Manually Falling and Bucking trees is a regulated activity in British Columbia. In B.C., ANY WORKER who fells a tree larger than 15 cm (6 inches) in diameter (width), at a height of 30cm (15 inches) from the base (or ground), must be certified to the BC Faller Training Standard (BCFTS).
Arborists, Landscapers, and any workers who are falling for non-commercial purposes, which fall under regulation; require Western Utility Arborist Association (WUAA) Falling and Bucking Endorsement. The WUAA Falling and Bucking Endorsement is administered by HortEducationBC.
Those falling for commercial purposes must adhere to regulations for the BC forestry industry and require BC Fallers Certification. BC Fallers Certification is administered by the BC Forest Safety Council.
There are no other certifications or endorsements that allow arborists, landscapers, or any other worker to perform the specific activity of falling and bucking of a tree that is larger than 15 cm (6 inches) in diameter (width) at a height of 30cm (15 inches) from the base (or ground).
Falling and Bucking practices and activities are regulated by WorkSafeBC on behalf of the provincial government of British Columbia. These regulations, laws, guidelines, and policies are outlined in the Workers Compensation Act and the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Standard Section 26. In addition to all other applicable OHS & Workers Compensation Act regulations, laws, guidelines, and policies, regulations specific to the arborist industry, fall under the “similar activities” regulations; meaning, activities similar to those performed in the commercial forestry industry.
Performing Falling of trees and bucking activities without required credentials and having acceptable qualification can result in fines, criminal prosecution & liability, and can void insurance.
A worker who holds a faller certificate is considered to have met the minimum training requirements in the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Regulation for falling in a forestry operation. However, even with certification, employers have the responsibility to make sure all workers can safely complete assigned job duties. An employer is required to ensure an employee is both certified and qualified to perform falling and bucking activities. Specific factors employers must consider regarding qualification include type of timber, terrain, and slope.
WorkSafeBC can and will verify credentials and qualification, both in the field and in follow up to work that has been performed. Arborists are required to carry their endorsement wallet card at all times when working in the field practicing falling and bucking activities. (If you have this endorsement and have lost your wallet card, contact HortEducationBC for a replacement.)
Attempting the WUAA Falling and Bucking Endorsement can only be done by those who have achieved one of the two following trades administered by the Industry Training Authority of BC; Certified Utility Arborist or Certified Arborist Technician. If an application is accepted, candidates are then required to successfully perform both a written examination and an in depth and challenging practical skills examination in the field. Candidates must have extensive training to be successful.