National Forestry Week Underway

Posted by Rumin Mann
September 20th, 2010

Prince George, B.C.- National Forestry week is underway with Minister of Forests and Range, Pat Bell, asking for  a focus on safety.

“As we celebrate what our forests mean to us, we can also celebrate a marked improvement in forest worker safety,” said Bell. “Safety is a shared responsibility. The improvements are a credit to the collaborative efforts of workers, companies, unions and government
agencies to develop initiatives like SAFE Companies.”

From 2005 to 2009, the injury rate dropped from 6.4 injuries per 100 person years to 3.5, representing a 45 per cent decrease. Likewise, from 2005 to 2009, the serious injury rate dropped from 3.2 serious injuries per 100 person years to 1.9, representing a 41 per cent reduction.  This year, six people have died on the job.

The BC Forest Safety Council was formed in September 2004 and its board is made up of representatives from the forest industry, contracting associations, unions, as well as the Ministry of Forests and Range.

Initiatives launched to improve forest worker safety include:

  • SAFE Companies Certification – BC Timber Sales is SAFE certified. Both BC Timber Sales and Forests for tomorrow require their contractors to be SAFE certified.
  • Outreach – BC Forest Safety Council has many initiatives to increase leadership and worker engagement in safety issues.
  • Injury prevention campaigns – coordinated by the BC Forest Safety Council to provide employers and workers with practical information on hazard recognition and risk assessment.

Source: 250 news – September 20, 2010

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