Bookmark and Share
Join Today
Media Room
Info Sheets
Take Action

WFP Hazard Alert
Click here to view the WFP Hazard Alert.

Click here to view the 2005 Stop The Killing: BC Forest Fatalty Summit video.

WorkSafe BC & You - Assistance with filling out claim forms, reporting unsfae workplaces, and getting a WorkSafe BC Inspector to your worksite.

Click here for your information on your right to refuse unsafe work.

Safe Workplaces... Our Right, Our Responsibility

Click here to download Adobe Acrobat 8.0 for free.

Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional


Forest Worker Safety Network

fwsn 2008


Hazard Alerts in the BC Forest Industry
Setting the Standard: Helicopter Logging Logging Video Feature Pick

fwsn 2008

BC Forestry Industry Safety Alerts are voluntarily submitted to the BC Forest Safety Council by workers or companies.

The BC Forest Safety Council encourages the sharing of information that can help improve safety for all workers in forestry harvesting and forest products manufacturing operations. For incident details, please contact the contributing source in the hazard alert below. Click the hazard alert to download PDF version.

Find more Hazard Alerts on and the BC Forest Safety Council website.

Courtesy of the BC Forest Safety Council.


When it comes to safety in the logging workplace, it can all come down to taking care of the details. And those safety details are extremely important in heli-logging, considering it's often carried out in the most rugged steep slopes of both the BC Coast.

Helicopter logging is a system for the removal, by helicopter, of felled and bucked logs from areas where some or all of the trees have been felled. Since helicopter logging is a fast-moving operation with numerous events happening simultaneously or in rapid sequence, knowledgeable workers, good planning, and effective co-ordination of all activities are required to ensure both the safety and health of all involved, and an efficient operation.

Special Hazards
The use of helicopters in the logging industry creates special hazards, including the following:

  • Rotor wash can cause saplings, decaying trees, and loose debris from tree-tops to fall, and can create dusty conditions that reduce visibility for both the ground workers and the pilot.

  • The noise from the engines can make communication between ground workers difficult.

  • Material being carried by the helicopter may fall to the ground if not properly secured. This material may endanger people under the flight path, or get caught-up in the trees and become a hazard for fallers and other ground workers who may access this area in the future.

  • Heli-logging may occur while fallers are still active in the area. This increases the hazard both for the fallers, who may be exposed to the noise and rotor wash of the helicopter, and for the helicopter ground crew (specifically riggers), who may encroach on the fallers’ required safety zone.

To minimize these hazards the work must be planned to ensure the following:

Flight paths

  • Loads shall not be flown over persons.

  • Loads shall not be flown over roadways unless traffic is controlled.

  • Loads shall not be flown over areas to be felled in the next 6 months, unless it is not reasonably practicable to avoid.

  • Helicopters below 152 metres (500 ft) shall not fly within 91 metres (300 ft) horizontal distance from active fallers.

  • Helicopters shall not fly close enough to active fallers to create hazardous rotor wash.

Distances from fallers

  • On flat terrain, ground crews shall not come within two tree lengths of active fallers.

  • On sloped terrain where logs may slide or roll onto them, ground crews shall not work below active fallers.

Walking paths
Fallers will often build paths of fallen trees leading from near the heli-pad they are dropped off at, to the area they are falling. These paths allow fallers and woodland crews to more safely access their work areas, and also allow first aid attendants to more quickly respond to and evacuate injured workers. As the fallers’ work progresses and new heli-pads are built, the paths are no longer used. However, these paths contribute to the safety of the operation, and if practicable should not be logged while still in use.

This story and video courtesy of WorkSafeBC.


FWSN Media Room

The Forest Worker Safety Network regularly reviews logging videos on The video below is our feature pick for this month. Click the video screen if you wish to enlarge the video for viewing on in new browser window on the website.  [top]

BC Faller Training Standard - Falling Small Trees

This video is from a series that is the companion to the BC Faller Training Standard, which was designed to teach new fallers safe work procedures for falling and bucking. Covering falling in three BC regions, the goal of this series of videos is to help workers with forestry experience develop the knowledge, attitude, skills, and abilities that will enable them to function as safe and productive fallers. Note: Some practices demonstrated were modified for filming and may not be consistent with the BC Faller Training Standard.  Courtesy of WorkSafeBC Channel.

Something to say about this video? Email us at:

Safe Workplaces... Our Right, Our Responsibility

A USW Health & Safety Production - Click to view.
USW OH&S Video/a>

FWSN Tailgate Talk

Safe Workplaces... Our Right, Our Responsibility

Day of Mourning - April 28th


Forest Worker Safety Network

The Forest Workers Safety Network (FWSN) is an initiative of United Steelworkers (USW) District 3, which represents over 20,000 forest workers in British Columbia.

In light of rising forest industry fatalities and injuries, the FWSN has been formed as a response to a demand for a worker-focused information and networking system. The FWSN is available to all BC forest workers, at no cost, whether or not they are members of the United Steelworkers (USW) union.

The FWSN is initiating its activities by disseminating information developed for BC Coastal loggers and woodlands employees, from stump to dump and beyond. We are also collecting information on safety issues in the sector and on urgent and pressing issues that groups of workers and individuals face. We provide general health and safety information and information on the USW’s ongoing efforts to stop needless fatalities and injuries.

There will be regular communications for all workers who sign up.

Join the Forest Workers Safety Network today!  [back to top]

home  |  about us  |  contact us  |  worksafebc & you  |  your rights  |  join today  |  media room  |  info sheets
take action  |  resources  |  feedback  |  links  |  terms of use  |  site map  |  return to top

Forest Workers Safety Network - 2009