Hooktender Struck by Log

Date of Incident / Close Call: 
Company Name: 
Western Forest Products
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

The grapple crew was yarding down a 35-45% north facing slope and had moved up to the top of a 4 meter high bluff that put yarding outside of deflection. The hooktender called for chokers to be sent up to reach the wood above the bluff. He stood by a stump along the
side of the bluff approximately 10 meters away from the running lines and waited for the chokers facing towards the lines and the direction from which the grapple would be coming. From where he was standing, he was unable to see the grapple coming up the hill however he was able to see the lines moving and knew the empty grapple was coming. The grapple skidded over the break of the bluff and struck a log causing it to move and pivot. The butt end of the log was close to where the hook tender was standing and when it moved it struck him on the inside of his left knee and knocked him against the stump. The hooktender was taken to hospital and received stitches and an x-ray before being released that day.

Upset Conditions:
1. Hooktender did not follow Safe Work Procedures for moving above and behind the turn when the grapple was moving.
2. Grapple Yarder did not take advantage of clear deflection from upper road and the hooktender attempted to use chokers to reach wood that was outside of deflection.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

1. Supervisors must walk each block and lay out an efficient plan prior to starting work. This basic plan needs to be relayed to the crew with clear expectations from the Supervisor. If they are unsure they should stop work and contact their Supervisor. For safe and efficient yarding, the crew must assess each portion of the block and plan the yarding according to safe access. The yarding crew in this incident had the opportunity to gain better deflection if they rigged the yarder on the upper spur. Supervisors need to do checks as needed to ensure the plan is unfolding as discussed.
2. Safe Work Procedures are put in place as a result of incidents in the past with the intention to keep us from harms way. By standing too close and below the turn of the log the employee was not following the SWP causing him to be injured. SWP’s should be reviewed frequently and used as rules that govern our actions at work. Inspect against expectations.

File attachments
2007-04-01 Hooktender struck by log.pdf
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