Worker Safety

  • Our safety goal is to eliminate serious incidents and injuries
  • Achieved a 25% reduction in 2016, and another 12% reduction in serious injuries in 2017

We believe safety is a Core Value and Business Priority, that all accidents are preventable, all employees must have ownership of safety and that safety is performance-based and must be managed. We will provide safety leadership, measure and evaluate leading indicators, proactively manage safety and continually improve, have effective Safety Management Systems for employees and contractors and meet or exceed compliance with health and safety regulatory requirements. For us, safety excellence is also operational excellence.

Our Health and Safety Policy in conjunction with our Safety Goal, sets out the overall objectives and principles for occupational, health and safety management. While we track common safety statistics such as lost time accidents, we focus our attention on the leading indicators of safety performance, like near-miss incident recording and field level hazard & risk assessment activities that have a demonstrated correlation with safety improvement.

In 2015, West Fraser implemented a long-term Safety Improvement Plan (SIP) that focused on leading indicators as measure of safety performance, a broad range of risk reduction strategies and prevention by design for the implementation of best practices across the Company.

Our goal is to eliminate serious incidents and injuries

Safety education, training, hazard awareness and risk control planning form the foundations of our safety programs for management, supervisors, employees and contractors. All new employees are provided a safety orientation before they begin work at our facilities. Every division is responsible for developing a Division-specific Health & Safety plan, and for establishing clear position-specific responsibilities for every supplemental safety system or program that is in effect. Divisional plans are reviewed on a regular basis. Health & Safety near-miss reporting is collected at all sites and shared between our divisions to facilitate development, sharing and implementation of lessons learned and preventive measures.

Recordable incidents and near-miss serious incident reports are also distributed to senior management for further review and action. On a quarterly basis, a core safety group that includes our Chief Executive Officer. Chief Operating Officer and our operational Vice-Presidents meet to evaluate the progress of our safety initiatives and to review safety results. Further reports are made to our safety committee (Safety and Environment Committee), comprised of at least three members of our Board of Directors (“Board”), which meets regularly.

Our operations in B.C. are certified SAFE Companies by the BC Forest Safety Council as part of the WorkSafeBC Certificate of Recognition (COR) Program.

Our operations in Alberta are certified to the Partners in Injury Reduction (PIR) Program through Alberta’s Workers’ Compensation Board and administered by the Alberta Forest Safety Association.

We have developed our own safety audit protocol, which incorporates 26 elements and approximately 275 questions about safety equipment, planning, preparedness, risk assessment and hazard prevention. All of our operations in the U.S. and Canada are audited to this protocol by independent third-party auditor in both provinces, with audits completed every three years.  Internal action plans or audits are completed in the interim years.