Serious Incident: Headrig bandsaw strikes metal in cedar log

Safety Alert Type: 
Somass Sawmill, Western Forest Products – Port Alberni, BC
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
Company Name: 
Western Forest Products Inc.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A Red Cedar log was loaded on the headrig log carriage and positioned for opening up the face. Shortly into the opening pass, the saw contacted several metal objects, causing the teeth of the saw to shear off and scatter and also causing the saw to wobble dangerously on the wheel.

The saw was shut down immediately with no further damage and the maintenance department began to plan on how to deal with this unexpected event. There were no injuries as a result of this event. It is suspected that the log was a salvaged log once used as a bridge stringer (see photos in the attached pdf).

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Engineering: Bridge maintenance plans should have a clear expectation and instructions for detecting and dealing with metal contaminated (spikes, staples, wire) wood.

Bridge / Road Crews: Any wood that cannot be confirmed to be free of metal hazards must be destroyed or salvaged by appropriate end users.

Loading Personnel / Sort / Scalers: In the event that bridge or other used wood is loaded out, the logs must be thoroughly re-inspected prior to loading. All used or old bridge wood that is loaded should be clearly marked to make it easily identifiable to the sort crew for another close inspection at the sort.

Boom Crews (logging and sawmilling): As the last sets of eyes to view wood before it hits a bandsaw, remain vigilant in your efforts to identify contaminants in wood and to stop the process prior to a log going through a saw.

Salvage Crews: If contaminated logs are watered, ensure they are clearly marked as contaminated logs and securely contained to prevent accidental mixing with sawmill bound wood during adverse weather events.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Greg Antosz 250-720-4602

File attachments
Headrig bandsaw strikes metal in cedar log.pdf
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