Forest Safety Ombudsman News Release

BC Forest Safety Ombudsman to Conduct his First Review on Safety Training

Vancouver, B.C. – (July 27, 2006) – The first formal action to be taken by the BC Forest Safety Ombudsman will be a review of training and certification within the forest industry. The review will look specifically at how training and certification applies to fallers and truck drivers – two occupations that have experienced a high rate of serious injury and fatalities.

The review will be conducted by Roger Harris, B.C.’s first Forest Safety Ombudsman, appointed by the BC Forest Safety Council in March. Since that time, Mr. Harris has been traveling throughout the province hearing from groups and individuals about how to improve safety in a way that works for employees, contractors, licensees, agencies and regulators.

The review will take a broad look at the conditions that determine how training programs are delivered. As well, the conditions and training involved in the certification process will be reviewed to ensure they reflect what is required on the ground.

“Effective training and certification is fundamental to improving the safety performance of our industry” says BC Forest Safety Ombudsman Roger Harris, a former faller. “The level of professional expertise directly impacts every aspect of the business and, especially, safety performance.”

The purpose of the review will be to look at all groups that have a role to play in the training and certification process and bring forward recommendations that tie these organizations together. This will provide guidance to the forest sectors, regulators and agencies on how to implement and dovetail the numerous components of the training and certification process.

Harris says he will continue to deal with all the issues that have been brought to his attention by workers and companies including those dealing with the designation of prime contractors and responsibility for safety on our resource Roads.

The Office of the BC Forest Safety Ombudsman is funded by the forest industry through the BC Forest Safety Council as an independent and impartial advisory voice to deal with safety concerns within the forestry sector.

For more information contact:

Roger Harris Alyn Edwards
BC Forest Safety Ombudsman
Ph: (604) 696-3958
Cell: (604) 908-7231

Peak Communicators
Ph:(604) 689-5559

Backgrounder on the Forest Safety Ombudsman available: aedwards@peakco.com

Web Link: http://www.bcforestsafe.org/nav-ombud.html