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Logging and Sawmilling Journal November 2014

December/January 2015

On the Cover:
Equipment manufacturer T-Mar Industries is addressing the increasing volumes of second-growth timber on steep slopes in B.C. with its new Log Champ 550 grapple yarder. The first Log Champ 550 is being used by new owners Southview Forest Services Ltd. on Redonda Island, on B.C.’s lower coast, yarding second-growth fir. (Cover photo and story photos courtesy of T-Mar Industries)

The forest industry worker gap—and becoming ‘cool’
The forest industry can no longer assume the huge workforces it has been used to in the past are still going to be there when it needs them. It now needs to capture the hearts and minds of its future workforce—in short, it needs to be considered a ‘cool’ and lucrative career choice.

Safety champion
Don Banasky, president of the Truck Loggers Association and vice-president of operations at fast-growing Tamihi Logging, is a champion of safety in B.C.’s coastal forest industry.

Winning the sawmill battle—and the war
Saskatchewan’s L & M Wood Products is winning the employee training battle, with a program that was actually designed for training people on the manufacturing line in World War II.

True multi-purpose head
B.C.’s Tolko Industries has been trying out the GP grapple processor head, produced by Pierce Pacific, and after six months the multi-purpose GP head has been able to prove its stuff successfully in two different types of trials in the B.C. Interior.

Canada’s newest sawmill revs upLakeland Mills’ newly completed sawmill in Prince George, B.C., is like no other sawmill built before it in terms of production, employing the very latest technology to attain the maximum recovery and value from its available wood fibre—but with a very strong focus on safety.

The New Lakeland Team

More stringent WorkSafeBC
investigation techniques being
introduced

Sinclar Group a PowerSmart leader

Lakeland’s—and the Sinclar
Group’s—rich community history

The Edge
Included in The Edge, Canada’s leading publication on research in the forest industry, are stories from the Canadian Wood Fibre Centre, Alberta Innovates - Bio Solutions and FPInnovations.

New grapple yarder for British Columbia loggers
Working with its industry-leading design expertise—and with an industry heritage reaching back decades—T-Mar Industries recently introduced the Log Champ 550, its new steep slope grapple yarder designed to take on the increasing volumes of second-growth timber in B.C.

Going four-wheeling with Waratah’s new head
Waratah’s new 622C 4x4 multi-tree processing head with four roller drive is getting solid praise from the folks at McNeil and Sons Logging in the B.C. Interior, where it makes for a solid harvesting combo with a John Deere 2154D carrier.

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The Last Word

 

 

 

 

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Lakeland Mills’ newly completed sawmill in Prince George, B.C.More stringent WorkSafeBC investigation techniques being introduced

Lakeland Mills Ltd.’s management group decided in October 2014 to officially launch an appeal of WorkSafeBC’s decision to impose a fine in excess of $724,000 following an explosion and fire at its sawmill.

The blast killed two workers, Alan Little, 43, and Glen Roche, 46, in the April 2012 incident, and 22 others were injured, some of whom are still on disability. Three months earlier, a similarly devastating explosion and fire killed Carl Charlie, 42, and Robert Luggi, 45, and injured 20 others at Hampton Affiliates’ Babine Forest Products Mill near Burns Lake, B.C.

Hampton Affiliates is appealing an approximately $1 million penalty levied by WorkSafeBC.

“After assessing all evidence gathered by WorkSafeBC about the Lakeland incident, on April 14, 2014 Crown Counsel decided not to prosecute the company for regulatory infractions under the Workers’ Compensation Act,” explained Lakeland in a statement. “In May 2014, despite the Crown decision, WorkSafeBC nevertheless chose to issue sanctions (an administrative penalty and claims cost levy) against Lakeland Mills, based on the very same facts that the Crown had declined to pursue,” continued Lakeland.

Lakeland Mills LtdWorkSafeBC’s investigative practices and procedures and their admissibility in the courts were called into question in the wake of the sawmill explosions. Shirley Bond, B.C.’s Labour Minister, called for changes within WorkSafeBC and appointed Gord Macatee, a former BC Ferries Commissioner, as Worksafe’s administrator. In a December 2014 report, Macatee said more stringent investigation techniques into workplace incidents are being introduced. “To me, that’s the bottom line point of this, that if a prosecution is needed, WorkSafeBC has the tools to do it and be successful,” explained Macatee at a news conference. WorkSafeBC plans to achieve that through a dual investigative system with the ability to examine workplace incidents on separate cause and prosecution levels, with the prosecution team called in when required.

The provincial government has ignored opposition and public calls for a public inquiry into the explosions, but a coroner’s inquest into both incidents is scheduled for March 2015 in Prince George. A coroner’s inquest can make recommendations but not assign blame.

Meanwhile, Macatee reported some positive news. In an approximately six-week time span ending November 25, 2014, 118 mills were monitored for sawdust accumulation by WorkSafeBC. Two mills received orders to manage sawdust accumulation/dispersal properly and one stop work order was issued. “This is a dramatic improvement from where things stood six months ago,” declared Macatee.