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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

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Forest Worker Safety Network

fwsn 2008


The Jim Bassett Story: A Safe Work Tribute
IMIRP Ergonomic Tool Kit: Lumber Straightener Logging Video Feature Pick

fwsn 2008

This is a story about someone doing everything right and a story that stands as a reminder that safety rules are not just industry hindrances, they are a way to stay alive and well.

Faller Jim Bassett recently retired after 37 years accident free. In this video, Jim, his wife, and a former co-worker reflect on his career in forestry and the importance of safety and planning on the job.

Hand Falling Safe Work Practices

Safe falling practices take into account proper planning which means taking into account the ground conditions, type of logging equipment to be used, location of skid roads/trails and landings, lean of timber, etc.. This planning is a management responsibility and must be a prime consideration when laying out a logging plan.

Fallers are responsible for ensuring that no one will be endangered by their falling activities and that all workers are clear of the hazard area before falling activities commence. The hazard area is defined as an area within a circle centered on the tree being felled and having a radius not less than twice the height of that tree. This hazard area will be extended where sliding or rolling trees or logs may cause additional hazards.

Careful assessments must be made of each tree to be felled and when opening up, or starting a quarter or strip. A faller must look for obvious overhead hazards, hang-ups and tree defects, which may create a hazard. Trees which are considered too hazardous to fell must be felled by other means.

When opening up in standing timber, the work area must be inspected for snags and other hazards. Care must be used to fall trees into natural openings, and deliberate and unnecessary brushing of timber is not practiced. Only workers having duties associated with falling activities shall be allowed entry to the falling area and then only after obtaining permission from the faller. Workers must inform the faller when leaving the hazard area.

Timber shall be felled with consideration for efficient skidding, but the safety of the faller must be the major consideration When mechanical or hand falling operations are conducted within two tree lengths of a traveled roadway the road must be physically blocked. Signs stating “Danger, Active Falling – Do Not Enter Without Permission” are required to be displayed to stop traffic. If it is necessary to maintain the traffic flow, a flagmen or other effective means must be employed to ensure that falling ceases and it is safe for traffic to proceed.

Falling must stop when windy conditions affect the control of the fall of the tree, and they must establish adequate access/egress trails into the falling area.

This video is courtesy of the WorkSafeBC YouTube Channel.

Something to say about this story? Email us at:                 [top]

IMIRP Common Sawmill Industry Job Ergonomic Tool Kits

In this installment, invites visitors to examine the IMIRP Ergonomic Tool Kit for Horizontal/Vertical Resaw Operator

A Horizontal/Vertical Resaw Operator is responsible for ensuring the smooth operation of a horizontal or vertical bandsaw to produce the best recovery of grades and volume. A Horizontal/Vertical Resaw Operator advances lumber on an infeed chain, guides lumber onto rollers or conveyors, inspects and orients lumber, feeds lumber into the saw, and monitors the outfeed from the saw. The Horizontal/Vertical Resaw Operator also clears cross-ups in the work area. 

The physical demands of the Horizontal/Vertical Resaw job may include forceful movements of the shoulders, elbows and wrists, and repetitive movements of the neck and shoulders. The may also include awkward postures and standing during all tasks. Often if involves pushing, pulling, and/or lifting of lumber when guiding lumber onto the infeed, trimming lengths, and clearing cross-ups.

A Horizontal/Vertical Resaw Operator must be mentally alert and have a good knowledge of lumber grades and remanufacturing procedures. The Operator must quickly recognize grades and sizes of lumber, and make decisions as to the cut required to maximize recovery.

What is IMIRP?

In 1997, WorkSafeBC (formerly the Worker’s Compensation Board), the Council of Forest Industries (COFI), and the Industrial Wood and Allied Workers of Canada (IWA-Canada) found common interest in reducing workplace injuries suffered in the forest industry – specifically in provincial sawmills. As a result of this partnering, the Industrial Musculoskeletal Injury Reduction Program Society (IMIRP) was formed and the society jointly produced a unique industry-wide approach to the reduction of musculoskeletal injuries in BC sawmills.

IMIRP evaluated 106 common sawmill industry jobs and developed a series of 66 “Tool Kits” that specifically deal with reducing injuries from an ergonomic perspective. The IMIRP Tool Kits provided the foundation for a sawmill ergonomic program and were designed for implementation through the Joint Health and Safety Committee at the plant level. The previously featured Madill 124 Grapple Yarder video brings workplace ergonomics back under the bright light of injury prevention and plans to focus that light on sawmill ergonomics in upcoming website updates.

Sadly, the IMIRP program fell on hard times and the society no longer exists. But will take a close look at both the “nuts and bolts” of injury prevention through ergonomic workplace design and the work done by IMIRP by examining some of the Common Sawmill Industry Job Tool Kits that were offered to the sawmill industry 10 years ago. will post IMIRP Tool Kits on this website over the coming months so members and visitors can decide for themselves if ergonomic considerations could play a part in their workplace occupational healthy and safety programs. 

What is Ergonomics?

Ergonomics is not something that most forest workers know alot about. In fact, many forest workers have never even heard of the field of ergonomic study. For those people, the field of ergonomics can be described as a scientific discipline that seeks to understand and improve human interactions with products, equipment, environments and systems – equipment being the key aspect in the Madill video mentioned above. While the field of ergonomics aims to develop and apply knowledge and techniques to optimize equipment performance, the main purpose of ergonomics is to protect the health, safety and well-being of individuals operating equipment and/or completing repetitive work tasks. So it’s important for equipment manufacturers to develop sound ergonomic controls for the operators of their equipment and it’s equally important that employers develop sound work procedures for employees as they complete the responsibilities assigned to them.

How does all this come to rest on It falls within the scope of workplace injury prevention and the finds the subject matter appropriate enough to pass onto its members. FWSN feels that workplace ergonomics is something that forest workers might like to explore in an effort to gain a better understanding of the field of study for themselves and/or for their own workplace.

Click here for IMIRP Implementation Guide in pdf format.
Click here for IMIRP Body Manual in pdf format.
Click here for IMIRP General Risk Factor Solutions Manual in pdf format.      [top]

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]

Driving Logging Trucks - In The Clear Series

This is part three of the four part In The Clear video series from The video below is an introduction to being at the right place at the right time, every time, when driving a logging truck. Logging workplaces are constantly changing and present many potential hazardous conditions for logging truck drivers, and it's important that the truck loading process is planned to ensure that the work can be conducted safely and that solid procedures are developed and followed. Logging truck drivers should be reminded to always get confirmation when moving in the landing area. While being loaded logging truck drivers understand that being in the truck is the safest location. If the logging truck driver must be outside the truck cab, then they must stand outside the truck well away and visible to the Log Loader Operator.  Courtesy of

Something to say about this video? Email us at:

Safe Workplaces... Our Right, Our Responsibility

A USW Health & Safety Production - Click to view.
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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]

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Forest Workers Safety Network - 2009