Chokerman Injured While Working on Snow-Covered Slope

Location: 
BC Southern Interior / Sandon, BC.
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2007-01-06
Company Name: 
H.A. Friedenberger Contracting Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A chokerman was injured while working on a snow-covered slope above Sandon, BC. He was attempting to fasten a choker onto a snow-covered subalpine fir tree so the tree could be cable yarded up the hill to the landing. The chokerman was walking along a suspended tree when he lost his footing and tumbled off the tree and landed on a stump.
He suffered injuries to his upper left leg and ribs, and because he could not walk on his own accord, he had to be transported in a basket stretcher up the hill by his co-workers. The chokerman was evacuated from the yarder landing by emergency transport vehicle to the hospital facilities in New Denver, BC – almost twenty kilometers from the incident location.
The injured worker was examined by a doctor and X-rayed at the hospital. Although the X-ray indicated no bones were broken, there was evidence massive bruising to the leg and ribs. The worker was discharged from the hospital and he will not be returning to work for at least two weeks.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

• Plan logging operations in areas of high snowfall so that falling operations are carried out only a few days ahead of the yarding operations. Doing so will reduce the amount of snow covering the felled timber and make it easier to access the timber so that chokers may be fastened to the trees. (Ensure that safe distances from falling operations are maintained at all times).
• Use extreme caution when walking on snow-covered trees / logs. The snow may hide tripping hazards and holes that a worker cannot see.
• Clean mud and snow from caulk boots frequently. Mud and snow will pack between the caulks, creating a smooth surface and making the boots heavy and cumbersome. A branch or stick will usually suffice unless the snow or mud is frozen to the bottom of the boots.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

H.A. Friedenberger Contracting Ltd., Nakusp, BC

File attachments
2007-01-06 Injury while on snow-covered slope.pdf
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