A Williams Lake logging company has received an award from the BC Forest Safety Council, in recognition of its notable contribution to forest industry safety within its operations in 2011.
Westline Harvesting Ltd. was presented the Safety MVP of the Year award at the Vancouver Island Safety Conference on Oct.1 in Nanaimo.
The award — co-presented to Westline operations manager David Whitwell by Steve Thomson, minister of forests, lands and natural resource operations; Donna Wilson, vice-president of industry services and sustainability for WorkSafeBC; and Safety Council CEO Peter Lineen — was created to acknowledge safety improvements at work through persistent efforts to seek changes by a company that has demonstrated leadership in integrating health and safety into its business practices.
The selection criteria for the Safety MVP Award (awarded to individuals or groups) include:
• 2010 / 2011 contribution to workplace safety where they work and/or for broader industry
• Safety improvements with marked results
• New safety initiatives introduced that boosted safety at work.
Westline Harvesting Ltd. is the newer of two innovative and progressive stump-to-dump timber harvesting companies owned by longtime Williams Lake residents Arnold and Imke Bremner. Westline and sister company Clusko Logging Enterprises Ltd. are family-run businesses with Arnold and Imke’s three sons each fulfilling an active role in the operations.
Larry Price, RFT, woodlands manager, harvesting operations at Tolko Industries, said Westline demonstrates safety as a living culture.
“It is evident that their safety-first approach is a habit rather than a forced behavior,” Price said. “Through a proactive approach and clear focus on safe behaviour, Westline has achieved a Recordable Incident Rate of ‘zero’ for 2011.
Westline contributes to the betterment of all by sharing their carefully crafted safety program and policies with other companies. Westline is enterprising and innovative, which is proven by their participation in external safety programs, striving for improvement of their own safety program.”
Westline has maintained continuous operations with Tolko Industries Ltd. in Williams Lake since 1988. It is a fully mechanized stump-to-dump operation, harvesting approximately 325,000 cubic metres per year of predominantly mountain pine beetle-attacked timber west of Williams Lake. Westline operates in predominantly pine forests for its main client, Tolko Industries Ltd.
Its sister company, Clusko Logging Enterprises Ltd. harvests approximately 650,000 cubic metres per year for Canadian Forest Products Ltd. in the Prince George and Mackenzie area.
Westline has participated in the B.C. Timber Sales program, marketing and harvesting category one timber sales.
It has had strong relationships with value-added wood producers, Parallel Wood Products Ltd. and Pinnacle Pellet Inc., providing both with timber harvesting and marketing services for their category two timber sales, and forest license wood.
Westline and Clusko form one of the largest logging contractors in the Interior, and have the financial size and strength to survive several previous market downturns.
Their operations have been SAFE certified by the B.C. Forest Safety Council since 2007.
Westline Harvesting is known for its clean, low-maintenance operations and fleet of bright red pick-ups and logging trucks. Westline employs more than 60 people in peak season, with more than 18 pieces of heavy equipment.
The B.C. Forest Safety Council is a not-for-profit society dedicated to promoting forest health and safety. It was founded and is supported by all major forestry organizations in B.C. and works with forestry employers, workers, contractors and the provincial government and agencies to implement changes necessary to eliminate fatalities and serious injuries in the forest sector.