconsistent truck weights in many regions throughout the country, trucks hauling logs to mills are often forced to use city, county and state roads, where more than 96 percent of log truck collisions occurred, according to a study. …Dructor says improving log truck safety will help in the recruitment of new operators to replace an aging workforce.

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Alta Mill boasts one year accident free

By Tannay Yeoumans
Bonners Ferry Herald
May 2, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States, US West

NAPLES — Alta Forest Products, located in Naples, has reached the achievement of one year completely accident free. This is the first time that the company has reached this goal at the Naples facility, and the second time for any Alta facility, company wide. At the mill, there are three main departments: day shift production, swing shift production, and the maintenance crew. Each department, and the facility as a whole, has achieved the accomplishment of one year accident free, which also represents the first time that all three departments have worked as a whole to remain accident free. “I can’t say how proud I am of our employees,” said Jeremy Dineen, safety and human resources manager at Alta, Naples.

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Plains logger credits ALERT air ambulance for lifesaving rescue

By Kianna Gardner
The Daily Inter Lake
April 24, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States, US West

From the minute Kevin Riley was bludgeoned and knocked unconscious by a log … to the time he was transported to Kalispell Regional Medical Center for life-saving surgery, was only about 56 minutes. By means other than helicopter, the transfer would have taken about 1 hour and 48 minutes… “Doctors said it was a matter of 10 minutes,” Riley said. “Just 10 minutes later and I would have died.” …Two Bear Air was first to arrive on the scene. A nurse rappelled from the helicopter [and Riley] was hoisted about 200 feet below the helicopter itself, and was transferred to the peak of the mountain where the A.L.E.R.T. air-ambulance helicopter was waiting… It took A.L.E.R.T. pilots eight minutes to get him to the hospital… In A.L.E.R.T.’s nearly 45 years of existence, the program’s air ambulances have gone out on more than 18,300 missions, responding to anything from bear attacks to logging incidents much like Riley’s.

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Truck drivers test proposed roundabout design on Kalispell’s Highway 2

By Mackenzie Dougherty
NBC Montana
April 9, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States, US West

Road officials will put in a roundabout on a dangerous stretch of highway in northwest Montana, but they want input on how to do it best for large trucks. Truck drivers experienced firsthand the potential changes for the intersection of Dern Road and Springcreek Road along Highway 2 in Kalispell on Tuesday. Montana Department of Transportation hosted a demonstration of the proposed roundabout to identify and correct any design issues. …Logging truck driver Justin Davis travels Highway 2 twice a day. He did not like the idea of a roundabout, but after driving it he said it will be good for the intersection. “It seemed like it was designed well,” said Davis. “It’s pretty wide. I’ve got a pretty long truck, and I didn’t have any problem getting on the curbs or anything.”

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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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Composite Panel Association awards composite panel plants for safety

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

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

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Canfor’s Amy Johnson Named SC Safety Professional of the Year

By Carl Hamilton
Canfor Blog
March 19, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: US East, United States

Amy Johnson

At Canfor, where safety is our number one priority, it gives me great pride to share that Amy Johnson, Safety Manager with our New South Express truck fleet, has been awarded South Carolina Safety Professional of the Year by the South Carolina Trucking Association (SCTA). Amy received this prestigious award as a motor carrier safety professional whose qualifications, safety programs and safety achievements were deemed most outstanding by the SCTA. What makes this recognition even more special is that Amy is the first woman to ever receive this award. In an industry where we are working to diversify our workforce, Amy’s award helps to demonstrate our industry is one that offers equal opportunity for both men and women to succeed.

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Firefighter in Texas killed in helicopter crash

By Bill Gabbert
Wildfire Today
March 27, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: US East, United States

One firefighter was killed in the crash of a helicopter today while working on a prescribed fire in the Sam Houston National Forest about 30 miles southeast of College Station, Texas south of Highway 149. Sergeant Erik Burse with the Texas Department of Public Safety said the Eurocopter AS350 went down at about 2 p.m. with three people on board, a pilot and two firefighters. One of the firefighters was deceased on scene. The pilot and a second firefighter were transported to a hospital in stable condition after rescuers extracted them from the wreckage using jaws and air bags. The deceased firefighter was a U.S. Forest Service employee who, along with the other firefighter and the pilot, were on an aerial ignition mission. Their equipment was dropping plastic spheres that burst into flame after hitting the ground, helping to ignite the prescribed fire. No names have been released.

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Northern Thailand was once a paradise. Now forest fires have made the air worse than Beijing’s.

By Emily Tamkin
The Washington Post
May 7, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: International

In mid-March, the city with the worst air pollution in the world wasn’t an industrial powerhouse populated by millions. It was Chiang Mai, the tourist-friendly cultural center in northern Thailand. And for Chiang Mai and its environs, that was the beginning, not the end, of northern Thailand’s trouble with air pollution. The air pollution was caused in part by forest fires, notably the practice of the area’s farmers of starting fires to clear land for new harvests. Some Chiang Mai residents said the poor air quality showed that the government’s efforts to stop farmers from exacerbating northern Thailand’s seasonal haze problem were not working. …When Thai military junta leader Prayuth Chan-ocha visited… the city had an air quality index, or AQI, of 379— the worst of any major urban center in the world.

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Dealing with Substance Abuse… In The Sawmill

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

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

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B.C. government opens new inquiry into 2012 forestry mill explosions

By Justine Hunter
The Globe and Mail
April 28, 2019
Category: Health & Safety

Steve Hunt was never satisfied with how the agency responsible for protecting workers in BC conducted itself when two sawmills exploded in the span of months, killing four workers and seriously injuring dozens more. The province’s Criminal Justice Branch did not lay charges in the 2012 deaths because WorkSafeBC not only failed to warn the mills about the hazards of combustible dust that triggered the deadly explosions, but then bungled the subsequent investigations. …The BC Liberal government commissioned two reviews. In addition, both the WorkSafeBC and the B.C. Safety Authority investigated, and a coroner’s inquest was held. …Following the explosions, the industry led safety reforms and introduced a voluntary audit system. …The forest industry considered the matter largely resolved. But now, seven years after the explosions, Mr. Hunt has found a receptive ear in the NDP government that took power in 2017. …Ms. Helps is looking into all the events that led to the explosions – and criminal charges could yet be laid.

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