Manual tree faller injuries per 10,000,000 m3 of wood, Coast Forest Region, 1997-2010
- Manual tree fallers have the highest overall injury rate and the highest serious injury rate (amputations, fractures, fatalities) of all occupational groups in BC.
- In an effort to prevent injuries and fatalities, WorkSafeBC, the BC Forest Safety Council, and other stakeholders introduced a faller certification program. By 2006, all manual tree fallers in BC were required to obtain a safe work practices certificate either through extensive training and examination for new workers, or examination alone for experienced workers.
- We used workers’ compensation data and certification registry data to examine (1) injury trends among manual tree fallers and (2) the effect of certification on individual injury risk.
- We found that the rate of injuries among tree fallers declined between 2003 and 2010.
- However, we found that certification was not associated with a reduction in individual injury risk.
- In the quarter prior to certification, injury risk dropped slightly. This may be due to alteration in work practices in preparation for certification.
- In the quarters post-certification, injury risk increased slightly. This may be due to a jump in reporting.
- We also found a greater risk of injury for specific groups of fallers: young workers, those with previous claims, those with advanced certification, and those who worked during periods of high unemployment.
McLeod C, Sarkany D, Davies H, Lyons K, Koehoorn M.
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health. 2015 Sep 1;41(5):478-85.
Certification in hazardous industries: an evaluation of the British Columbia Faller Training Standard
Sarkany D. Vancouver (BC): University of British Columbia; 2011.