Safety Bulletins

Operator Protective Structures

Incident Raises Questions

FIPS 8483 7/12/2016 - Medical Treatment:

Description: A tethered feller buncher operator was walking the machine up a hill when the 21mm poly-carbonate screen dislodged from its frame and fell backwards into the cab, hitting the operator on his head. This caused a laceration that required stitches.

Investigation: The investigation found that the nylon rollers that held the window in the track to allow the window to open were no longer fitted. The most likely cause of them missing would have been vibration given the front window had not been opened for some time. With the rollers missing there was extra play in the mounting of the window. This steep angle of the slope plus forward motion allowed the window to drop out from the top mounts and to come forward on to the operator.

Operator Protective Structures (OPS):

Whether fitted after-market or factory fitted, OPS on forestry machinery must meet and remain compliant to the standards.

Compliance shall in all cases be measured against the ACOP for Operator Protective Structures on Self Propelled Mobile Mechanical Plant (ACOP).

Additional information is usually provided during the Contractor Induction, including the OPS Audit Sheet. We require that this sheet is completed for all machinery at the work-site and thereafter used to record any new additions or alterations.

In regard to slopes, all operations that have machinery working on steep slopes should take care that the machines:

    • Have an engineer's approval in relation to the slopes they will be working on, and

    • Are regularly and thoroughly inspected to determine if the OPS and guarding still meet the standards for the work intended. Any machine not meeting these criteria must be taken out-of-service until such time it does.

View this article in Safety Bulletin 105