Current Safety Alerts

Struck by tree during a felling operation

HSE - Initial notification of forestry fatality - see attached.

Key messages

Being struck by a tree, or branches, during felling or other tree work is a significant cause of death and major injury in forestry, aboriculture and other land-based industries. Tree work is common across the wider agricultural industry and the risks need to be managed. 

• Anyone involved in felling or tree work must be trained and competent for the task being done. 
• Making a felling cut is a one-person job. No other people should be close (keep people two tree lengths away). If the tree is on a slope, don’t let people stand lower down the slope where they will be at greater risk of being struck.   
• Check trees for signs of decay and other factors that may affect felling.
• Keep the escape route, and work area, clear of obstructions.
• Communicating safety information to everybody, including visitors, is an important part of managing health and safety. 

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Lifting Equipment Pre-Use Checks

Please see attached safety alert received from ABP  

Yet again – this underlines the importance of carrying out and recording  pre use / daily inspection sheets on both machines and attachments.

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Forest Haulage - Load Security

Featured at the recent FISA summit the issue of ‘load security’ for round timber haulage raised the need for clarity in the industry.

Ultimately load security is the responsibility of the driver and operator licence holder, it’s not as clear as 1 strap or 2 straps (ie a bunk of long length peeled may require 3 straps) and HSE advise it becomes a specific risk assessment. The Road Haulage of Round Timber Code of Practice 4th edition is still the baseline document that Operators Licence holders should continue to reference when deciding on strapping options.

The risk assessment becomes the important part and should include consideration of what in your business might cause harm.

Read the full Alert below for more on what the risk assessment should cover.

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Using the correct equipment

Two incidents involving port staff using the wrong type of equipment to move a load have recently occurred. Both incidents could have been avoided if the right handling method and equipment had been used.

Using the correct equipment is as important in forestry.

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Fall from Height Incident

While this alert is from a Port incident - working at height is an important safety issue in forestry too.

Operative falls some 8 feet whilst attempting to clean the windscreen of a loading shovel. 

Do not, under any circumstances climb on, or up plant and machinery without them having safe and correct access ways, and then, only after fully assessing the hazards and risks

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