Health and Safety
June 22, 2018 - Dust Safety Week is coming to a close after five days of coverage on dust safety best practices, technical information and solutions to help pellet plants and sawmills keep their operations and operators safe.



Our video this year highlights the importance of learning from each other’s experiences through sharing stories. Fornebu Lumber’s safety and training co-ordinator Christian Fournier describes an incident where two fires were both ignited and safely put out in one day. 

“We were very lucky that our staff acted very quickly and safely in order to contain the fire from spreading,” Fournier said.

Fournier said he chose to share this experience with others, including Fornebu Lumber’s corrective actions following the incident, to prevent this type of situation from occurring elsewhere. You can also find more details about the incident in Fournier’s article published this week.

Among our other main stories, you can also read about preventing a dust collector inlet explosion by regular CFI contributor and dust mitigation expert John Bachynski.

Fike’s Jef Snoeys, Jeff Mycroft, and Dave Buchanan outline concerns that arise from dust created during the processing of wood biomass, and best practices in the industry to mitigate those concerns. 

And don’t miss the six questions to ask when choosing a dust collection system contractor by the VETS Group’s Erin Rayner.

Find those stories and much more from our archives on the Dust Safety Week 2018 landing page, which will continue to be a hub for the industry to learn best practices and find the latest information on dust safety and mitigation.

Content on our landing page will be hosted there for the next year for readers to reference.

Thank you to our sponsors and safety partners VETS and Fike:

VETS SHEETMETAL LOGO CMYKFIKE LOGO WEB
June 21, 2018 - A dust collection system is an integral part of a facility and needs to be maintained and updated properly. The knowledge of the team in charge of keeping this vital system in tip top shape is also critical. This is especially because, as per NFPA 664, the owner has a responsibility to ensure that the facility and the combustible dust system are designed, installed and maintained properly.
June 19, 2018 - Dust collectors containing combustible material are required to have an explosion backflow preventor installed on the main inlet duct to prevent an explosion occuring inside the dust collector from travelling back into the building.
June 19, 2018 - The Wood Products Safety Summit 2018 held in Prince George, B.C., on June 6 offered more than 50 delegates a day of diverse presentations on safety – with a clear focus on the value of both increased collaboration and process safety. Manufacturing Advisory Group (MAG) member and Conifex’s safety manager, Darren Beattie, provided an update on B.C.’s new Forest Industry Forum, on behalf of MAG.


He said that the new Forest Industry Forum was a model that allowed for an all-inclusive consultative and collaborative forum between industry, the regulator and labour, with one shared focus: to bring about the best solutions for improved safety outcomes.

[This article is part of our 2018 Dust Safety Week coverage. Find more articles here.]

Darren shared how the latest forum had come about, going back to the 2012 Lakeland and Babine sawmill explosions; subsequent fatality inquests; and then the Macatee Report.

While industry has previously worked with the regulator on safety matters, things had come to a point that there needed to be a process for consultation and collaboration with industry, labour, and the regulator on safety issues. He said the initial forums had become less effective over time because the structure and format of those forums was not designed for collaboration. As a result, he and Matt Franks, another MAG member and Canfor’s safety manager, had been charged by MAG to consult with WorkSafeBC on a process to address a need for sustained collaboration that would allow the building of a strong working relationship between industry, the regulator and labour to fully address emerging issues, risk reduction and compliance.

With better communications, collaboration and shared commitment between the three groups to solve challenges, they have developed a more efficient and effective process built on broad, qualified stakeholder input and engagement that they all believe will lead to improved safety standards and performance.

The framework has evolved away from looking at areas of concern to forming technical working groups – manufacturing and harvesting working groups. Both MAG and the Wood Pellet Association of Canada (WPAC) feed into the technical manufacturing working group.

While the groups meet quarterly, they communicate constantly on current and emerging issues.

Darren explained that the participants on the manufacturing side included safety leaders from industry, labour, WorkSafeBC and the BC Forest Safety Council; and that there was equal representation on the harvesting side as well.

In regards to harvesting, the focus is on addressing fatigue, load securement, self-loading truck guarding and phase congestion. On the manufacturing side, the focus is on the Part 12 regulation section review on safeguarding and the conflict between lockout and safeguarding, high risk strategy updates and wood fibre storage.

Darren said the safeguarding technological advancement initiative, undertaken at Conifex, and supported by MAG and WorkSafeBC, had identified conflict within the regulation. The ultimate goal is to enable regulation to be formulated and implemented properly, which requires input, consultation and shared understanding in the early phases of testing and implementation. “There is an opportunity for industry to give input very early on in the process which is very important,” said Darren.

Meetings have been scheduled for the rest of 2018 including planning for the annual forestry summit as well as a part 12 review of regulations re safeguarding.

“We have one goal,” said Darren. “We are not there to lobby for any specific interests. We are there to find ways to achieve safer outcomes that see everyone go home safe.”

Read more about the Wood Products Safety Summit here.

June 18, 2018 - Preventing wood dust fires is always a challenge for any company in the forestry industry. You might think you have everything under control or say, ‘We aren't that bad,’ but the truth is, the risk is always there and we must remain vigilant in order to minimize the risk of fires from wood dust.
June 18, 2018 - In 2017, WorkSafeBC continued its focus on combustible dust and undertook formal inspection initiatives to verify compliance with combustible dust requirements and to ensure the presence of effective combustible dust management programs in all operating British Columbia sawmills.
June 18, 2018 – Dust Safety Week 2018 has arrived! For a full five days Canadian Biomass and Canadian Forest Industries are focused on best practices, technical information and solutions for keeping pellet and sawmill operations safe. 
May 29, 2018 - The Forest Practices Board will examine the activities of the BC Timber Sales (BCTS) program and timber sale licence holders in the Dawson Creek Timber Supply Area (TSA) portion of the Peace-Liard Business Area, during the week of June 4, 2018.

Auditors will examine whether harvesting, roads, bridges, silviculture, fire protection activities and associated planning, carried out from June 1, 2016, to June 8, 2018, met the requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act.

The audit area is located in the Dawson Creek TSA, in the Peace Natural Resource District, and includes the communities of Dawson Creek, Chetwynd, Tumbler Ridge, Taylor, Hudson’s Hope and Pouce Coupe. The TSA covers about 2.3 million hectares in northeastern B.C., with an allowable annual cut of 1.86 million cubic metres. BCTS’s allocation is 401,106 cubic metres.

This BCTS program was chosen randomly for audit from among all the BCTS programs in the province. The board normally audits two BCTS programs each year.

Once the audit work is completed, a report will be prepared, and any party that may be adversely affected by the audit findings will have a chance to respond. The board’s final report and recommendations will then be released to the public and government.

The Forest Practices Board is B.C.’s independent watchdog for sound forest and range practices, reporting its findings and recommendations directly to the public and government.

The board audits forest and range practices on public lands, and appropriateness of government enforcement. It can also make recommendations for improvement to practices and legislation.
May 18, 2018 - The Wood Products Safety Summit is taking place on June 6 in Prince George, B.C., as part of this year’s Canadian Bioeconomy Conference & Exhibition. The event will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 4:40 p.m. at the Prince George Civic Centre.
April 10, 2018 - Last summer, a volunteer group met face-to-face for a workplace risk assessment at Workplace Safety North (WSN) headquarters in North Bay, Ont. Fifteen sawmill industry representatives from management, labour, government, and not-for-profit organizations attended a workshop facilitated by Sujoy Dey, Ph.D., Corporate Risk Officer at the Ministry of Labour (MOL).
March 28, 2018 - EACOM Timber Corporation's Timmins sawmill was the stage of a safety celebration Tuesday morning as leadership, staff and production crew gathered at a town hall meeting. Kevin Edgson, EACOM president and chief executive officer, offered a $10,000 cheque to the Threads of Life local committee to support the organization’s flagship event — Steps for Life. This fun, 5km walk aims to educate the community about the devastating ripple effects of a workplace tragedy and how we can work together to prevent others being injured or killed on the job.

Manufacturing remains an environment with significant risks associated with workplace safety. “At EACOM, we are committed to providing our employees with a safe work environment, to investing in training and prevention, and to nurturing a collective safety culture. We want everyone to return home to their families healthy at the end of each day,” Edgson said. “This spring, we will be walking in our communities with family, friends and co-workers; and we hope many will join us for such an important and worthy cause.”

In April and May, more than 30 communities across the country will host a Steps for Life walk. All proceeds support Threads of Life, a national charitable organization dedicated to helping families to heal after they have been affected by a traumatic workplace fatality, life-altering workplace injury or occupational disease. Threads of Life currently supports more than 2,700 family members from across the country.

“Threads of Life with its trained volunteer family guides is able to continue providing wisdom, guidance and peer support to families suffering from workplace injuries with donations such as these,” Jeff Kiezer, registration lead at Threads of Life said.

“We hope our contribution will help raise community support for families affected by workplace tragedy, but most importantly, raise awareness about the need for safety to eliminate life-altering workplace injuries, illnesses and deaths,” Edgson said.

The public may find information about which cities are holding a Steps for Life walk, sponsor a local team or register by visiting www.stepsforlife.ca.
Feb. 26, 2018 - The story of Northland Forest Product’s fight against The Beast – the fire that ravaged Fort McMurray in May 2016, destroying close to 2,500 buildings – is almost hard to believe.
Feb. 26, 2018 - How many times you have heard the phrase “safety first” or “everything starts with safety”? I’m pretty sure that we have all heard some variation of these phrases at one point or another. As a safety professional at a sawmill, it can be challenging at times to know which approach is the best for motivating employees and staff to be more safety conscious in the workplace and at home.
Feb. 26, 2018 - Read all the latest information compiled by Canadian Forest Industries  on what's out there in dust control to keep your operation running smoothly and safely.
Jan. 16, 2018 - Like a wisp of smoke, a waft of alcohol, or a tiny pill, it’s difficult to measure the exact size of the problem of substance abuse in the workplace, but a group of sawmill industry experts has placed the issue firmly at the top of their safety agenda.

Last June 2017, a volunteer group of subject matter experts met face-to-face for a sawmill workplace risk assessment at Workplace Safety North (WSN) headquarters in North Bay, Ontario. The group of 15 representatives from management, labour, government, and not-for-profit organizations, was facilitated by Sujoy Dey, Ph.D., Corporate Risk Officer at the Ministry of Labour (MOL).

In advance of the workshop, each industry expert submitted their top health and safety concerns, and during the one-day workshop, all 80 identified risks were reviewed and discussed by the group.

When it came time for the final vote on the top risks, only actual workers and managers in the sawmill industry were allowed to vote. In order to ensure an open and fair voting process, handheld electronic devices recorded votes anonymously. Both labour and management agreed: the top danger sawmill workers face is substance abuse.

“As they identified specific conditions and situations that could result in injury or illness, we asked the group, ‘What keeps you up at night?’” says Dr. Dey, “And both workers and managers agreed: the number one risk in sawmills is substance abuse.” Dey notes the category includes not just alcohol and recreational drugs, but also prescription drugs, such as pain medication.

Top 10 health and safety risks in sawmills

1. Substance Abuse: Under the influence of drugs and alcohol in the workplace
2. Training: Employees taking shortcuts
3. Not properly locking out or guarding equipment
4. Age: Inexperience of new, young workers who don’t see the dangers
5. Psychosocial: Lack of focus, distraction of worker while performing duties 
6. Slips, trips, and falls
7. Occupational disease: Loss of hearing, ringing in the ears
8. Psychosocial: Stress, including job and family pressures
9. Working from heights: Absence of engineered anchor points
10. Caught in or crushed by mobile equipment

Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs – prescription or not – is a longstanding safety concern in the workplace, and it’s a difficult thing to measure (unlike, for example, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board statistics on slips, trips, and falls in the workplace). Even though there are issues regarding social stigma, privacy, and human rights concerns, drug and alcohol use in the workplace is an issue that’s too risky to ignore any longer. 

“An interesting outcome of the workshop was that the number one risk was not on Workplace Safety North’s radar as a priority concern,” says Tom Welton, WSN Industrial Director. “WSN historically uses WSIB [Workplace Safety and Insurance Board] statistics to provide a clear picture of workplace injuries and trends. 

“The risk assessment workshop provided direct feedback from industry experts about their perception of the workplace. By using leading rather than lagging indicators, WSN can be more proactive,” says Welton.

Psychological health and safety in the workplace
Three of the top 10 risks involve psychosocial or mental health issues: substance use, lack of focus, and stress. As more workplaces gain a better understanding about the importance of taking a holistic approach to health and safety and having a supportive workplace culture that encourages both self-care and concern for co-workers, research also supports an increased focus on overall well-being

The results of the workshop were reviewed by the Ontario volunteer industry advisory committee for Forestry, Paper, Printing, and Converting sectors. The committee, in conjunction with WSN, is supportive of the next step: a detailed analysis of the root causes of substance abuse in the workplace, and the creation of an effective prevention plan. 

For more information, contact  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .



This article was originally published by Workplace Safety North.
Page 1 of 5

Subscription Centre

 
New Subscription
 
Already a Subscriber
 
Customer Service
 
View Digital Magazine Renew

Popular Articles

Marketplace


We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. To find out more, read our Privacy Policy.