Close Call/Serious Incident

Safety Alert Type: 
Geographic Area identified as Kitchen Creek located near Kinbasket Lake in the Golden TSA
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

An excavator had been utilized on a cable harvesting operation as a mobile back spar. The planned use of the mobile back spar was limited to operationally feasible terrain. Part of the block was deemed too steep for the excavator.

After the planned use of the mobile back spar was completed, the excavator was to be moved and parked on benched terrain. The cable yarding crew was to begin stump rigging. Post mobile back spar use, the excavator operator decided to walk off the benched terrain straight down the hill on a gradient of approximately 63% for 7 to 8 meters prior to stopping. At this location the operator decided to construct a level spot, on 60% terrain adjacent to the excavator, to park the machine.

The operator constructed the pedestal and attempted to walk the machine to it, but then realized a stump was in the way. At this point, part of the track was sitting on a rock. The operator then focused on carefully removing the stump to complete the move. The operator finally plucked the stump from the ground and the jarring motion caused the excavator to slide sideways on the rock. The excavator began to roll. The excavator rolled down a 60% gradient for approximately 17 meters through logging slash and then another 80 meters at 63% gradient through the timber before coming to a rest against a tree. The operator safely exited the machine with minimal injuries.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Operator must follow supervisors instructions regarding avoiding identified steep terrain. Operator must take the time to properly assess down slope hazards and develop a plan prior to operating on steep terrain. Operator must adhere to the Contractors’ Safety Program procedure and WCB legislation regarding operating on steep terrain (procedures and legislation set limits for the machine and operator). Operator must not operate on terrain that is beyond the operators training, comfort zone and established procedures. Operator must safely stop and request for assistance if at any time the machine becomes or is perceived to become unstable.

File attachments
2007-07-17 Excavator rolls down hill.pdf
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