Close Call/Serious Incident

Tolko License Area - approximately 100 km West of Williams Lake
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
Company Name: 
Ken & Fred Ilnicki Developments Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

648 John Deere skidder rollover:
Worker was pulling a drag of trees up a mild slope of approximately 5% grade. Upon nearing the top portion of the slope, one of the front skidder tires began to sink into the ground. Worker turned the wheels slightly to avoid getting stuck and in doing so put the machine in a position where a portion of it paralleled the slope for a brief period. The right side of the skidder was on the higher uphill side when the right front tire went overtop a stump. This shifted a portion of the weight to the lower downhill side of the machine, which was crossing over wet chunks of woody debris that were laying on the ground perpendicular to the slope. The machine slid downhill on this debris, becoming unstable and flipping over onto its side. The drag of trees in the grapple appeared to prevent a complete rollover. The operator was wearing his seatbelt and he was able to unbuckle and exit the machine, shaken but uninjured.

Weather conditions at the time of incident were light showers that started approximately 40 minutes prior to the incident and ended shortly thereafter. This recent and brief rainfall was enough to provide an immediate hazard for slippery conditions; however, due to the minimal slope of the work area, it was unexpected.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Operations immediately ceased and a safety meeting was held on site with work crew. Reminder that machines are to move straight up and down slopes as set out in the safe work procedures. Use of seatbelts mandatory.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Benjamin R. Korving, RPF
Company Forester
Ken & Fred Ilnicki Developments Ltd.

File attachments
2007-08-17 Machine slids downhill.pdf
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