Broken Log Penetrates Pickup’s Windshield

Location: 
Nazko Highway (west of Quesnel)
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2011-07-05
Company Name: 
BC Forest Safety Council - Prince George office
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A pick-up truck was travelling west on the Nazko Highway, west of Quesnel, BC.  As it approached an eastbound loaded logging truck near the 7900 Road junction, the pick-up driver noticed a small log perched on the top left side of the load.  As the pick-up met the logging truck, a 10 foot log fell off, bounced on end off the highway and into the passenger side of the pick-up windshield.  The log passed through the cab and out the back window.

The pick-up swerved off the south side of the highway, continued down the embankment where it struck, and sheared off, a telephone pole.  The impact with the telephone pole stopped the pick-up from traveling further down the steep embankment.

 

The pick-up driver received medical attention shortly after the incident.  Although the injuries were not serious in nature, the driver said that he was “pretty sore for a few days”.  Damage to the pick-up was severe (written off).  Apparently, the log truck driver was not aware of the loose log or the incident as he did not stop at the scene of the incident.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Truck Drivers - Ensure that loads are secure at all times during transport. 

  • Before leaving the loader, visually confirm the load is rounded so tight wrappers can contact and hold logs across the top of the load.  If it isn’t, ask the loaderman to make necessary adjustments.
  • Make regular stops to walk around the load to visually check the load and re-check to confirm wrappers are tight, cinches are secure. 
  • Use your mirrors to scan the full height and length of the load (e.g. when rounding gentle turns along the road).
  • Immediately before entering a busy public road, stop to double-check and confirm the load is secure.

Loader Operator – Because the truck driver is typically required to be inside the truck cab during loading, the truck driver cannot visually check every log that is loaded onto the truck.  The loader operator does see each log as it is loaded, and is in an elevated cab so has greater ability to see the top of the load.

  

  • Visually check to confirm logs are not broken or cracked to a point nearing failure.  Make sure cracked or suspect logs set aside to be re-processed, or are not on the top, back-end or side of the load (i.e. placed on the “inside” of the load).
  • Build the load so that it is crowned or rounded such that tight wrappers will contact and hold exterior logs in place (as well as those below them).
  • Help avoid a similar re-occurrence of this incident – an injury to a member of the public or a truck driver translates to greater costs and lost production for all of us.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Director of Transportation, BC Forest Safety Council – Prince George office (toll free) 1-877-324-1212

File attachments
Broken_Log_Penetrates_Pickup_Windshield.pdf
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