2016-09-08: Updated fatality and rollover stats for forestry in BC

September 8, 2016

Nanaimo, BC, September 8, 2016 – The following information is being provided as an update to industry on its current and past safety performance.

The year to date data in 2016 is as at September 8, 2016 and is based on WorkSafeBC accepted claims and incidents that the BCFSC is aware of that happened in 2016. Please note that the above data is preliminary. *There are 4 fatalities the BC Forest Safety Council is aware of that occurred in 2014 and 8 fatalities that occurred in 2015. WorkSafeBC tracks fatalities by the year in which they accept the claim. The BCFSC uses 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.

The above data is up till September 8, 2016. Please note that these statistics are for high profile rollovers tracked by the BC Forest Safety Council’s Transportation Safety Department.

So far this year, as at September 8, 2016, there have been:

Fatalities in forest harvesting:

September 2: The Elk Valley RCMP confirmed a log truck driver died in a single vehicle incident on the Elk River Forest Service Road shortly after 6 am. A loaded logging truck rolled over down a steep embankment. An investigation is still underway. See the safety alert: /node/2847

August 9, 2016: The owner of a log transportation firm died at the scene while attempting to jump start a tractor in the truck shop's yard in the Fraser-Fort George area. The tractor moved forward pinning the man under the rear dual tractor tires. See the safety alert: /node/2827

August 8, 2016: The driver of a loaded log truck was seriously injured when his trailer went off the road, taking the tractor with it while he was travelling down a muddy hill. The driver was transported to hospital but passed away on August 18th. See the safety alert: http://bcforestsafe.org/node/2833

July 4, 2016: A faller was fatally injured while working in an area near Bella Bella. He was falling a danger tree when it broke up, fell in an unintended direction and struck him. He was airlifted to Vancouver, where he later died. WorkSafeBC and the Coroners Service are investigating this incident. See the safety alert: /node/2817

April 13, 2016: A yarder operator died in his machine, near Yale, north of Hope. The steel spar on the yarder collapsed and crushed the operator's cab. See the safety alert: /node/2781. The incident is still under investigation by the authorities. February 26, 2016 – An equipment operator was electrocuted near Port McNeill. (See safety alert: /node/2767)

January 31, 2016 A 23-year-old man died after the empty logging truck he was trying to repair ran over him near Fraser Lake. (See safety alert: /node/2761)

January 26, 2016: A 22-year-old log truck driver died in a logging truck incident between Princeton and Merritt. (See safety alert: /node/2755)

Two fatalities in manufacturing:

March 25, 2016: A 37-year-old equipment operator died at a Nanaimo pulp mill after the wood chip pile he was standing on collapsed.

January 27, 2016: A 62-year-old equipment operator died at a Crofton mill. (See safety alert: /node/2760)

Two associated fatalities in forest harvesting year-to-date:

August 15, 2016: A logging truck was driving along the Lougheed Highway near Harrison Mills when it tipped, sending logs rolling into the street. One of the logs struck a pickup truck and the female driver died at the scene. The driver of the logging truck was uninjured in the crash.

August 3, 2016: A senior Clinton man was trapped in his crew cab vehicle on Big Bar Road off Highway 97 after he came around a hair pin corner and hit an east bound logging truck. The log truck driver was uninjured. The other driver was seriously injured and transported by air ambulance to Kamloops, where he died.

The BC Forest Safety Council extends sincere condolences to all the families, co-workers and friends of the deceased. While in many of the above instances investigations by authorities are still underway to determine root cause, every workplace fatality and injury is preventable.

Injury and serious injury rates

In terms of injury and serious injury rates, as well as claims cost paid, there are some encouraging numbers, as shown below for the period 2011 to 2015 in the harvesting sector (all classification units in the sector):

In 2016, data till June, shows that performance to that point -- if maintained in the second half of the year -- is on track to show a further reduction year over year.

For log hauling specifically, for the same period (2011 to 2015), while claims costs have shown a reduction year over year (2015 versus 2014), they are still higher when compared to prior years: 2011, 2012 and 2013. However, there has been a marked reduction in both the injury and serious injury rates, as shown below:

For 2016, up till June, data in the log hauling classification unit is on track to maintain a reduction year over year for injury and serious injury rates.

For additional classification unit profile graphs, like those above, please see this link: /files/rpt_HarvestingInjuryRateAndClaimsCosts-2011-2015.pdf.

For further information call toll free at 1-877-741-1060.

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