A buncher operator was following the “Steep Slope Falling Procedures” he was provided but was having trouble bunching a steep (~30%) section of the block. The operator had already left a portion of the block un-bunched due to the steeper slopes he had encountered.
During operations the buncher let loose and began sliding downhill as he cut & swung a tree. Due to his position he was unable to swing the boom to stop the slide and slid several feet before coming to an abrupt stop against a tree. As the buncher came to a halt the operator was forced to brace himself with his left arm against the window causing significant bruising on his side as he struck the armrest.
The ground conditions were slippery due to wet compacted snow. The new buncher had spiked tracks and was in good repair. The operator had more than 30 years of experience bunching but limited experience operating a buncher on steep terrain.
Key Learnings: A “Steep Slope Falling Procedure”, like any procedure, is only good if it is applicable for those intended to follow it. Each procedure should be reviewed with the person required to follow it to ensure they have the experience and ability to understand and follow it safely.
The safe work practices (as per Section 26.2(1) of WorkSafeBC’s OH&S Guidelines for steep slope logging) need to set out how the equipment operators will be trained and instructed on how the work is to be performed. In addition, they must set out how the work is to be supervised and monitored.
Tyson von den Steinen, 250-962-3229
|Buncher slides down slippery slope, operator bruised.pdf|