FATALITY - Safety Alert 2012-10-16 - Excavator Operator - Pemberton

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

It is with great sadness that the BC Forest Safety Council notifies the forestry community of our tenth direct harvesting related fatality of 2012. A worker was caught between the cab and boom of an excavator and suffered fatal crushing injuries. This incident occurred in the Pemberton area on October 16th.

This incident is still under investigation and the exact causes are still being determined.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Below are some general guidelines for working around or with equipment:

  • Do not remove guarding or windows from equipment. They provide important barriers that separate workers from hazards.
  • Establish safe work areas when ground workers are present and working around equipment.
  • Brief all workers on communication procedures for your site. A well understood communication system (radio procedures, signals, etc.) allows for safe and efficient operations.
  • Follow all lock-out procedures when performing maintenance. The manufacturer is often the best source of lock-out information. Use their knowledge to create specific Safe Work Procedures for your equipment.
  • Practice your Emergency Response Plans. A high intensity, realistic emergency drill is the best way to prepare for an actual incident.
  • During your hazard assessment of the work site, look for steep or unstable ground that might cause equipment roll-overs. Create a plan on how to work safely in these areas and communicate this to your operators.


For more information on this submitted alert: 

As more detail is made available, the Council will provide additional resources and information.

The industry has experienced a high number of fatalities in 2012, including:

  • 4 fallers
  • 2 loader operators
  • 1 helicopter rigger
  • 1 skidder operator
  • 1 log truck driver
  • 1 equipment operator

The majority of these incidents occurred when the workers were struck by a piece of equipment, logs or trees. Also, all four machine operators and the log truck driver were outside of their cabs when they were fatally injured.

Develop good safe work procedures and make sure they are understood by all workers. These procedures should cover hazards that are present during normal operations but also include hazards that may exist when workers are doing non-routine work.

File attachments
BCFSC 2012-10-16 Fatality Alert.pdf

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