Skidder operator has near-miss in chipper danger zone

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Always get the attention of equipment operator


Hazard Alert - Skidder operator has near-miss in chipper danger zone - Please share this printable pdf to encourage discussion and help raise awareness of hazards in your workplace


Wood chipper on forestry worksite

What happened?

In autumn 2013, a grapple skidder operator had a close call during a roadside chipping operation when he parked in the chipper danger zone and exited the cab without notifying the chipper operator. Unaware of the presence of the skidder, the chipper operator swung the boom in the direction of the parked skidder.  As the chipper operator swung the boom, he noticed the skidder operator exiting the cab. He tried to stop the boom from swinging, but the pendulum motion of the clam struck the skidder operator on the right leg.  

Why did it happen?

The skidder operator left the cab of the machine within the danger zone of the chipper, and without the consent of the chipper operator, who is responsible for controlling the danger zone. There was a failure to confirm positive communication as required when working in the danger zone.

How could it have been prevented?

The correct, safe work standard for working in and around a chipper needs to be followed. The danger zone, typically 60 metres (200 feet) for this particular make of chipper, is defined as the area around operating equipment, vehicles, or working personnel, where there is the potential for being struck by moving, equipment, vehicles or objects.

Any person approaching an operating machine or vehicle, whether in a machine or vehicle, or on foot, must stop and remain clear of the danger zone until the attention of the operator-driver has been obtained, by radio or visual contact, for example.

The chipper operator is responsible for safe operation of the chipper. No one is to approach the chipper without permission and awareness of the operator. No one is allowed on the chipper outside the cab while it is being operated, except for inspection and testing under appropriate protocol as outlined in the operator’s maintenance manual.

Use extreme caution while operating around chipper in loading boom area, debris removal area and around trucks and vans.

Please print, post, and share the above pdf document along with the video below to encourage discussion and help raise awareness of hazards in your workplace.


WSN video excerpt: Beware machinery danger zone