Western Forestry Contractors’ Association
Rumour Mill RoundUpDate
23 November 2018
Volume 18 Issue 18

Warning: Some of the facts contained in this edition may be injury-prone meaning they are concerned with workplace safety—they’re not actually, like, getting hurt or anything…

WFCA 2019 Annual Conference Will Offer a Medley of Practical, Technical and Inspirational Workplace Safety Presentations and Workshops

A supervisor’s artist-rendering of a workplace close call involving tree planters, a backpack, and a fox. Safety incident reporting is critical, but is the information being misused by clients? This is one of the questions we will tackle at the 2019 WFCA Conference. See article below.

We organize our annual conference around three themes: safety, policy and association strategy. Here’s a look at the safety program lineup for sessions and workshops on Wednesday and Thursday (30, 31 Jan. 2019)

Total Physiotherapy’s Mike McAlanon and Jared Lalek are back by popular demand presenting new injury reduction videos and holding practical training workshops.

Dogs in the Forestry Workplace: Are They Nuisances or Protection? This will be a workshop facilitated by Sylvia Fenwick Wilson and Forestry Safety Advocate Jordan Tesluk.

Marine Safety: Water has too often proven a fatal hazard. How are we reducing the risk of drowning among forestry workers? WFCA rep. Timo Scheiber will report on his work with the Marine Forestry Safety Advisory Group.

Training the Next Workforce: What kind of training will deliver workers who are safe, productive and competent? BC Forestry Safety Advocate Jordan Tesluk will frame the various purposes and practices that make up effective training. He will also direct a live ERP drill in a demonstration session.

Dealing with Workplace Harassment: BC Safe Forestry Program chair Robin McCullough will provide guidance on handling complaints, managing situations and supporting victims in this practical workshop.

Improving Training and Certification in Contract Wildfire Suppression: This workshop will outline the structure and operating principles of an accountable certification system and how it would better train and qualify fire line supervisors, instructors and workers. Leader to be announced.

Why Report Incidents and Close Calls? Gathering and analyzing safety incidents, including close calls’ is critical to reducing injuries for individual firms and the sector as a whole. Yet there are obstacles that discourage good reporting. EHS Analytics and Jordan Tesluk will lead this session. (see Tesluk’s article below)

Helicopter Emergency Medical Services Proposed Pilot Update: WFCA HEMS pilot project leader Chris Akehurst along with Technical Emergency Advanced Aero Medical’s Miles Randall will frame the benefits and costs of having a robust ERP strategy in remote locations.

And While We Are Thinking About all the Above; Why Report Incidents and Close Calls?

No, we are not kidding. This showed up on planting block: the proverbial incident waiting to, you know. No company should be punished for fully reporting all incidents and close calls. But that can be the result under some client’s reporting regimes.

BC Forestry Safety Advocate Jordan Tesluk writes: Why report? It is a question that many contractors ask themselves whenever a worker receives sutures or a truck goes into a ditch. Beside regulatory requirements to inform WSBC of certain incidents, many forestry licensees require their contractors to submit regular reports of injuries, incidents, and close calls. However, many contractors are concerned about having their contract eligibility judged based on what they report, and are reluctant to provide more information than necessary, especially when their competitors face the same pressures. For smaller and even medium-sized contractors, reporting and recording provides negligible analytic value as their basic numbers of events do not provide enough data to reach statistically significant (or meaningful) conclusions.
Concerns around judgment for positive reporting and lack of statistical value are preventing employers from learning more about the nature of risks they face, and the factors that drive injuries and losses. One way of tackling this problem is to create industry or sector-wide reporting systems that allow employers to add their reports to a larger pool of data, while protecting their privacy within this pool, and allowing them to see larger trends and where they stand among the pack. Meanwhile, licensees and regulators need to be transparent with respect to how incident reporting will be used in managing contractors, and to engage with contractors on HOW they manage safety rather than rely on potentially meaningless numbers that may only paint the picture that people want to see. Discussion around these matters will continue at the “Why Report?” session at the 2019 WFCA conference in Victoria, BC from 30 January to 1 February.

And Now Some Light Safety Hectoring About Certain Logging Art Forms…


It’s funny maybe until the stumps rot; then it’s all downhill. And, no, the rocks didn’t get there without help.

When the first picture of these kinds of logging operator signatures crossed our desk we thought it maybe was a one of a kind. But we’ve now seen numerous pics of these installations from around the province including individual works and multiple boulder-on-stump clusters. The problem is other forestry workers have to work around these things, which are unpredictably subject only to gravity and time. Many of them are upslope above spurs and mainlines. The laws of gravity and motion are fairly clear what will eventually happen. What’s uncertain is just who might run into, or get run over, by one of these when the stump fails. So let’s take that uncertainty out of the equation by not creating these boulder-on-stump sculptures in the first place. Go to this link to see the full safety alert.