............THE FOREST






‘Safety – A Ray of Hope’

I t has taken a long time, but a ray of light is shining through on our logging safety problems. It is not a greatly heralded program, nor is it the great cure-all for accident prevention. It is simply a ray of light on the always dark subject of logging safety.
....This ray of light is the determination of a group of serious people from man-agement, union and the Workers’ Com-pensation Board who have met over the past year to explore new and better safe production methods in our B.C. logging industry.
....When we look back on the past 25 years of logging safety progress, we really find little change in the manner that accident prevention has been handled throughout our industry. This is not to say that progress has not been made. Of course it has and we can thank the good dedicated safety committees, managers, union committees and various safety administrators all over the province.
....Progress in logging safety does not chart like a salesman’s daily sales program. It is an elusive and erratic chart that cannot be truly gauged on the short term, but only in the long term can we see the results.
....The safety programs we have used, have nearly all been at the camp level, and when a camp of dedicated people have determined that they will improve their safety performance, they have done so by sheer determination.
....Logging is still as hazardous as it always was, but automation has helped a bit, in certain places, to make the hazards less dangerous. Undoubtedly the job training programs that have come into being in these later years have helped, and the increased inspections of W.C.B. prevention officers, together with W. C. B. expanded training and teaching programs have certainly

helped  too.  Their  new  Yarding  and

The Nanaimo Group is convinced that the logging industry can improve its accident and fatals record.

Loading Handbook is a “must read” for any logger from bullcook to president!
....One could say we have progressed in our quest for a safer industry – but we still have a long, long way to go. How can it be done?
....The past results of say 25 years have shown us that logging safety is a successful as a joint venture between management and labor, at camp level, if it is a determined, continuous pro-gram. The program fails when one side or the other let down their guard and allows the tell-tale warnings of careless acts to slip by unnoticed.
....Unfortunately, the logging com-panies that operate on the rugged coast of B.C., where the hazards are compounded, have long since moved away from a co-ordinated logging safety program to individual company programs. The interior of the province has some co-ordinated programs, but far from what could be considered industry-wide.
....True there are and have been occa-sional meetings involving top manage-ment and union leaders – but they have been and are too few and generally limited to safety award dinners etc. The avenue of real co-operation and real impetus, for better accident prevention, has not been used as it should have been, between the leaders of management and union. I would challenge anyone who would care to debate this issue.
....I have known those in near-top

management who really do not want to see the leaders sit down together on safety issues. They worry that some management leaders may not be familiar with the technical aspects of logging accident prevention – on the other side, there have been those in the union that would use the safety issue to make management look bad.
....There is so much emotionalism often associated with safety aspects – I know of no other topic in forestry that can bring out the defensive attitudes in people. Read some of the letters to the editor in past union papers and the topic of safety is discussed in brutal language. Listen, as I have, to those in management, who to this day, defend everything and anything that their company does as the only way in safety.
....Listen to a group of loggers, such as a yarding crew, talking in a crummy, as they eat their lunch and you’ll hear emotional talk on safety – of the ‘near misses that damn near took his head off.’
....Read the headlines of the daily papers as city reporters try to write about logging safety and the W.C.B. There’s some great emotionalism there.
....You don’t generally find the emotionalism in a safety meeting of a camp that has a proper accident prevention program. This is where people understand the issues and can discuss them with a view to solving problems as they arise.
....The logging industry needs all the help it can get in accident prevention, but above all else, it needs under-standing. The hazardous conditions of logging must be clearly understood. The problems in dealing with hazards must be clearly understood by a sympathetic, well informed public –
.....................(continued on page 42)


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and by a total force of management and union people.
.... There must be more teamwork in our approach to logging accident prevention. There is not now. The thirty, forty or fifty fatals a year cannot be tolerated by an industry that is working with some of the most sophisticated machinery in the world – yet some of the most untrained people.
....The ray of light I spoke about at the beginning of this article is a group of people who are not emotional about working together.’ I am sure you will be hearing a lot more of the Nanaimo Group. They seem convinced that the logging industry can improve its acci-dent and fatals record by total co-operation between management, union and W.C.B. They are looking at proper inter-industry instruction for fallers as a starter. The falling portion of our industry is a horror story that must be addressed.
....We know the good camp safety committee system will work – with determination. Now we must expand that system and involve those outside the camp. It’s time that a few chairmen-of-the-board and vice-presi-dents mixed it up with the I.W.A. leaders in a gathering of trust – not defense – to show the camp committees and others that they will come to understand the real problems of logging accident prevention.
....I note the great hue and cry about the costs of W.C.B. benefits today. Taking no part in this discussion – but being involved in one myself – I would point out the fantastic costs of medical services today. These costs alone – apart from human suffering – demand that we find new answers to our accident prevention problems. Possibly the difficult market conditions we are entering will help.
....So, Nanaimo Group, keep it up – like any good safety committee your determination and understanding are what this industry needs today if we are to save lives and prevent accidents that need not happen. They will not happen if everyone co-operates.
....Come on, let’s all

Keep out of the bight,

Bill Moore