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Coast Forest Today - Our Blog

Monthly Archives: October 2012

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Update from WorkSafeBC: Combustible dust winter alert — increased risk in winter

The risk of a dust explosion increases when low humidity levels, like those seen in winter months, make dust easy to disperse and ignite. In fact, industrial accident investigations by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board found that seven out of eight fatal combustible dust explosions from 1995 to 2009 occurred during cold winter months when these weather conditions were most prominent. Click here to read the full document.

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Update from WorkSafeBC: Gear Reducer Hazard

WorkSafeBC is currently conducting investigations into the two sawmill explosions that occurred earlier this year in Burns Lake and Prince George. In the course of these investigations, our officers have come to understand that gear reducers may overheat in certain circumstances and become potentially dangerous in wood processing environments. The gear reducer examined was part of a waste conveyor motor-reducer set, which was driven by an electric motor and connected by a worm shaft on one end. This worm shaft extended out the opposite side of the gear reducer where a cooling fan was mounted. Cooling fans are typically secured to the worm shaft using a spring
sleeve that is fitted within the bore of the fan body and tightened by friction onto the worm shaft. The cooling fan is protected by a fibreglass shroud which is equipped with a screened inspection-ventilation port. Click here to read full document.

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Logging Fundamentals Training Program

Heading for a rewarding career in the forest industry, six trainees are the first participating in a new training program developed and implemented by Western Forest Products. Under the guidance of Operations Manager, Randy Boas, instructors are leading the seven week program that will prepare new entrants with the skills required to be experts in a revitalized, safety focused workforce. Randy Boas explains, “We are preparing the trainees with a foundation of coastal logging practices so they can safely enter the workplace at WFP or with one of our contrac-tors. Students will learn in a controlled setting with instruc-tors adhering to a carefully planned curriculum.” WFP, with the support of WorkSafe BC, developed the comprehensive training program focused on worker safe-ty, environmental awareness and the core skills necessary for entry into this demanding occupation. The new pro-gram will instill the culture of safety with an understanding of hazard assessment and the techniques for safe and productive execution of the task. Click here to read the full document.

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A new generation stresses importance of sustainability

Graduate program at UBC aims to balance needs of industry with conservation

After graduating as a forest engineer in his native Spain and then finding work last summer by fighting the worst wildfires in a decade, Carlos Molina decided it was time to take his education to the next level. Global warming had been on his radar screen for a long time, he said in an interview at the University of B.C.’s Forest Sciences Centre. “It’s been one of the main drivers behind my aspirations.” This summer’s fires were a tipping point for him. The driest winter in 70 years, above-average summer temperatures, and forest policies in disarray because of Spanish budget cuts were all blamed for the wildfires. Molina saw a changing environment in the forests and his country’s inability to respond effectively. There’s got to be a better way to do things, he told himself. He decided to make the trip to B.C. to enrol in a new master’s degree program on sustainable forest management being offered at the UBC faculty of forestry, where the whole focus is on finding that better way. Click here to read the full article.

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Don Cayo: Resources still driving B.C.’s economy

If the rest of the world continues to see British Columbians as hewers of wood and drawers of water, perhaps it’s because they know something that many of us — especially those who too rarely stray from the Lower Mainland — don’t always acknowledge. It’s because, in our dealings with the rest of the world, that’s precisely what we are, as a new report from the B.C. Business Council makes clear. And the council thinks we’re likely to stay that way for a long time to come. When it comes to exports — and we have an export-oriented economy that would provide us with seriously shrunken livelihoods if it failed to thrive — 80 per cent of the goods we sell to customers in other countries involves some kind of resource extraction. That’s up from 76 per cent — already a high number — just a decade ago. Click here to read the full article.

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Industry tackles need for skilled labourers

Sawmills being repurposed as training facilities in bid to fill ranks of forestry workers

In Prince George, forest company Canfor has plans to convert its mothballed Rustad sawmill into a $10-million training centre for skilled workers. At High Prairie, Alta., Tolko Industries has already done the same thing at its shuttered High Prairie mill, partnering with a local college and the Alberta government in a $5.3-million program to train future tradespeople. It opened earlier this month. Old sawmills are gaining new life as training centres to address a skilled-labour shortage that has hit the forest industry as it pulls out of the deepest downturn in its history. Click here to read the full article.

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B.C. sawmills are humming again

Researchers cite rebound in U.S. housing starts and continued business from China

After half a decade of depression, British Columbia sawmills are once again humming and forest companies are in the black, hitched to the twin trains of China’s appetite for B.C. wood and improving U.S. housing demand. “From what we can see, this looks like a solid recovery,” Gerry Van Leeuwen, vice-president of the Vancouver research firm Wood Markets, said of the U.S. housing market. “The builders and the lumber dealers (in the U.S.) are pretty excited. They think this is for real; that the recovery is really happening.” Lumber companies are not expressing the same degree of optimism; they have been burned twice before by false starts from the U.S. in the last two years. But the signs are all pointing to steady growth, said John Allan, president of the B.C. Council of Forest Industries. Click here to read the full article.

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The World’s Greenest Forest Industry?

Canada’s forest products industry has burnished its environmental credentials to the point that it has become the most progressive forest sector in the world. That may seem like an audacious claim for an industry once known for belching toxins into the air and for campaigns by conservation groups. But there are impressive reasons why the likes of Green Party leader Elizabeth May have now embraced Canada’s forest sector. For a start, Canada has the most third-party certified forests on the planet – 151 million hectares or more than 40% of all the world’s certified forests. Certification is an independent assessment that Canadian companies follow the highest standards of sustainable forest management. Click here to the read the full article.

Big news! Coast Forest and COFI have come together as one
organization for a stronger, unified voice for BC's forest industry.
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Please visit BC Council of Forest Industries for more information on BC forestry.

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