BC Forest Safety Council

BC Forest Safety Council


January 19, 2007 10:00 ET

BC's First SAFE Certified Companies Recognized

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 19, 2007) - The first B.C. forestry companies to become SAFE (Safety Accord Forestry Enterprise) Certified Companies were recognized today at the Truck Loggers Convention in Vancouver. Premier Gordon Campbell joined the BC Forest Safety Council and WorkSafeBC in acknowledging the 16 companies who have successfully completed comprehensive independent safety audits to achieve SAFE Certification under the SAFE Companies initiative launched at last year's Truck Loggers Convention.

"The success of these companies in achieving certification in just one year is a sign of their commitment to safety," says Campbell. "Forest safety is everyone's priority and we all share the same goal of having zero fatalities in the forest industry. We will continue that commitment to forest safety in 2007."

BC Forest Safety Council CEO Tanner Elton applauds the companies for putting safety first. "This is a win-win for everyone; workers will be safer and the industry as a whole will benefit."

Diana Miles Vice President of Worker and Employer Services for WorkSafeBC congratulated the forest sector for building on a program that has seen success in other industries. "The forest sector has recognized its serious safety problem and is aggressively dealing with it," says Miles. She added the SAFE Companies program is a member of WorkSafeBC's Partners in Injury and Disability Prevention program, which provides rebates on WCB assessments to employers once their safety programs are certified.

Developed by the BC Forest Safety Council, in conjunction with industry and WorkSafeBC, SAFE Companies is an initiative to develop, certify and annually audit the effectiveness of safety programs in all forestry companies. Certified companies benefit from reduced injuries and lost time, and are eligible to receive an annual rebate on their WorkSafeBC assessment premiums.

SAFE Companies began accepting registrations for certification in November 2006. Since launching the program, the BC Forest Safety Council has received more than 250 registrations from companies of all sizes throughout B.C.

Of the 16 companies that successfully achieved SAFE Certification in 2006, five were large firms with more than 20 employees and 11 companies had less than 20 employees. Companies ranged from full-phase logging contractors and large licencees to hand falling and silviculture operations.

To find out more about the SAFE Companies program including profiles on the certified companies, visit the Council's website at www.bcforestsafe.org or call toll free to 1-877-741-1060.

The BC Forest Safety Council is a not-for-profit society dedicated to promoting forest health and safety. The Council was founded and is supported by all major forestry organizations in B.C. and works with forestry employers, workers, contractors and the provincial government and agencies to implement changes necessary to eliminate fatalities and serious injuries in the forest sector.

WorkSafeBC is an independent provincial statutory agency governed by a Board of Directors that serves nearly two million workers and about 179,000 employers. WorkSafeBC was born out of a compromise between B.C.'s workers and employers in 1917 where workers gave up the right to sue their employers and fellow workers for injuries on the job in return for a no-fault insurance program fully paid for by employers. The organization is committed to safe and healthy workplaces and to providing return-to-work rehabilitation and legislated compensation benefits.

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