2009-11-11 Chaser had foot pinned under log loader track - broken foot

Date of Incident / Close Call: 
Company Name: 
Western Forest Products
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

An experienced Chaser (20+ years) was standing in front of the log truck. He was called over to the grapple yarder to undo a choker and send rigging to the back end. He requested clearance from the log loader which was positioned in between himself and the grapple yarder. Once he walked past the loader he undid the choker and was waiting for the grapple to be repositioned to attach some rigging for the Hooktender. During this time the log loader was attempting to load a large cedar (approx 7’ diameter) but was unable to get the height required to lift the log over the rear stake. To get the log over the rear stake and onto the truck the loader began to back towards the Chaser with the intention of sliding the log through the rear stakes onto the cradle of logs situated on the bunks. While this was taking place the Chaser was still in the grapple yarder landing area with his back turned to the log loader. It is estimated the log loader backed up approximately 15’ heavily weighted to the front end causing the rear end of the machine to tip forward. The Chaser, unaware of the log loader’s changing position, had his back turned to the machine not realizing the low side track was about to make contact with his left foot. The yarder operator had just returned to the cab after assisting the Chaser and noticed the loader was backing towards the Chaser’s safe zone. The yarder operator attempted to contact the Chaser but failed to get his attention so instead blew a long whistle. Despite this, the machine’s track made contact with the Chaser injuring his left foot. Due to the weight of the cedar log still in the grapple, the back end of the track lifted off the ground briefly allowing the Chaser to free his foot. The employee was assessed by first aid and driven to hospital for treatment.

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  • Machine operators must obtain clearance prior to moving machines into ground personnel’s established Safe Zones.
  • Worksite communication standards for landing crew must be clearly identified and reliable methods in place for contacting workers at all times.
  • Operators must maintain visual and or verbal contact with ground personnel to ensure machine movement does not compromise employee safety when approaching the ground personnel’s Safe Zone.
  • Ground personnel must continually be aware of surrounding activities (Blind Trust) -Employee to always be aware of surrounding activities.

For more information please contact:

Kevin Somerville (Manager PAFO) Western Forest Products Hazard Alert Chaser

File attachments
2009-11-11 Chaser had foot pinned under log loader track - broken foot.pdf
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