Keep CoolWestern Silvicultural Contractors’ Association
Rumour Mill RoundUpDate

October 10, 2014
Vol. 14, Issue 17
Warning: There may not be a Plan B. And that may be a fact.

Reforestation System Workshop Planned for Vancouver Island early December:

Selecting, requesting, sowing, growing, lifting, storing, shipping, tracking, handling and planting seedlings is a process foresters, nurseries, shippers, storage operators, contractors and planters have a hand in. The system practiced today is highly functional. Nevertheless, in its design there are opportunities for unintended consequences that can affect the performance and health of both seedlings and workers. A day-long workshop is planned for early December (date TBA) at Sylvan Vale Nursery, Black Creek, with the optimistic intention of bringing players together to better understand each other’s part in the process and how to make it work better for all involved. Mark your calendars and stay tuned for details.

Road Deactivation and Planting Access Guidelines in the Works:

Loggers, site prep contractors, and road crews deactivating and rehabilitating roads often proceed seemingly unaware of the access hazard they are creating for tree planting crews. Transporting problems on harvest blocks for workers, equipment and thousands of seedlings have become a widespread safety and logistic problem both in the Interior and on the Coast. Most of these situations are avoidable. The BC SAFE Silviculture Program’s Participatory Action Research (PAR) strategy, a process that builds on collaborative problem solving, is working with shareholders on both the Coast and Interior to design basic guidelines for both planners and operators to improve access planning for silviculture crews. Interior guidelines are in a draft form and will be released this fall. Coast guidelines are expected by early winter. For more information please contact

FPInnovations Steps Up on Footing Study:

The Canadian forest sector’s major research institute has come on board with the BC SAFE Silviculture’s footing and footwear study. FPInnovations will design and execute laboratory experiments this fall comparing the static traction available on various boot designs, including caulks and non-caulked treads, for differing footing settings and conditions. The results will contribute to footwear guidelines anticipated for next year aimed at improving footing and footwear practices in the sector. Putting these recommendations into effect throughout the industry should lead to fewer injuries and loss due to slips, trips and falls.

Briefly speaking:

— The Participatory Action Research (PAR) process, which is the active ingredient behind the projects described above, is also working as part of the BC SAFE Silviculture Program on drafting reforestation fertilizer handling and storage guidelines, developing means for contractors to obtain better site information for both viewing and operating on Coastal sites, and reducing musculoskeletal injuries in the silviculture sector.

— Steve Mueller, well known in the industry as a contractor, auditor, trainer and former BC Forest Safety Council manager, will be the new chair of the Labour Market Partnership’s BC Silviculture Workforce Initiative advisory committee. He is replacing Suzanne Christensen who, after three years in charge, moves over to new work at the Legislature. Mueller will steer the initiative through its final and vital last months as it produces the results for this year’s annual industry survey, frames a silviculture work force human resources strategy and introduces worker training modules for the sector.

— Subject matter experts from across the silviculture sector will meet in early November in a facilitated exercise to identify gaps and frame remedies to advance the industry towards improvements in Emergency Response Planning and Preparation for Remote Worksites (ERP). Safely treating and transporting seriously injured workers on remote forestry worksites has been flagged as needing attention by WorkSafeBC’s Forestry High Risk Strategy, the BC Forest Safety Council and the BC Coroner’s Office. The intent of the exercise is to outline practical ERP strategies for the silviculture sector.

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