Industry and WCB to Form B.C. Forest Safety Council This Summer

British Columbia’s major forest industry associations, the IWA, and the Workers Compensation Board are laying the groundwork to found this summer a forest safety council dedicated to reducing injuries and deaths in the province’s forest industry.

Industry and WCB to Officially Form British Columbia Forest Safety Council This Summer

British Columbia’s major forest industry associations, the IWA, and the Workers Compensation Board are laying the groundwork to found a forest safety council dedicated to reducing injuries and deaths in the province’s forest industry. The industry-run council, expected to be formally created later this summer, will comprise senior forest sector representatives from all sides of the industry. It will act as safety advocate and give strategic guidance to programs and recommendations laid out in the Forest Safety Task Force Report and Action Plan released last January.

Some of those plans include certification of fallers and supervisors and other key forestry occupations along with the prequalification of contractors as a prerequisite to bidding on forest work, including silviculture and wildfire fighting. The WSCA is one of the founding member associations and will sit on the council once it is formed.

Much of the implementation of the council’s programs will be contracted to qualified consultants and institutions. The Forest Industry Safety Association (FISA) will eventually be funded through the council leaving it possibly in charge of administrating and coordinating safety training required by the new certification and prequalification standards.

Many of the proposed training and prequalification requirements are expected to be in place next year. Faller certification is ongoing through the WCB now, but the safety council is expected to take responsibility for the program.

Funding for the council and its safety programs will in effect be money borrowed from anticipated future reductions in injury costs according to the present planning strategy. No additional levies or assessments will be used to pay for the council.