Health and Safety
All operators and workers in the French-Severn forest must abide by strict health and safety rules as laid out by the Ministry of Labor. Site visits and audits are conducted by Westwind staff as well as Ministry of Labor staff.
Tree Marking Audits
“Quality assurance is the process by which a completed tree marking treatment is inspected prior to harvesting to ensure that it meets the objectives of the prescription for the stand and conforms to accepted standards. Tree marking audits are also performed to ensure consistency of marking across Crown Land and to help tree markers correct any potential problem areas before harvesting.” – Ontario Tree Marking Guide (2004)
Forest Operations Compliance
“Checks if forest operations on Crown lands are following the laws, approved plans and operational practices.
Under this program, forest management companies must:
- carry out self-monitoring (inspecting and reporting), training and education
- provide reports of forest operations inspections to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry:
- provides policy direction (the Forest Compliance Handbook) for forest operations compliance
- maintains the Forest Operations Information Program, a web-based system to document inspections
- monitors and audits
- ensures that forest operations conducted on Crown land conform to government standards, guidelines and rules and confirms action is taken to correct negative impacts to the forest should they occur” – Government of Ontario website (October 1, 2015)
Independent Forest Audits
“Every 5–7 years, an Independent Forest Audit (IFA) takes place on each of the province’s management units to examine the performance of both the sustainable forest licence holder and the Ministry of Natural Resources and forestry (MNRF) in meeting their forest management responsibilities. MNRF develops the audit process and the Forestry Futures Committee oversees how it is delivered. Every five years the independent forest audit process is reviewed to ensure it continues to be efficient and effective.” – Government of Ontario website (October 1, 2015)
Forest Stewardship Council Certification
Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification requires annual audits to ensure that companies are continuing to comply with FSC certification requirements. In addition to these annual audits, there is also an extensive re-certification audit every five years.