Close Call: Hooktender struck by log

Safety Alert Type: 
Worksites
Location: 
Englewood Forest Operation (northern Vancouver Island)
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2012-10-25
Company Name: 
Western Forest Products Inc.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

The 044 grapple yarder crew had finished yarding all the visible wood on the road line. The experienced Hooktender, who is the Man in Charge on the worksite, walked the road line and was spotting logs out of view of the Operator because of the brushy ground conditions.

Log #1 (60’ long / 2’ butt diameter Balsam) was positioned ~90 degrees to the haulback running lines in a small draw. The log was grappled 20’ from the butt end; which left an additional 40’ of log #1 running upslope out of the draw. The Hooktender was positioned slightly above and 8-10’ behind log #1 when it was grappled.

As the Operator began to yard log #1 forward, the butt moved ahead 5’, hung-up in the thick brush and did not pivot around into lead with the road line as anticipated. This resulted in the top of log #1 also moving forward 10’ and consequently striking log #2.

Log #2 (40’ long / 10” butt diameter Hemlock rattail) was parallel with and 45’ to the uphill side of the haulback running lines. The top of log #1 struck log #2, which caused the top/rattail end of log #2 to flip up and strike the Hooktender in the ribcage.

When struck, the Hooktender fell to the ground with the wind knocked out of him. He informed the Operator and then walked to the road. A Level III First Aid Attendant was dispatched immediately; the worker was examined, placed in a helicopter and flown to Port McNeill hospital. Worker arrived at the hospital 35 minutes after the time of the incident. He was X-rayed, had an ultra-sound; worker has 2 cracked ribs.

See photos in attached pdf.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

1. Review “In the Clear” on the Hillside definition and expectations with all rigging crews.

2. Supervisors to inspect/audit crews to ensure the expectations have been made clear, are understood, and adhered to.

3. Make “In the Clear” a Safety Tour priority with yarding crews in 2013. Have Y&L Safety Reps inspect yarding activities accordingly. Especially when spotting and setting chokers.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

For more information contact: Vince Devlin, General Foreman (250) 281-3352

File attachments
Close Call: Hooktender struck by log.pdf
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