There have been too many fatalities and serious injuries in the forest industry as a result of a failure to effectively immobilize equipment. Between 2006 and 2008 there were a total of 44 fatalities in harvesting. 20 % of these fatalities occurred when the operator left the protection of the cab to make an adjustment or diagnose a mechanical problem. Six workers died as a result of vehicles or equipment rolling over them, and three were crushed as equipment moved while being worked on.
These serious injuries and fatalities are avoidable. By taking a few moments to immobilize your equipment correctly, you will reduce the risk of being seriously hurt or killed.
"Chock it - Block it - Lock it "
On rolling stock, when you get out of the cab, set the maxi or emergency brake. This is critically important when your task requires you to be under the vehicle. When you are working or repairing the machine, use chocking blocks specifically designed to prevent movement; if blocks are not available, use some large rocks or wood.
If you are working on a piece of mobile equipment, you must block up anything with the potential to fall onto you. Preferably, block it by setting the piece directly on the ground. If that's not possible, then you must use something that will prevent it from falling such as a log deck, a stump or a mound of dirt.
If your equipment has a lockout mechanism, USE IT. This could range from a soft lockout on the hydraulics when you are stepping off the machine for just a moment, to a complete shutdown; de-energize the machine, install the lockout restraints and put a lock on the ignition switch when you are performing maintenance or repairs.
Always follow the manufacturer's lockout instructions, if they are not available, use the company's safe work procedure. For SAFE Companies, The Individual Owner Operator (IOO) lockout procedures are found in the Equipment Maintenance Log tab in the IOO SAFEty Log.
If you do not have a lockout procedure for your equipment, you can develop one using a job safety analysis (JSA). Instructions on how to complete a JSA can be found in chapter six of the safety toolkit that small companies receive when they register for the SAFE Companies program.
Remember, immobilizing your equipment must be done every single time you step out of the cab. This may add an extra few minutes to your day, but it could save your life.
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|Safety talk topic: lock out to live; chock it and lock it!|