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Western Forestry Contractors’ Association
Rumour Mill RoundUpDate
15 February 2019
Volume 19 Issue 2

Warning:The mass and momentum of the facts contained in this edition are only apparent when read by readers, otherwise they revert to probabilistic uncertainties and other quantum smudges.

A Landscape Ecologist, a Mayor and a Sociologist
Walk Into a Forestry Conference…

WFCA Conference panelists, Landscape Ecologist Dr. Paul Hessburg, Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson and Psychologist Dr. Robin Cox characterized the kinds of dimensions and scales of collaboration we will need to enlist to adapt to climate change as citizens and forestry practitioners.

It’s been an animated year so far for B.C. forestry conferences. The TLA annual convention was well attended again. The 2019 ABCFP conference was sold out weeks in advance. And the WFCA event two weeks ago had our largest attendance ever. For those of us who organize these things we like to think it’s our programs that are so attractive. But there’s likely something else drawing people together lately in such strength. It might be in part the shared feeling of pending change—a collective, Are you seeing this too? The sense of being on the cusp of something significant seems shared across a range of dimensions and scales from business relationships to the policy around climate change and its consequences. Our WFCA conference panel that put an ecologist, a mayor and a sociologist on the stage to discuss forestry and its role in our adaption to climate change may well have caught that zeitgeist. We need to plan and act at a landscape level. We need to understand the dynamics gaining momentum across forest ecosystems and work with them. And we need to give our communities and citizens a sense of agency lest they become demoralized in the face of coming events. Given what history is just beginning to ask of forestry in aiding society to live with wildfire and other natural disasters it may be something for which only a collective response can answer. It’s right and timely then that these conferences are attracting good crowds and the thinking and sharing that goes with them. We will need more of this kind of collaboration heading into the future by the looks of it. To see the WFCA conference presentations click here.

Helicopter Emergency Medical Service Provider Announces Prorated Patronage Donations to Serve Short Term Seasonal Forestry Operations

A recent TEAAM rescue may have saved a seriously injured worker from a life-long disability.
It also may have saved WorkSafeBC and our health care system millions of dollars.

Following talks with the WFCA and contractors at our 2019 annual conference, Technical Evacuation Advanced Aero Medical (TEAAM) has announced it will prorate fees to employers for its patronage program for seasonal forestry operations to $25 per employee for three months. The full annual patronage rate for this non-profit private industrial ambulance and rescue service is $100/employee. The partial seasonal rate is to encourage participation from crews who may only be operating for a short period on project locations within reach of TEAAM’s current base at Squamish. The area covered includes most of Vancouver Island, parts of the Coast and the south west Interior. A good example of the kind of service TEAAM can provide can be found in the latest edition of the BC Forest Safety publication Forest Safety News. The BC SAFE Forestry Program has been promoting the TEAAM model while working with BC Forest Safety to explore ways beyond individual donations to fund the service, including a possible pilot. The hope on our part is to make this kind of industrial HEMS eventually universally funded and available to the forestry crews and other interested sectors across the province. To find out more about TEAAM go to www.teaam.ca

Electronic Reporting and Data Analysis Tool Now Available to Contractors

BCForest Safety (BCFSC) and the WFCA invites all contractors in silviculture and forestry to join in the use of a new electronic incident reporting system created by EHS Analytics. Many employers are already enjoying the benefits of electronic reporting systems, and the EHS Analytics system will combine these benefits with leading edge data analysis for improving safety and increasing efficiency of reporting systems. EHS users will be able to instantly view and analyze incident report data for their own company and compare their activity with a pool of data based on peers in their sector. The EHS system will provide leading edge data-security to ensure employers maintain total control over who can view their data, and provide users the ability to generate reports for licensees and clients and efficiently populate WorkSafeBC documents for reporting injuries. Access to EHS Analytics is paid for by BCFSC, and employers can use the system in one of two ways:
They can use the EHS Analytics electronic reporting forms for all their injury, incident, and close call reporting needs. The system integrates customized fillable forms that can be completed online or offline with most smart phones and tablets or laptops, which automatically upload to a central database that provides dashboards and summary tools for analyzing safety performance.

Employers can use their own reporting system instead of the EHS forms, and simply upload report summaries to the EHS database in order to gain access to the full suite of analytical tools and dashboards. EHS is compatible with most leading safety management systems.
The use of electronic reporting tools is swiftly becoming the norm in forestry and other sectors, and more and more industries are moving towards collaborative data-sharing systems that help them learn from each others’ experiences. These systems gain their power and value from the number of companies that join into the data-sharing system, and there is an opportunity now for forestry and silviculture employers to move together and make the data they are already required to collect work for them.

Interested employers can obtain more information and contact EHS Analytics for a user account by viewing a detailed letter here.

New Total Physiotherapy Videos Available Including French Translations

There is a remarkable chance that at least one in three of B.C.’s estimated 3,500 tree planters will recognize these two because they have been treated, instructed, or advised by them.

It’s possible these are two of the most recognized faces in reforestation in B.C. and Alberta. By all accounts physiotherapists Mike McAlonan and Jared Lalik have earned that status having treated, instructed or advised hundreds of tree planters in the field each season for the last few years. They have even planted (briefly). But mostly they have observed how workers wear themselves out leading to injuries. From that they have reverse-engineered the causes of many common silviculture worker complaints and figured out ways to avoid them. All treatments and diagnoses are personal between patients and them of course. But they have, with BC SAFE Forestry Program funding, made educational videos for a broader audience that can serve to create awareness and guide workers away from their worst mistakes that may lead to injuries. A new video on shoulder injuries has been added this year to the current repertoire on backs and arms along with French translations.

Here are the links:

Prevention of Upper Back and Neck Injuries for Tree Planters

La Prevention Des Malaises Au Bas Du Dos Pour Les Planteurs D’Arbre (Lower Back)

La Prevention De La Tendinite Pour Les Planteurs D’Arbre (Tendinitis)

La Prevention Des Blessures Du Cou Et Du Haut Dos Pour Les Planteurs D’Arbre (Upper Back and Neck)

Secret Order of the Dull Caulk Inducts New Members

ODC inductees (left to right) Chris Akehurst, John Lawrence and Jonathan Scooter Clark (far right). In the middle WFCA President Bruce Blackwell wearing the beard of wisdom and a hanger-on to his left.

Social organizations have their cosmogonic origin myths. Others have hero myths. The WFCA has its secret Order of the Dull Caulk, which rumour suggests was created when forestry workers had much more hair than now, and planted bare-root trees with curious hand tools called hoedads. But because these are secret rumours we cannot verify them. From deep within the shrouds of mystery around the ODC there was a recent stirring of the holy relics indicating that three worthy inductees should be called forward by the acolytes and thanked for their unique contributions to forestry here in the West. This year recently retired WFCA President John Lawrence, Chris Akehurst chair emeritus of the BC SAFE Forestry Program and the indefatigable tree planting chronicler Jonathan “Scooter” Clark were indicted, er… inducted, at the WFCA conference.