In search of a safer forest industry
....On June 10 and 11 the forest industry along with other industries of British Columbia will take an in-depth look at itself with regard to the health and safety of the thousands of work force people in our province.
....This meeting, the first of its kind, is sponsored by the Workmen’s Comp-ensation Board of BC, and will be attended by delegates from manage-ment, labor and government. The project is entitled Search ‘71 and a great deal of planning has gone into all aspects of the program. Is a great step forward for all industry in BC and particularly the forest industry.
....I would like to dedicate this column this month to the success of the project. The Workmen’s Compen-sation Board under the chairmanship of Cyril White has shown in the past two years that it is prepared to go all out in its efforts to bring about a reduction of industrial accidents and fatals to BC’s workforce. Search ‘71 will bring the representatives of mana-gement and labor together for a day and a half at the Vancouver Hotel to discuss the very serious problem of industrial safety.

....Countless thousands of words have been and will continue to be written about industrial safety. Is a topic that has evoked stirring speeches from leaders of management, labor and

government. Worthy groups from the National Safety Council down to the smaller safety organizations of the various industries have held seminars, workshops, and all forms of gatherings to promote and teach the value of safe work practices.
....The battle to reduce accidents and fatals in industry will never end, for there will always be new employees who need safety training and well trained employees who need remin-ding. The results will always depend on the efforts put forth by the industry’s themselves.
....There is unfortunately no magic formula for putting an end to industrial accidents and deaths. As long as there are hazards of logs to move in the forest, or minerals dug from the ground, or tall buildings to be erected, there is always the chance that someone will pay the price of tragedy in a moment of forget-fulness.
....One hundred and seventy-nine industrial fatalities occurred in 1970. Better than 25% of those fatals occurred in the logging industry alone – the highest average of all industries. While there are no magic formulas, we should not leave any stone unturned until we can assure ourselves in this industry that we are doing all we can to drastically reduce those figures.
....I do not believe we have given enough emphasis over the past years
to our logging safety progress. And I believe the real reason we have not done enough is because of the inability of top management and top labor to put aside their bargaining table dif-ferences and jointly take up the leader-ship of a sound and efficient industrial safety program. I have said and will continue to say these words until I see the day when these men stand together in a room, putting aside all their years of negotiation warfare, and tell their industry and their people that the time has come for everyone in the industry to get with it and beat back those tragic figures.

....There has been an awakening lately to the seriousness of logging accidents and fatalities. No doubt the new vigor of the Workmen’s Compensation Board is responsible in part. But I do believe that some leaders both of management and labor have come to realize that it is not so much a cry of “My Company ‘Tis of thee”, but rather “My industry ‘Tis of thee.”
....There is a difference. If I had my way, and I suppose thank goodness I don’t, I would ban every form of com-petition in safety awards. They tell me it’s only used as a gauge, but I have come to feel that the accident fre-quency figures and their use as a gauge or for an award are a thing of the past. ...............................Continued page 12

British Columbia Lumberman, May, 1971

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........................................from page 10
....Today, with our supposedly great communications system and an emphasis on people instead of machines, we should forget the competitive attitude toward safety and turn to a total atmosphere of safety. An atmosphere of safety can only be gauged by the attitudes and feelings of a camp, a mill or for that mat-ter an industry. It can be achieved when the leaders of our industry in management and labor define, for their people, the difference between negotiating a labor contract – and the countless problems that entails – and the totally different aspect of the two parties, in their desire for getting together to jointly lead a sound, effective safety program.
....When the workforce and the line management hear these voices speaking as one, then we will be on the threshold of a new of enlightened safety program in the logging industry. And it can be done – and there is a fine place to start from – Search ‘71.
....There are some pretty fine individuals amongst the leaders of both management and labor. These men do not get into the position of leadership
unless they first of all want the job, and second unless they can deliver. They are both organization leaders, and as such know the value of getting people together for common cause.
....So now their chance has come. Search ‘71 is a joint management-labor conference to seek out new solutions to the ugliness of accidents and fatals.
....This time – this conference – just for a bold venture – why don’t the leaders themselves – all of them in responsible positions of top manage-ment and labor – register for the forest industry portion of the conference and attend as they would have their safety supervisors and managers do? It cost $12 (and the WCB is even providing some fine Hotel Vancouver cook-house food in that price).
....There are going to be a lot of very interested delegates at this conference, the first of its kind held in BC, and I can think of no finer complement to be paid to the hard working, dedicated safety officials of both the IWA and the various companies and organ-izations, than to have those men’s leaders sitting along-side them during
the conference.
....Let these leaders give a lift to the efforts, also, of a Workmen’s Comp-ensation Board that has always been out in front in North America and is once again prepared to pave new ways to industrial safety.

....So, gentlemen leaders – presidents, vice presidents, board chairmen, of labor and management in the forest industry – be you in heated debate over contractual changes or be you busy in your always busy schedules,, come and register for Search ‘71. And you’ll find it’s the best 12 bucks your company or union ever invested in the future of an industry that needs your personal help.
....This forest around us in BC has been good to us in this province. Let’s search out ways to keep that forest and the people who make their living by it a continually safer place to work for the people now, and the generations yet to come.
........Keep out of the bight,