Safety Bulletins

Two. Serious Felling Incidents!

NOGGIN INC835 13/02/2018 - LTI

Training - L4 tree feller with an observer.

Description - A large tree sat back before the feller could wedge it. With no obvious driver tree immediately available, he skirted about felling other trees, to get himself into position. While walking to the selected driver tree the un-wedged cut-up tree broke off its stump and fell onto him.

Injuries - Fractured pelvis and femur.

7 harms - Number 2 (incorrect technique) and 4 (hung-up/cut-up trees).

Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) - While circumstances have a bearing on the decisions a tree feller makes, the ACoP outlines a time proven series of steps to follow.

Clause (11.6.1) states that - A hung-up or cut-up tree shall be brought to the ground immediately (e.g. using a re-cut. See 11.6.2) or the hazard managed until such time as it can be brought to the ground. If the cut-up tree is to be brought down (by a tree drive), refer to section 11.7: Tree driving.

The steps outlined in this section (see 11.7.5) direct that a holding wedge shall be inserted in the backcut of each tree to be driven. The importance of following this rule is very clear!

NOGGIN INC903 13/02/2018 - LTI

Description - While thinning to waste, a felled tree (a regen) has fallen in an unexpected direction resulting in it hitting another worker on the back of his helmet.

Injuries - Headache and continuing headaches.

7 harms - Number 1 (working too close) and 4 (incorrect technique).

Approved Code of Practice - Clause 11.4.3 directs that no person shall be closer than two tree lengths to a tree being felled. We can only speculate on the injury that a larger tree would have caused in this case. Notwithstanding, this incident shows how vital it is to have and follow a plan that keeps workers organised and properly spaced apart.

View this article in Safety Bulletin 113