Health and Safety
Dec. 12, 2017 - Earlier this year, the Wood Pellet Association of Canada Safety Committee (WPACSC) created a new safety working group – the Wood Fibre Storage Working Group (WFSWG) – to facilitate the development of proposed guidelines to assist employers in understanding and assessing the hazards and options for storage and infeed processes along with risk mitigation strategies and assessment.
Nov. 17, 2017 - WorkSafeBC said it is upholding its decision to impose more than $1 million worth of penalties against Babine Forest Products for a major explosion and fire at its Burns Lake sawmill in 2012.

The explosion killed two people and injured more than 20 others.

WorkSafeBC determined the cause of the explosion and fire to be wood dust. Read the full story by the Prince George Citizen.
June 30, 2017 - Dust Safety Week 2017 is wrapping up today after five days of coverage on new developments and processes to help sawmills and pellet plants manage combustible dust.
June 29, 2017 - In the last few years we’ve hosted introductory dust collection courses across Western Canada for dust producing facilities. Regardless of size of the facility or dust particulate produced there are a few key things to look for when evaluating whether or not your system is a fire or explosion waiting to happen.
June 28, 2017 - There are several regulations (NFPA) and health & safety standards (CSST) that govern dust collection in the woodworking industry. 
June 26, 2017 - Earlier this spring 2017, the Wood Pellet Association of Canada Safety Committee (WPACSC) created a new safety working group – the Wood Fibre Storage Working Group (WFSWG) – to facilitate the development of proposed guidelines to assist employers in understanding and assessing the hazards and options for storage and infeed processes along with risk mitigation strategies and assessment.
June 27, 2017 - In 2016, 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 B.C. sawmills.
June 26, 2017 – Dust Safety Week 2017 has arrived! Canadian Biomass and Canadian Forest Industries have all the coverage to keep you informed as we highlight best practices, technical information and solutions for keeping your operations safe, every day this week!
June 26, 2017 - The lumber industry is highly competitive. As with all successful businesses, cost control in production is paramount. This explains why effective dust collection systems operation not only provides improved performance, but helps reduce costs associated with operation and maintenance.
June 19, 2017 - Canadian Forest Industries and Canadian Biomass are highlighting dust safety best practices, technical information and solutions, during Dust Safety Week 2017 from June 26 to 30!
June 9, 2017 - WorkSafeBC data collected by employers in 2015 from more than 150,000 hearing tests of workers in all industries in B.C. shows noise-induced hearing loss is trending upwards among forestry workers – increasing from 11 to 20 per cent between 1995 and 2015.
June 6, 2017 - For the last five years most woodworking facilities have seen an increase in efforts to ensure wood processing facilities which create combustible dust meet the safety standards as defined by the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association). In several instances this is their first exposure to the NFPA and how it affects safety and cost.
May 26, 2017 - Don’t be complacent about chain shot safety! That’s the message of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) as it outlines basic steps to reduce risk.

“Even very experienced operators can be exposed to the risk; manufacturers strive to design out hazards but a design that completely eliminates the chain shot hazard is a tall order,” notes Nathan Burton, a technical & safety services manager for the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM).

Tree harvesters and processor attachments equipped with hydraulic bar saws cut with great power and speed, and chain breaks can cause a “crack the whip” event, explains Burton, who added that chain shot occurs usually without being noticed.

When a chain breaks, if a resulting whipping action projects a chain shot link, the link often has a mass, velocity and resultant energy, in some cases enough to reach an operator in a cab, which has potential to cause damage, harm or severe injury. This may be complicated by the remote nature of forestry operations.

AEM’s Forestry Equipment Council offers these tips to help advance chain shot safety.

1. Use correct machine settings

Know and follow recommended settings of machine and attachment manufacturer. Read operator manuals for safe operating guidance.

This includes hydraulic settings. Out of spec pressures and speed adds considerable strain, which can contribute to the risk of chain failure. Follow recommended guide bar feedload and linear speed (ft/min) recommended for the chain. Maintain the bar force according to manufacturer specifications.

2. Check every chain before and after sharpening

Always use high quality chain recommended for the attachment. Inspect each chain before mounting. Look for link pin wear, signs of strain, and accidental damage during sharpening. Discard questionable chains.

3. Avoid habits that risk chain damage

Keep the saw above ground. Remove chains at the first sign they need sharpening. Dull chains place more stress on the links.

Be sure the harvester/processor attachment is equipped with a “chain catcher” and “energy absorbing shot guard” - these greatly reduce chain shot hazards*. Inspect the shot guard and chain catcher with every visit to the attachment. Replace or repair as needed.

*The chain shot guard should meet the requirements of ISO 11837:2011 “Machinery for forestry - Saw chain shot guarding systems - Test method and performance criteria.”

4. Know and respect the “shot cone”

The likely path of shot or “shot cone” is the area of most danger as it represents the most likely route of chain shot travel. The shot cone follows the plane of the bar in both directions so all in the shot cone are at risk. 

In use, orient the attachment so the “shot cone” is pointed away from you and other machine operators, co-workers, or bystanders. Check that no persons in the shot cone area are masked from your sight.

Know where the chain shot zone is relative to the bar and chain; don’t align to look directly down the bar during cuts!

5. Care for the cab windows

Cab windows that can be exposed to the “shot cone” should meet the appropriate requirements to serve as effective guards.

Don’t make unauthorized modifications to the glazing or the mount, and follow appropriate maintenance procedures. Some cleaners are not suitable for many window materials.

AEM and safety awareness

AEM supports safety awareness year-round by offering an extensive array of safety products, including operator safety manuals, for major equipment types covering forestry, aerial, agricultural, compact/portable, earthmoving, lifting, road paving and utility excavation applications.

AEM’s Forestry Equipment Council was established in 1975 as a manufacturers’ forum to discuss and work cooperatively on issues affecting forestry and forest harvest operations, including operator safety. Forestry-specific products include log skidders, tracked and wheeled fellers, tracked and wheeled harvesters, log forwarders, and knuckleboom loaders. Visit for more information.
March 31, 2017 - Wrecks, we all have them. We hate them and we wish they would never happen but sadly, they always have and always will. We can’t stop them completely but we can work to minimize our catastrophic failures and maximize the safety of the workers who have to get in and clear out the tangled, unpredictable razor-tipped steel that is all that remains of what were once productive saws.
March 24, 2017 - A fire destroyed the Elite Forest Products sawmill in Malakwa, British Columbia on March 9.

The sawmill, located in the Shuswap Lake area, was completely destroyed along with half of the buildings on site, Global News reported.

The planer mill was not damaged.

The sawmill was closed for the winter, but was set to resume operations one day later on March 10. | READ MORE.
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