2014 Summary

Safety Alert Type: 
British Columbia
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
Company Name: 
BC Forest Safety Council
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Forest Harvesting Fatality Summary

All statistics are based on information available at time of publishing. For current information, please see the statistics page.

A total of four (4) direct harvesting fatalities were reported to the BC Forest Safety Council in 2014.

These incidents were:
Dec. 7, 2014 -
A faller was fatally injured while bucking a tree at a helicopter logging operation on Vancouver Island. When the faller cut off the top section of the tree, the root wad section shifted and pinned the faller to the ground.

Sept. 10, 2014 - While driving to work, the worker’s vehicle went off the resource road which resulted in fatal injuries. (Please note: This incident was not previously published in a safety alert as the incident investigation was still in progress.)

Sept. 2, 2014 - A faller was fatally injured while falling four limb-tied trees in the Seymour Inlet area. The faller lost control of all four trees, with all of them falling towards him.

May 26, 2014 - A chokerman was fatally injured when a skyline cable contacted a leave tree in the block and caused it to fall and strike the worker.

Of the four fatalities above, the December 7th incident happened late in the year and will likely be reported in the 2015 accepted claims data. Accepted claims are workplace injuries or fatalities that have been reported to WorkSafeBC and qualify for compensation payments.

In addition to the fatalities above, WorkSafeBC also accepted claims in 2014 for four fatalities from prior years.

Two of these incidents occurred in 2013 and were included in previous BC Forest Safety Council Fatality Alerts:

Jan. 7, 2013 - An empty logging truck heading east on Highway 16 collided with the trailer of a loaded lumber transport truck heading west that had jack-knifed.

Oct. 24, 2013 - A pilot was trying to maneuver a floatplane into position to land when it crashed onto a small island.

In the other two fatalities, forest harvesting workers died in 2014 due to complications from injuries which occurred in the distant past.

The BC Forest Safety Council also tracks associated fatality information but this information is not published in our alerts. Associated fatalities involve people who do not directly work in our industry, but died as a result of an incident related to the industry, for example – a collision with a logging truck. Contact our Nanaimo office at 1-877-741-1060 if you require additional information on these types of incidents.

All fatalities no matter when they occur are tragic events and the BC Forest Safety Council (BCFSC) extends sincere condolences to the family members and co-workers of those workers who were lost.

The BCFSC will continue to support industry in further reducing fatalities and serious injuries in 2015. Sharing the knowledge from incident investigations is one way to improve the industry’s safety performance. The Safety Alerts webpage contains incident information submitted by forest companies from across the province. See http://www.bcforestsafe.org/safety_info/alerts_bulletins.html

 WorkSafe BC Accepted Harvesting Fatality Claims Graph for 2014

*Please Note: There are 4 fatalities the BC Forest Safety Council is aware of that occurred in 2014. WorkSafeBC tracks fatalities by the year in which they accept the claim. WorkSafeBC has accepted three of the four fatalities from 2014 in 2014, and is reviewing the fourth which occurred later in the year and will likely accept it in 2015. WorkSafeBC has also accepted 4 fatalities from prior years during 2014.

We use the WorkSafeBC data of accepted claims for trends, although it may not specifically indicate current year fatalities, it is the only long term data base for comparative purposes.

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