Safety

2020 Performance Highlights:

  • 31% reduction in recordable injuries since 2016
  • Decrease of the highest-consequence injuries by 60%, from 10 (2019) to 4 (2020)
  • 28% decrease in highest frequency injuries (hand and finger incidents)

Safety Incident Performance bar graph

Safety excellence is operational excellence

West Fraser views safety performance as a crucial indicator for driving continuous performance improvement throughout the Company’s operations. We are focused on eliminating serious incidents and injuries through concentrated efforts in safety systems and training, prevention through design and equipment safeguarding.

Our performance is trending in the right direction, with the Company’s recordable injury rate dropping by 31% since 2016.1

The highest frequency work-related serious injuries experienced in our operations are hand injuries from being caught in or between physical objects. Our safety target is to eliminate serious incidents and our interim milestone is to reduce serious incidents by 50% by 2025 while closely monitoring our leading safety indicators to ensure progressive improvement across the Company’s safety performance metrics. In 2020, we achieved 28% fewer hand or finger injuries, which are the most frequent serious injuries, compared to the previous year and are continuing our efforts to reduce all work-related injuries in our operations.

Safety Goal

Eliminate serious incidents and injuries

Strategic Intent

Highlights on Progress

Reduce the highest frequency serious injuries by 50%

To achieve our objective to eliminate serious incidents and injuries, we are working to reduce work-related serious injuries, targeting the highest frequency incidents: hand and finger injuries from being caught in or between physical objects. In 2020, we achieved 28% fewer hand or finger injuries compared to the previous year and are continuing our efforts to cut serious work-related incidents by half2 and builds on a multi-year trend of fewer medical incidents. We have achieved these results through better-guarding controls, safety training, equipment, and process design and automation, and the implementation of improved lock out verification systems.

Operate safe working environments, focusing on hazard controls and mitigation through procedures and equipment controls

Investments in automation and safety equipment help to reduce risks for employees by reducing human interactions with moving equipment. One example is the zero-energy safety pilot project at the Quesnel sawmill. Using magnetic locking, access points to an area are controlled until all systems (kinetic, pneumatic, hydraulic, and electrical) have come to a zero-energy state. In 2020, an educational video produced by the government safety regulator, WorkSafeBC, highlighted West Fraser’s zero-state energy pilot to demonstrate the benefits and opportunities of zero-energy state safety in industrial operations.

Proactively manage safety, focusing on the leading indicators of safety performance

Monthly reporting is distributed to all divisions, focusing on leading indicators of safety and lagging indicators of safety performance. West Fraser’s two focus areas for 2021 are:

  • auditing to ensure consistent quality for reporting leading indicators, such as field-level risk assessments and observations,
  • and reducing hand and finger injuries, as they are the most frequent serious incidents and injuries in our manufacturing locations.

(1) WF rate 2016: 3.27, 2.26 = 30.8% reduction

(2) Both orgs 2019: 179, 2020: 120 = 33.0% reduction, WF 2019: 57, WF 2020: 38, 33.3% reduction, NB 2019: 122, NB 2020: 82, 32.8% reduction