A FALLER killed here in 2012 when a tree fell on him was using a prohibited logging practice at the time, concludes a coroners report.
Art Loring, 56, was using a method called domino falling in which a number of trees in a line are partially cut with a final one then being cut so that it can be pushed over to the next tree with the others then falling in sequence.
In this circumstance Loring had planned to fall seven trees in all with this method.
Instead, “he had his back to the partially cut and standing trees when one fell in an unintended direction and struck him in the back. He was pinned beneath the tree and later found deceased,” the coroners report said.
“This practice is commonly known as ‘domino falling’ and is prohibited by the BC Faller Training Standard,” read the coroners report.
“WorkSafe BC investigators examined the scene and could not identify falling difficulties that would have required Mr. Loring to fell six trees in succession.”
Loring was working 60km up the Copper Forest Service Road on Jan. 30, 2012 when the accident took place.
The report took until now to be released because the case was complicated, said Barb McLintock from the BC Coroners Service.
“A combination of working with the WorkSafe investigation – and it just being a very complicated file to investigate and write up,” she said.
Loring, who had more than 25 years of falling experience, had his faller certification from the BC Forest Safety Council April 6, 2006, which was valid at the time of the accident, said the report.
“For this certification, fallers must demonstrate the knowledge, skills and ability to competently execute safe work practices,” it continued, noting that Loring had to demonstrate compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations and adherence to the BC Faller Training Standard.
He was the co-owner and sole employee of his company, A&M Logging Contract, which was registered with the BC Forest Safety Council’s Safe Companies Program on Jan. 20, 2011.
“The additional steps had not been completed to achieve the SAFE Companies certification including safety training and an audit of the company’s safety program,” read the coroners report.
It was noted that the prime contractor for the work site, Long Shot Holdings Ltd., was a BC Forest Safety Council certified SAFE company and had two buckermen on site.
“It was found that the prime contractor’s means of ensuring that Mr. Loring complied with the regulation consisted of having a safety program.”
But a review found that most of the elements of the safety program were not being implemented.
Long Shot Holdings was subsequently fined $16,727.62 for the infraction by WorkSafe BC, however, the company went out of business and the fine was not paid.
Loring had also been a prominent activist several decades previously in pursuing Gitxsan land claims in the Hazelton area.