Mechanical Harvesting

Location: 
Cowichan
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2008-03-10
Company Name: 
Ted LeRoy Trucking
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A log loader operator was hoe chucking above the road on a 30-40% slope. When the operator swung down towards the road the seat base broke and the operator fell towards the front window. The operator was wearing his seat belt and the safety straps holding the seat to the cab floor prevented the operator from being tossed into the front window.

The seat base was inspected by a mechanic and deemed to have had preexisting cracks. The seat base has now been fixed and updated with a stronger one. The operator only suffered minor soreness to his back but this incident could have resulted in more severe injuries.

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  1. Ensure ALL equipment operators inspect their seats and seat bases for cracks.
  2. Ensure safety straps from the seat to the cab floor are in place and secure. This also re-enforces the importance of seat belt use while operating equipment.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Jim Vaux or Shawn Munson
Ted LeRoy Trucking
Chemainus, BC
250-246-2880

File attachments
2008-03-10 Seat Broke Loose in Loader.pdf

Mechanical Harvesting

Location: 
Quesnel
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2008-01-25
Company Name: 
Jordef Enterprises
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Mechanic partially crushed his right arm/hand while working on a feller buncher Madill 2250.
In the process of checking the hydraulics for an abnormal noise in one of the valve sections, while boom functions were being worked, his right arm/hand became pinched by the moving cover attached to the boom base. Had it not been for the quick reaction by the operator, the mechanic could have lost his hand. Mechanic received several stitches plus a sore arm and had to work only at a light duty level for a week.

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  1. The mechanic did not evaluate the situation for hazard risks before placing his hand/arm adjacent to the moving cover.
  2. Poor lighting may have contributed to the problem as incident occurred in early morning. A trouble light should have been placed in the area he was working to help identify any risks.

 

File attachments
2008-01-25 Mechanic Crushed While Working On Buncher.pdf

Mechanical Harvesting

Location: 
Malakwa
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2007-12-17
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Loader Operator was working on setting up roadside yarded logs for loading at approximately 5:30 am before yarding crew arrived. As loader was moving logs around a hemlock log slid down the hill in the dark and hit the backspar machine approx. 400 ft. below road.

Loaderman was not aware that a log had slid down and hit the backspar machine until the yarding crew arrived and noticed the cab on the backspar machine was missing.

No injuries resulted from this incident.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Keep separation between loading area and active yarding roads; make sure logs are stable on road or landing.

Yarding crew to be safe distance from the active yarding road during any operations, and do not sit in backspar machine during active yarding.

File attachments
2007-12-17 Log Hits Backspar Machine.pdf

Mechanical Harvesting

Location: 
Southern Interior
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2008-01-01
Company Name: 
H.A. Friedenberger Contracting Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A cable yarder work site was located along the side of a road (narrow operation due to steep slopes on both sides of the road), and processed wood (hand bucked) was being decked along both sides of the road (decks parallel to the road). The Loader Operator began decking logs onto a new bunk-log deck that was situated beside an existing shortlog deck (both of these decks were located on upper side of road).

The company safety coordinator noticed that some of the logs being placed on the bunk-log deck were intertwined with logs contained in the short-log deck. The safety coordinator intervened - explaining the situation to the loader operator and asking the loader operator to ensure the logs contained in each deck were not intertwined (ensure each deck is separated by a distance of at least one meter). The loader operator complied by moving the logs in the bunklog deck so that all the logs in the deck were separated from the short-log deck.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Adjacent log decks must be separate from each other to ensure that logs from each deck are not intertwined. When logs are intertwined, there is a potential for logs that are being placed in the one deck (in this case – the bunk-log deck) to jar the logs contained in the other deck (in this case – the short-log deck). A chain reaction could cause logs to topple off the deck (short-log deck) uncontrollably and possibly strike any person who may be walking or working (usually the buckerman) below the deck (in this case – the short-log deck).

File attachments
2008-01-01 Close Call With Intertwining Logs.pdf

Mechanical Harvesting

Location: 
Northern Interior
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2008-01-01
Company Name: 
WorkSafeBC
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A rigging crew was working in difficult conditions. As a log was being yarded in, a problem developed and the stop signal was given. The top of the log pivoted from its base and fell under and across the mainline, striking and fatally injuring the rigging slinger who was not in the clear.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

All workers, including the person who gives the signal, must be in the clear before the go-ahead signal is given.

File attachments
2008-01-01 Log Falls Across Mainline-Fatally Injurying Worker.pdf

Mechanical Harvesting

Location: 
Vancouver Island
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2008-01-01
Company Name: 
WorkSafeBC
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A haulback line was sawn into the up-hill side of a stump, creating a bight in the line (a siwash). To clear the siwash, a hooktender started to buck the stump from the uphill side of the stump, outside the bight. He then stepped below the stump and started cutting the stump on the downhill side, inside the bight. As he cut through the stump, the energy in the siwashed haulback line released. This energy created a slingshot-like motion that carried the stump and the hooktender over a steep bank. The hooktender was fatally crushed when the flying stump landed on him.

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  • Never work in the bight of any yarding line.
  • Ensure that, after any road change, all yarding lines are clear, before the rigging crew starts yarding logs.
  • Supervisors, review with all yarding crews the safe method of preventing and removing any siwashed lines; also provide workers with written jobsafety procedures.

 

File attachments
2008-01-01 Fatality Result of Flying Stump.pdf

Mechanical Harvesting

Location: 
Northern Interior
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2008-01-01
Company Name: 
WorkSafeBC
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A logging cable-yarder engineer was killed when two guylines failed, allowing a yarder tower to topple on him. The engineer, using a remote control operating console, was standing only 10 ft. (3 m) uphill of the yarder when the accident happened. The yarder was secured by three cable guylines attached to anchor stumps. As logs were being yarded in, two of the three anchor stumps failed. The holding wood, above the notching on one stump, was completely stripped off, allowing the guyline cable to pull free from the stump. Another anchor stump pulled out of the ground and overturned, allowing the second guyline to fly free. The anchor stumps were not properly positioned, causing the load to be unequally distributed.

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  • Ensure that all workers receive adequate instruction in the safe performance of their duties.
  • Select anchor stumps that are about equal distance from the yarder, so that they provide equal load distribution.
  • Use adequate anchor stumps with proper notching and a type of guyline that will ensure a maximum bight on the stump.
  • Ensure that all workers work in an area that is beyond the reach of the yarding tower.

 

File attachments
2008-01-01 Fatality Result of Guylines Failing.pdf

Mechanical Harvesting

Location: 
Vancouver Island
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2008-01-01
Company Name: 
WorkSafeBC
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A hooktender died from his injuries following an accident involving the practice of blind casting. The grapple-yarder operator and the hooktender were cleaning up a road that had been previously logged. The yarder operator could not see the hooktender, as the yarder was located on a landing 100 metres (330 ft.) above the logged area. The crew was rigging with a grapple that the hooktender guided into place with his radio. After using a number of blind casts to retrieve logs the hooktender misjudged one of the casts.

As a result, the grapple struck the hooktender before he could clear the area. He later died from
multiple injuries.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Prohibit blind casting when hooktender is out of the yarding operator’s sight.

Provide written safe work procedures to all workers and review each job safety breakdown on a regular basis.

Use chokers to reach wood that is located away from the road line.

If necessary, walk the machine back into lead for yarding wood or clean-up.

File attachments
2008-01-01 Blind Casting Cause of Fatality.pdf

Manual harvesting/bucking

Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2008-05-15
Company Name: 
Western Forest Products
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A Faller was working in a heli block on an average side hill of 30% to 40% slope. There were lots of pre-identified hazards such as large slabbed cedar snags throughout the block. The
faller was attempting to fall a 22 inch diameter, 55 foot tall sound hemlock tree that was adjacent and within eight inches of a 3 foot diameter 71 foot tall cedar snag. The cedar snag
had a solid butt and ragged and broken spiked top.

The faller walked around the cedar & hemlock tree twice and had assessed the hemlock to be limb tied into the cedar snag. (It was later confirmed during the investigation that a large limb of the hemlock was growing around a crook in the cedar snag at approximately 37 feet from the ground). The faller made a decision to fall the hemlock first. He was positioned directly below the point where the trees were limb tied to fall the hemlock. As he finished his back-cut and was preparing to get into the clear, a chunk from the cedar snag about 34 inches long and weighing between 10 to 12 pounds fell, striking the faller on the head. The faller was looking up at the time, and was struck with a glancing blow off the top part of his
forehead.

Upset Conditions:

  1. Stand had a high concentration of large slabbed snag top cedars.
  2. Limb tied green tree in close proximity and coupled with a snag.
  3. Working directly below the point where the trees were limb tied.

 

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  1. Ensure that areas with high potential falling hazards such as highly decadent stands, heavy concentration of snags, and large boulders are identified at the engineering phase and at the pre-work. (This was done for this area)
  2. Ensure that the bull bucker assesses the work area for hazards prior to commencement of falling. (This was done for this area)
  3. Assess limb tied trees for hazards such as broken tops, limbs, and loose debris in canopy, and fall both trees together if possible. If either tree can not be safely felled, seek qualified assistance.
  4. Get a second opinion / second set of eyes when you encounter a falling difficulty.
  5. When dealing with green trees that are limb tied and closely coupled with a snag, do not put yourself in the bite directly below limbs where you do not have a clear view and the potential exists for debris to fall directly where you are working at the base of the tree.
  6. If a safe option exists to fall both the green limb bound tree & the snag directly down hill, rather than into lay; choose the option of falling the timber downhill if that will overcome the hazard.
  7. If it is safe to do so, cut up the green limb bound tree and use an alternate tree a safe distance away to push the limb bound tree out of the snag.
  8. If no safe option exists for removing both the green limb bound tree & the snag, consider blasting the trees.

 

File attachments
2008-05-15 Manual harvesting-bucking.pdf

Manual harvesting/bucking

Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2008-01-01
Company Name: 
WorkSafeBC
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A dangle-head processor was cutting a log when the chain broke at the top of the saw bar. A tooth flew off the chain, and this “chain shot” penetrated the 5⁄16-inch-thick steel plate at the side of the cab. The operator in the cab was not injured.

The processor was fitted with a chain catcher and guard. In addition, the operator had angled the saw bar away from the cab — a safe work practice the company was using as a result of a WorkSafeBC hazard alert in 2004. However, the window of the cab was only half-inch polycarbonate. If the bar had been directly in line with the cab, the chain shot could have gone through the window and hit the operator.

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  • Never operate a log processor with the saw bar directly in line with the cab window. Position the saw bar at an angle to the window.
  • Consider installing a chain catcher and chain shot guard to minimize the risk of chain shot hitting a worker. (However, a chain catcher and chain shot guard will not completely eliminate the hazard, especially if the chain breaks at the top of the bar.)
  • Consider upgrading the cab’s front window from 1⁄2-inch polycarbonate (which will not stop all chain shot) to 11⁄4-inch laminated polycarbonate or its equivalent.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for chain speed, chain tension, and for maintenance of the chain, bar, and sprocket.
  • Do not repair chains with used parts.
  • Keep ground workers at least 70 metres (230 feet) away from a working processor.

 

File attachments
2008-01-01 Broken Chain Penetrates Steel Plate.pdf
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