Woodlot Safety Plan

Each small tenure holder in BC has a responsibility to have a safety plan in place to guide forest management activities on their tenure area. Recognizing that tenure holders manage those operations in a range of ways, the Woodlot Licence and Community Forest Safety Committee has developed three safety plan templates based on two main criteria:

  1. Who conducts the activities (e.g. the tenure holder and/or their employees or contractor(s)
  2. The nature of those operations (e.g. higher risk activities – road building, harvesting, log hauling vs. lower risk activities – planting, surveys, layout)

The following descriptions will help you evaluate your situation and choose which scenario is most relevant.

Scenario 1

Intended for tenure holders who contract out all activities carried out on the tenure area. However, this does not preclude the tenure holder from conducting administrative tasks and/or visiting the tenure for general or site inspection purposes.

Scenario 2

Intended for tenure holders who use contractors to conduct higher risk activities (i.e. road building, harvesting, log hauling, etc.) and the tenure holder conducts ONLY lower risk activities (i.e. basic silviculture, layout, etc.).

Scenario 3

Intended for tenure holders who directly conduct low and high-risk activities in the tenure area (i.e. planning, harvesting, silviculture, etc.). The tenure holder may also periodically use contractors to perform some of these activities.

Safety Plan Templates

Each template provides guidance and resources (checklists, example forms, links) to help woodlot licensees build a new safety plan or enhance their existing program. If you are interested in becoming Safe Certified, these templates will also assist you in pursuing that objective.

Safety Plan Template – Small Tenure Scenario #1

Safety Plan Template – Small Tenure Scenario #2

Safety Plan Template – Small Tenure Scenario #3

Woodlot Licence and Community Forest Agreement Safety Committee

The committee was established in 2015 to improve safety performance within woodlot and community forest operations. It targets the specific needs and challenges of small to medium sized tenure holders and is supported by the BC Forest Safety Council. The committee is chaired by a representative from the BC Forest Safety Council with joint representation by BC’s woodlot licence program and community forests.

The Committee has produced the following series of articles and bulletins.


Safe Woods – Worker
Safe Woods – Owner
Safe Woods – Prime Contractor PLUS Mgmt of Prime Contractor: Risks, Liabilities & link to BCFSC Prime Contractor Guide
Safe Woods – Supervisor
Safe Woods – Employer
Safe Woods – Testimonial OH & S
Safe Woods – Licensee liability
Safe Woods – Know Your Responsibilities Wrap Up
Safe Woods – Post Wildfire
Safe Woods – Fire Responsibilities
Safe Woods – Logging Near Powerlines
Safe Woods – Trail Use and Licensee Liability in BC
Safe Woods – Rainfall Shutdown and Resumption Procedures
Safe Woods – Rainfall Shutdown Procedures – Overview for Licensees
Safewoods – Rainfall Events – Operational Considerations


Resource Road Orientation Video

Prime Contractor

If you hire more than one contractor to work on your woodlot licence area at the same time, it’s important to make sure you assign one of them prime contractor responsibilities. Learn more at: http://www.bcforestsafe.org/resource/prime-contractor-resources/

Safety in the Forest Industry

There are 2 regulatory bodies overseeing forest safety in BC. WorkSafeBC and the BC Forest Safety Council (BCFSC).

  • WorkSafeBC administers the Workers Compensation Act for the B.C. Ministry of Labour. For more information go to worksafebc.com
  • BCFSC has developed a forest safety infrastructure across BC, providing safety management systems leading to SAFE (Safety Accord Forestry Enterprise) Company certification. Participation in the BC Forest Safety Council’s SAFE Companies program is recommended but optional. For information on how to register, audit category, and other requirements and benefits to being SAFE Certified, go to bcforestsafe.org.

Safety and Resource Roads

The Resource Road User Safety Guide, developed by FLNRORD and the BC Forest Safety Council (BCFSC), can be found at http://www.bcforestsafe.org/files/tk_pdfs/gde_resrd.pdf.

WL licensees must ensure that standard radio communication protocols are followed on all roads for which they are responsible.  More information can be found at: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/natural-resource-use/resource-roads/radio-communications.

WorkSafeBC Guideline for Landslide Risk Assessments

WorkSafe BC has developed a guideline for acceptable standards for landslide risk assessments and safe work procedures for forestry operations.

G26.18 Acceptable standards for landslide risk assessments

To address the standards for the risk assessment and development of safe work procedures acceptable to WorkSafeBC, the guidelines reference professional practice guidelines produced by the Joint Practices Board of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia and the Association of British Columbia Forest Professionals.  Links to the three relevant professional practices guidelines as follows:

Management of Terrain Stability in the Forest Sector
Professional Services in the Forest Sector – Forest Roads
Professional Services in the Forest Sector – Terrain Stability Assessments