Current Safety Alerts

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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Self-employed tree surgeon was killed after falling from height while pruning trees

HSE - Initial notification of forestry fatality - see attached.

Key messages:

• Falls from height are the biggest cause of workplace deaths and one of the most common causes of major injuries.
• Within arboriculture falls from height remain common and they often result in death or major spinal injury.
• The proportion of people killed doing tree work is higher than almost any other occupation.
• Tree workers must be adequately trained and their competence checked.
• Avoid the need to work at height when it is reasonably practicable to do so, for example by using extending equipment to prune from the ground.
• If work has to be done at height, use MEWPs or similar platforms that prevent a fall through collective protective measures.
• To comply with the law, aerial tree work with ropes should only be undertaken once it has been demonstrated that the alternatives are not reasonably practicable.

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Chainshot – chain safety features missing from machines!

3rd May 2019

Over the last couple of days the FISA CEO has been out having a look at some harvesters (she has looked at a range of colours/brands).

She has been very disappointed to see on a number of machines that are only 3 -5 years old that the majority of the chain safety features where missing!  These are not expensive items, they’re easy to fit.  Indeed, they would have been fitted when the machine was new as vital chainshot protection.

Please do yourself a favour and get these back on your machines. 

Worn sprockets were also a common sight– this will also increase the risk of chain shot, and cost you more in chains, so please get them replaced if they’re worn!

If you’re an FWM, do your contractors a favour, encourage this maintenance to be done.

The FISA Plant & Equipment WG will be issuing more on this shortly.  We are putting this note out now as she was so shocked to see the poor level of maintenance on the straw poll of harvesters she looked at.

Falling Deadwood

Forestry & Land Scotland - Safety Alert

An experienced chainsaw operator was working on a slope felling mature spruce trees. As the tree was felled, a broken top fell approx. 8m from a neighboring dead tree, striking him on the head. The operator had moved into his prepared escape route, but the broken top fell into this zone.

Prior to felling the tree, he had checked the canopy but could see no signs of loose or snagged limbs. On inspection after the accident, it’s suggested that the top had rotted for a number of years, but was still attached upright, albeit supported by the neighboring trees. As the spruce was felled, the top lost its support and was able to fall to the ground.

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