“What we need is damn good
common sense”


voice, and he would say, “There is only one time around in this old world, you can’t count on the next one, so work in a safe manner, be smart, stay alive in this world.”
....I have watched the faces of loggers as he spoke. Those loggers believed Andy Smith. If only there were many more Andys—you can’t replace men like that, so remember him.. He was a part of this forest around us.
....Cyril White took over a tough job as chairman of the Workmens’ Compensation Board some years ago. He was fortunate to have at his side two able men, from industry Bert Carpenter, and from labor Hector Wright. They had their commission and in simple terms it stated that the employers of this province put money into a fund to be used to prevent accidents to working men and to rehabilitate those that were unfortunate enough to get injured. Under Cyril White’s chairmanship a whole revam-ping of the W.C.B. took place. Realizing that it is far less expensive to prevent accidents than it is to mend broken bones, they used all avenues of media to tell not just the workman or woman, but they appealed to the public at large who are the mothers, fathers, wives and friends of those same workmen. There is no substitute for learning if people are to realize that accidents are costly and truly in-humane.
....But again knowing that the realities of carelessness will bring on accidents, the W.B.C. has set up a rehabilitation program for the injured that is second to none on this continent. Cyril White studied what needed to be done with the W.C.B. and drove himself and

....The forest industry of British Columbia has lost a man who contributed a great part of his life, dedicated to a truly safer industry. He was Andy Smith, Regional Director of Safety for the International Wood-workers of America. Andy died shortly before Christmas, and his loss is going to be felt by too many people who needed his homespun logic and understanding.
....On February just of this year, his same industry will lose—for reasons of his own—another man that we simply cannot afford to lose. His name is Cyril White, Chairman of the Workmens’ Compensation Board.
....It has been my good fortune to know Andy Smith and Cyril White. I feel very strongly about the loss of these two real workers for industrial safety, and I am sure our logging industry in particular will feel their departure. Mr. White in his term of office as head of the W.C.B. has reorganized and revitalized this insti-tution that could be loosely termed B.C.’s largest employers insurance and rehabilitation firm. We, the forest industry and the rest of industry here simply cannot afford to lose a Cyril White through retirement, and a loss like Andy Smiths through death is a loss that is irreplaceable.
....If I sound overly dramatic in the above statement, it is meant in the sincerest manner, for only every so often do men like White and Smith walk through the scene that means so much to so many people here in our province. I won’t go into the figures as to how many people are dependent on our forest industry, let us just say there are tens of thousands. The Prince Georges, the Port Hardys, the Albernis, the Terraces and the Quesnels know that without an abundance of trees, there could not be the standard of living so many people have come to take for granted. We are a west coast garden of softwood


trees and that garden is envied all over the world.
....But we need loggers to begin the process of getting those trees from the ground where they stand to the processing plant where they keep contributing to some peoples’ standard of living. There is no end to the number of people who benefit from the tree as it goes down the line from logging—to processing—to manufactured comple-tion—to dealer—to customer to finally even the garbage man as he collects the debris of newspapers and cardboard boxes left over after use.
....So maybe this logging process is important as it begins the chain. Maybe the people are important who go out to the forest and battle its elements of rain and wind and snow and heat and obstacles to begin the chain of events. And just maybe some people forget that logging is—has been and will continue to be—a dangerous job. Men get killed logging—they get hurt badly—they commit careless acts, and the result of carelessness and a lack of proper training sometimes has its inevitable end.
....I have met many of the men in this industry whose job is to supervise the teaching of safe work procedure in the logging industry. I have found them—to a man—dedicated, sincere and just a cut above their fellow human being.
....Andy Smith was such a man. It was my good fortune that I knew him, sat with him and talked and listened to his soft spoken words on the realities of what a logger faced when he got out of his crummy and headed off into the woods. I have sat and listened to this very real man tell a gathering of loggers—sometimes twenty, sometimes hundreds, that they had to keep alert, that they owed it to their fellow loggers to watch over him too, that carelessness was their enemy. He would lean on a podium or a chair, for the old body was a bit stiff, and he would speak in a gravelly, well-heard

British Columbia Lumberman, February, 1973

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others to see it was accomplished. The employers as well as the employees in this province can be thankful for the job he has done and can feel sorry for themselves that they are losing a real friend of industrial safety.
....The above brings me around to the point of this article. This logging industry that we depend so much upon, can be made a safer industry to work in. Too many men die through the same repeated careless acts. There are not enough Andy Smiths to impress this fact on workmen.
....In 1971 alone, nineteen out of a totals of fifty-one loggers killed in the woods, were fallers. Falling trees is hazardous. It takes an alert mind and experience. If nineteen men die in one year, in one category of logging, something is wrong, there must be a

lack of training, there must be a lack of administration, there must be some-thing we can do to alleviate or reduce this number.
....Over one thousand men have died in logging accidents in the past twenty years in B.C. The record has not improved enough over those twenty years to allow anyone, any company or any association connected with this in-dustry to sit back and feel he or they have contributed a fair share of work toward safety. There has got to be a new and revitalized effort. There is only one way to begin that effort, from the top, the leaders.
....We are talking of human beings, log-gers, wherever they come from or whomever they work for. The man that
works in one camp will quite probably work in someone else’s camp. This is

a mutual, every company, every indi-vidual problem. Damn good common sense is what is needed and that can only be shown from the top when an example is set by leaders of mana-gement and labor, to put aside their old sores from the bargaining table, and sincerely work together for a safer forest industry.
....Can we find some more Andy Smiths?…are there a few more Cyril Whites around? Can we get those leaders, on both sides, out from behind that bargaining table? I think we could if we hollered loud enough. It’s worth a try.

Keep out of the bight,

British Columbia Lumberman, February, 1973