SAFETY ALERTS

THE FOREST INDUSTRY STANDARD

Current Safety Alerts

Report of Accident - Falling Tree

FISA Saftey Alert 05.17

Whilst felling a large diameter tree, the operator was just about to move around the tree after finished the felling cut when he noticed another tree beginning to fall behind him.  Unfortunately, he did not have enough time to react to the sight of the falling tree and was subsequently struck on the back.  

Learned outcomes 

Instances such as this where a small dead tree breaks off its stump and falls onto a Chainsaw operator whilst felling another neighbouring tree are unpredictable.  However, this accident highlights the importance of carrying out a thorough inspection of the immediate work area prior to undertaking any felling.  This will also include checking to ensure that escape routes are clear and free of any obstructions.  Forest Works Managers should also consider this hazard on future operations and the risks that such trees could pose to site based personnel including Chainsaw operators.  Should they deem it necessary, such hazards need to be recorded on the site based risk assessment and appropriate methods of controlling the risk identified and implemented.

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Report of Near Miss - Skyline

FISA Safety Alert 04.17

A near miss occurred on a clearfell operation in northeast England on an area of steep ground which was utilising a Skyline system for whole tree extraction. The Skyline operator had just pulled up two trees and dropped them at the top of the bank prior to them being picked up by the harvester.  The harvester operator removed one of the trees from the ground and began processing but whilst doing so the remaining tree became unstable. The Skyline operator did not notice the remaining stem on the ground as he was paying-out the carriage.  At this point, the remaining tree became unstable and began to slip away from the landing area down the slope towards the area where the two chokermen were positioned. 

Learned outcomes relate to planning, landing site location and communication.

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Operator finger injury

Scottish Woodlands Tool Box Talk - January 2018

A machine operator was fitting the ‘thumb’ attachment into place on the boom of his excavator.

The operator was driving the fixing pin into the housing on the main block holding the ‘thumb fitting’ in position. The operator caught the third finger on his left hand with the edge of the hammer as he was driving the pin home. He was wearing heavy leather gloves.

The operator is of the opinion that his heavy leather gloves greatly reduced the extent of the injury he received. The extremely cold temperature reduced his ability to hold and work the tools.

We have a number of accidents reported to us this time of year, when weather conditions are extreme and daylight hours are short. Understandably, operators look to maximise daylight time for productivity and sometimes push maintenance, servicing fuelling or mobilisation works, into the work times before or after daylight.

Undertaking these works in these extreme conditions is when our operators are most at risk. Please bear this in mind when planning out your working day.

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Fencing wire eye injury

Scottish Woodlands Tool Box Talk - Nov 2017

A section of wire sprang up and caught the operator in the right eye and cut the lower eyelid.

The fencing squad were aware of the hazard, the site risk assessment had identified the requirement of eye protection and the squad had protective goggles with them on site, however they had chosen not to wear these at this time as they were finding that they were steaming up.

When you are selecting safety glasses/goggles for your protection ensure you purchase those marked as EN166. Consider using glasses with anti-scratch (marked as K) and anti-fogging (marked as N) coatings, these greatly reduce the loss of clarity through abrasion and misting up. Better quality glasses/goggles allow better clarity and last longer.

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Safety Zones / Escape Routes

FISA Safety Alert 03.17

Four recent serious accidents in Scotland have served as a stark reminder how dangerous worksites involving chainsaw work can be.  Despite a huge amount of effort over the past few years these accidents keep happening.  Tragically, most could have easily been prevented.  

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