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The Forest Products Manufacturing Advisory Group (FPMAG) is a collaborative forum for workplace health and safety issues. FPMAG's purpose is to encourage industry and workers to develop strategies that reduce workplace injury and disease in forest products manufacturing. FPMAG periodically publishes the Health and Safety News and the Health and Safety Bulletin to publicize its activities, increase awareness of issues, and provide information to help comply with regulatory requirements.
This report looks at amputations that occurred in the British Columbia forest products manufacturing industry from 1993 to 1997. It examines the statistics behind the amputations and provides some important information about why and how these accidents occurred. It also reveals the high costs and time loss associated with amputations.
The Amputations in Forest Products Manufacturing report identified leading causes of amputations and gave recommendations to prevent recurrence. The next phase of this initiative is to work with industry stakeholders to implement these recommendations. Working together, employers, workers, equipment manufacturers, industry representatives, and the WCB can develop a strategy for reducing amputations in the forest products manufacturing industry. Activities will include:
Forest Industry Safety Association
Consideration is being given by industry stakeholders to the creation of a B.C. Forest Industry Safety Agency. COFI, IWA and SAFER, are examining the benefits, cost and structure of the proposed agency.
Pay Rates for Joint Committee Members
What rates of pay apply for joint committee members when performing duties related to their responsibilities on the committee?
The Workers' Compensation Act requires joint committee members be given the time to prepare for and attend committee meetings and perform other related duties. What rate of pay applies for this work? Section 134(2) of the Act states that "Time off under subsection (1) is deemed to be time worked for the employer, and the employer must pay the member for that time". The member's entitlement to pay would therefore be the same as that applied to their regular duties normally performed during this time. If, for instance, overtime rates would apply for their regular work, then overtime rates would also apply for the work of the committee member.
Mobile Equipment & Power Lines Don't Mix
In addition to the dangers of electrical shock, contact with power lines pose another hazard to equipment operators. The heat generated from a power line contact can ignite the tires on the equipment, causing the air inside the tire to expand up to several times its normal pressure. The weakened tire(s) may explode, hurling debris hundreds of meters. To protect the mobile equipment operators and other workers in the event of a power line contact, develop safe written work procedures for such occurrences, and train the equipment operators and others to follow those procedures.
Picking up good vibrations?
WorkSafeBC (the WCB's) Engineering department is examining the significance of vibration in a number of industries, including sawmills. While the role of vibration in the development of disease is not fully understood, it is thought that Hand-Arm Vibration (HAV), such as that which operators of chainsaws, portable grinders, and impact wrenches are exposed to can aggravate musculoskeletal injuries (MSI). The use of anti-vibration gloves, and the selection of portable tools that produce less vibration are ways of reducing exposure to HAV. Whole Body Vibration (WBV) is believed to aggravate disorders of the spine, leg, hips, neck and low back pain.
Operators of mobile equipment such as cranes, loaders and forklifts are most at risk of exposure to WBV in excess of WCB limits. More frequent grading of yards could reduce WBV in forklifts and loaders.
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