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Logging and Sawmilling Journal November 2013

December/January 2014

On the Cover:
With the industry turning around, Western Forest Products’ Mid Island operation on Vancouver Island has been rebuilding its logging equipment fleet. They looked at their equipment line-up and what they needed to replace, from a strategic point of view—and decided that two Cat 568 FM machines from Cat dealer Finning would fit the bill nicely. (Photo by Paul MacDonald).

Making coastal logging safer
A new initiative to make B.C. coastal harvesting operations safer has been launched, and has the attention of the CEO’s of the major companies operating on the Coast.

Downie Timber goes up in production
With strategic investments of capital, B.C.’s Downie Timber is utilizing technology throughout the sawmill to best utilize their timber, upping lumber production in the process.

Previewing Ponsse’s Scorpion harvester
Ponsse recently put on a tour of its facilities in Finland—including a demo of its brand new Scorpion harvester, which will soon be hitting North America—and Logging and Sawmilling Journal has the full report on this new concept harvester.

Canfor being pro-active in sawdust management
Canfor is taking a pro-active approach to tackling sawdust management in its facilities, a move that included completing a series of intensive facility risk assessments. The goal is simple: the company wants to do better at dust management.

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, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development and FPInnovations.

Shifting the logging into high gear
B.C.’s Lizzie Bay Logging adeptly shifted gears into doing more construction work during the downturn, and with the recovery in the forest industry, is now shifting gears to build up its logging side, adding equipment and people.

New Cat iron is a welcome addition
Now that the industry is getting back to normal, Western Forest Products’ Mid Island Forest Operations is building its equipment fleet back up to improve log production, and has found two Caterpillar 568 FM loaders to be very welcome additions.

High hopes for wood in high rises
B.C.’s Structurlam Products is expanding its presence in the Cross-Laminated Timber market, with new equipment that will help it to better service, and grow, the CLT market into areas such as wooden high rise buildings.

The Last Word
Tony Kryzanowski says the attack by competing building products on the wood industry over proposed changes to the National Building Code of Canada is bogus—and it demands a response

Tech Update Class 8 Trucks

Supplier Newsline


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B.C. LoggingThe goal: Making coastal logging safer

A new initiative to make B.C. coastal logging operations safer has been launched, and has the attention of the CEO’s of the major companies operating on the Coast.

By Jim Stirling

Good ideas are transferable.

A group of forest company CEOs in British Columbia are putting that premise to the test as they seek to improve the safety of coast harvesting operations. The sector was chosen for attention by the CEOs after an evaluation of statistics compiled by the B.C. Forest Safety Council.

A long term goal of the Coast Harvesting Advisory Group is to attract more people into the forest industry—and one of the elements in attracting people is providing a safer work environment out in the woods.

“About six or seven years ago, a lot of good work was done leading to a reduction in the numbers of (logging) fatalities, especially on the Coast,” explained Ken Higginbotham, spokesman for the CEO group. “As we got into 2012/13, we weren’t doing too badly but the trend line appears to have flattened out. That was a real concern.”

With lumber markets improving and cubic metres harvested rising, there’s increased pressure to move the wood from the Coast’s rugged terrain.

“My understanding is the CEOs looked at the sawmill dust initiative. They liked the format. They liked the way it worked.”

The model that led to the development of a dust audit standard for wood processing plants saw the CEO group of 10 major forest companies overseeing technical committees with broad industry representation and participation to develop the audit standard. The CEOs took action after two separate sawmill explosions and fires killed four workers and injured dozens of others in the B.C. Interior early in 2012.

B.C. Logging

The Coast Harvesting Advisory Group (CHAG) was created comprising Interfor and Western Forest Products, along with large private forest land owners Island Timberlands and TimberWest, and the provincial government’s B.C. Timber Sales. CHAG’s technical task force includes representatives from those five groups along with Bob Matters from the Steelworkers and two logging contractor representatives, Blue Thunder Contracting and Mt. Sicker Contracting, selected by Dwight Yochim, executive director of the Truck Loggers Association.

CHAG’s focus is on day-to-day logging operations and involves integrating safety improvement measures with other existing working groups. For example, the B.C. Forest Safety Council has been working on the certification of fallers and faller supervisors (bull buckers), said Higginbotham. The CHAG group is providing input to have all the bull buckers certified by December 2014. “It seems to be going well and all

parties recognize the importance of it.”

What CHAG is terming “phase congestion” is getting attention. High elevations, steep slopes and weather conditions can create overlapping log harvesting operations in a given area, pointed out Higginbotham.

Different falling operations and road building activity (including blasting) often occur simultaneously. “There are significant numbers of people who don’t feel safe.” He said work on developing a plan of action for such circumstances was underway. “It is a challenge,” he agreed, but CHAG wants to find ways to make it work. Another issue under examination is how forest companies tackle the pB.C. Loggingroblem of dangerous tree removal. Some, for example, use trained tree blasters to diminish the hazards.

CHAG’s technical task force committees are also tackling the physical conditions of the loggers themselves. Under the umbrella heading “fit to fall”, a broad range of issues are open to consideration including the loggers’ fatigue, nutrition and hydration factors. Coastal logging contractors routinely clock long hours each day not just tackling the shifting realities on the work site but also getting to and from it.

Finding better ways of staying alert and able to safely carry out their demanding work is the paramount challenge

The SAFE company certification system is widespread throughout the forest industry’s log harvesting community. But there’s nothing in the way of auditing timber sales purchasers, noted Higginbotham. CHAG is looking at how it might tackle the issue. “I think we might see some significant changes over time,” he said.

The initial response to CHAG’s initiatives has been both positive and supportive, he reported. “There’s a genuine effort on the part of the coastal industry and all the CEOs in CHAG to make the forests safer.”

That slots directly into of CHAG’s long term goals. “We propose working on attracting people into the business—and one of the elements in attracting people is providing a safer work environment,” said Higginbotham.