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In spite of persistent delays in getting the B.C. faller certification standard officially up and running fallers are being tested. Now is the time to get your applications in. Applications must be made this year to qualify for grandfathering.

Apply now for BC Faller Training Standard Certification.

To apply for faller evaluations or to get more information on the program go to;

WCB is charging $150 per person up to July 31, 2004 for the grandfathering process and $250 per person from August 1, 2004. All applications for certification under the grandfathering clause must have been received by the Forest Industry Safety Association before December 31, 2004.

On the application form some applicants may see that they don’t qualify for grandfathering because they have not met the minimum hours of work needed over the last two years to qualify. In cases where the available work has limited fallers from achieving the minimum requirements WCB will exercise some discretion. In other words for now complete the application and submit it regardless of the minimum requirement provision.

In spite of delays the estimated 4000 fallers in British Columbia will be tested and certified to fall trees in the province as required by law brought into force last year. The persistent problem in implementing this process has been finding the funds to examine and “grandfather” all the qualified fallers. In lieu of the funding the WCB is using its own limited resources to examine fallers qualified for grandfathering.

Silvicultural workers who fall trees will require this certification. Falling trees is defined as cutting any tree more than six inches diameter at chest height. Even if you only fall one tree a year in your job you will need this certification.

Based on a “word of mouth” approach more than 250 fallers have been tested. To date one faller has failed the examination. He had thirty years experience.

A major announcement on the faller training standard was planned for this month. However, the pending recommendations of the minister of labour’s Forest Safety Task Force has pre-empted those plans for the time being. The Task Force’s recommendations expected soon could affect the delivery of the faller standard program hence the delayed announcement. Meanwhile the grandfathering certification program is going ahead, albeit slowly.

Get your applications in now so that your faller candidates who qualify for grandfathering are registered this year and in the queue.

If you aren’t plugged into the Internet apply by calling FISA’s toll free number at 1-877-324-1212.