Workplace safety tour of Ontario sawmill

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Nairn Centre business welcomes Workplace Safety North

Forestry sawmill safety audit meetingOn June 7, Nairn Centre sawmill staff Hubert Fischer and Lisa Bouillon welcomed 16 visitors from Workplace Safety North (WSN), the Ontario health and safety association for forestry, paper, printing and converting sectorsThe facility is owned by EACOM Timber Corporation and manufactures dimensional lumber and studs used in wood-frame construction, as well as specialty and industrial products.

Twice a year, WSN health and safety specialists from all over Ontario meet as a team. On this occasion, they toured a sawmill and assisted in an audit for industry safety certification program Safe Workplace Ontario. Prior to the tour, WSN health and safety specialists discuss expectations and company requirements for the audit.

WSN health and safety specialists standing outside Nairn Centre sawmill
WSN health and safety specialists meet in teams to discuss the tour and individual responsibilities during the safety audit of the sawmill. 
Log infeed processing at Nairn Centre sawmill
Log infeed processing at the Nairn Centre facility, located just east of Espanola, Ontario. The plant employs approximately 128 mill staff and five forestry staff.
WSN staff observe log sorter at EACOM sawmill  
WSN health and safety specialists discuss and document findings as they observe logs being sorted on the conveyor before processing. Approximately 130 million board feet are produced annually at the Nairn Centre sawmill.  
Sawmill worker
Phil Simonds, Filing Lead, ensures sawmill blades are in good condition.
Sawmill worker loads wood onto production line
Casey Clairmont, Planer Labourer, loads wood onto the production line. To prevent slivers, level 5 cut-resistant gloves are worn throughout the mill
Millwrights make adjustments on sawmill production line
Adjustments are made on the sawmill production line by Kurtis Von Scheunemann, Millwright, and Mat Tousignant, Millwright Lead. 
Forestry tour visit to electrical room and lockout procedures
From left to right: Doug Brown, WSN Health and Safety Specialist, Hubert Fischer, Maintenance Planner and James Simms, Sawmill Supervisor, discuss procedures for shutting down power and locking out machinery during maintenance and repair.
Sawmill worker grades lumber
Sawmill worker checks lumber while the computer scanner displays the type and length of lumber. Based on the marker colour used by the lumber grader, a computerized scanner automatically sorts the lumber. Anti-fatigue mats and appropriate conveyor height help reduce the potential for musculoskeletal injuries. Live camera feeds allow the sawmill worker to safely view any issues on the production line.
WSN staff tour Nairn Centre sawmill
WSN staff learn about the details and safety precautions of sawmill operations from tour leader Hubert Fischer (second from right) , Maintenance Planner at EACOM Timber Corporation.
Forklift transports packaged lumber to mill yard
Traffic management is an important part of the safety audit. There is a high risk to workers and visitors due to the constant flow of trailer transports, forklifts, mill and staff vehicles. Mill Yard Traffic Management Plan – Leading Practices created by WSN is a free PDF download that manufacturing companies can apply to yard traffic.
Three workers walk through lumber yard
At the end of the tour, the team reconvenes to summarize observations from the safety audit and suggestions for improving worker health and safety at the sawmill. Special thanks to Bob Banchero, General Manager, EACOM Timber Corporation, and Nairn Centre staff.


Safe Workplace Ontario

Approved Ontario forestry health and safety services and training

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