Equipment Operator Dislocates Shoulder

Date of Incident / Close Call: 
Company Name: 
Weyerhaeuser / BC Forestlands
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Recently a processor operator was injured while exiting his machine. Using the hand holds on the inside of the door and the door frame (see photo) he stepped from the tracks down onto the step below the tracks. As he lowered his right leg, a gust of wind caused the door to suddenly move. He subsequently lost his balance and fell from the machine while hanging onto the door hold. This sequence of events led to him dislocating his shoulder.

Although the door is very heavy, the windy conditions with even stronger gusts were enough to unexpectedly move the door. On this older machine the door is designed to swing freely in a wide open position (back against the cab).

Exiting with the door half open is favoured by most operators when they enter/exit, as it is a comfortable reach to the door hand hold. In the wide open position some operators’ arms are overextended when they reach for the door hand hold while stepping onto the track step.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Review the doors on all your heavy equipment. If the doors are designed to swing freely when opened, and the operators use it an “unlatched” open position, then you need to either;
1) review procedures used for entry/exit to control this hazard, or
2) alter the design of the door to prevent sudden movements when opened.

File attachments
2007-01-07 Equipment Operator dislocates shoulder.pdf
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