Torrent considers safety to be the most important aspect when conducting any operation, no matter the size. Our goal is to be proactive in preventing injuries and to learn from injuries that occur. We are working on achieving this goal primarily through ongoing training for all employees, which begins pre-season, and is ongoing throughout the season.
Torrent’s Health and Safety program is certified through the British Columbia Forest Safety Council (BCFSC) with an external audit conducted every year. This is also referred to as a SAFE certification, which planters may more easily recognize. Each year an external audit is conducted for Torrent to keep this status, which provides additional insights on how to better practice safety.
During the off-season Torrent Management meets once per month, beginning in the new year, where we review events of the past season, focus on change for the upcoming season and have refreshers on safety topics. Torrent also supports and encourages management to take any additional training put on by local colleges or universities or on-line through WorkSafe BC or the BCFSC. Immediately before each planting season Torrent conducts in-house training that addresses all aspects required to perform duties of the job safely and efficiently. Some of these topics include but are not limited to: OFA Level 3 first aid training for all crew bosses, Supervising for Safety Training program (done through Work Safe BC), ATV Operator training, Resource Road Driver Training, Bullying and Sexual Harassment Training, and Bullying and Sexual Harassment Training.
Prior to any employees arriving to a project, they are required to complete Torrent’s pre-season training program through the website, which covers an expansive list of safety and hazard topics such as Bear Aware, WHIMIS, and Danger Tree & Wildlife Tree Identification, Bullying & Harassment, Heat Stress & Hypothermia, and more. Torrent has been working with the Northern Society for Domestic Peace (NSDP) since 2020 and each year we have them host a presentation on bullying, harassment and sexual harassment, which is mandatory for all employees to complete.
Throughout the season employee observations are completed daily and safety meetings are conducted on every new site that a crew is working on or once per shift if working on the same site for multiple days. We also hold JOHSC meetings once per month or once per contract (whichever comes first). This meetings are attended by the supervisor, the JOHSC chair, and planter representatives from each crew (1 per 6 pack, 2 per 12 pack). Our employees are encouraged to notify management of any health and safety concerns immediately and they will be addressed. Further, during the planting season worksite assessments are completed on all blocks by trained management to identify any potential safety issues or environmental issues. A certified Danger Tree Assessment is conducted, site specific hazards are identified and any safety issues regarding access are documented.
On top of every block requiring a level 3 first aider on site, Torrent prepares for emergency communication by providing each crew with a hand held radio as well as a truck radio, ZOLEO devices which allow text messages to be sent via satellite, and have a direct like to Technical Evacuation Advanced Aero Medical Society (TEAAMS), a helicopter evacuation service.