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Forestry High Risk Strategy

The 2017 Forestry High Risk Strategy (HRS) represents year four of a five-year strategic direction for prevention activities in harvesting and related operations. The intent of the Forestry High Risk Strategy is to execute focused and impactful inspectional activity in those areas of the timber harvesting segment that represent exceptional risk to workers.

Identified high-risk work activities typically fall into four areas of timber harvesting as follows:

  • Manual tree falling
  • Log transportation
  • Cable yarding
  • Mechanized harvesting

Silviculture is also included, as this sector generates a high volume of serious injuries.

In addition to the four main focus areas, which are based on different harvest phases or activities, emergency response planning (ERP) has also been identified as a critical target area for the Forestry HRS because of a number of serious ERP failures documented at forestry workplaces through incident investigations.

The 2017 Forestry HRS will also aim to integrate hearing loss prevention into its inspectional and outreach activities whenever opportunities arise. Details of this initiative and its integration into the HRS will be outlined in Q1 2017.


  • Raise awareness and promote adherence to best practices
  • Reduce the serious injury and fatal injury rates in the top risk exposure categories in forestry harvesting


  • Given the seasonal nature of forestry work, an element of seasonal approach is also incorporated into the Forestry HRS. Different regions of the province may see a shift in their inspectional focus to reflect seasonal variability.
  • Sustained compliance requires the commitment and support of site employers as well as those parties with higher-level responsibilities related to proper planning and execution of the work.When repeat or high-risk violations occur, WorkSafeBC officers will review the roles and activities of all worksite parties to ensure their responsibilities are being fulfilled in a sustained manner.

Deliverables and timelines



Inspections — Manual falling
Q1–Q4 2017

  • Falling cuts
  • Danger tree windfall assessment and plans
  • Unnecessary brushing practices
  • New faller training programs, new faller safety, and adherence to training requirements
  • Roadside debris endangering workers

Inspections — Mechanized harvesting
Q1–Q4 2017

  • Maintenance workplan and lockout
  • Three-point-contact procedures
  • Steep slope assessment plans

Inspections — Cable yarding
Q1–Q4 2017

  • Clearing the turn
  • Yarding angles
  • Landing the log

Inspections — Log transporting
Q1–Q4 2017

  • Driving and road assessment
  • Loading, offloading, and securing of load
  • Best practices for maintenance work (lockout, access, and egress)
  • Cab guards (bull boards) and seat belt use
  • Three-point-contact procedures

Inspections — Emergency response planning
Q1–Q4 2017

  • First aid assessment
  • Lack of emergency response planning (ERP) practice and testing
  • Daily plan for helicopter-only access
  • ERP review: ERPs properly communicated to workers and service providers, and routinely practised through realistic emergency drills

Inspections — Silviculture
Q1–Q4 2017

  • ERP elements (as above)
  • Planning and conduction operation
  • Driver training and policies
  • Musculoskeletal injury (MSI) risk assessment
  • MSI program management
  • MSI education of workers

Hearing loss
Q1–Q4 2017

  • Measure or review noise levels by location and job role, and assess existing mitigation strategies
  • Complete hearing conservation program assessments of existing, new, and young workers to identify exposure areas and risk-control opportunities

Faller Technical Advisory Committee
Q1–Q4 2017

  • Act as a point of contact on Forestry HRS manual falling elements with the FTAC

Resources for industry
Q1–Q4 2017

  • Develop and distribute prevention resources designed to create awareness of the Forestry HRS, and awareness and tools for addressing risk and mechanisms of injury in the Forestry HRS focus areas, assisting with compliance with the OHS Regulation

FIAG activity with Forestry HRS content
Q2 & Q4 2017

  • Facilitate two Forest Industry Advisory Group (FIAG) meetings in support of Forestry HRS content

This Forestry High Risk Strategy overview and an employer / association letter are available for download.