Mobile Plant Seatbelt Arrangements
Regarding seatbelts â€“ the standard commonly quoted (AS 2664) in various codes and guidelines has been withdrawn, in preference for ISO 6683. This change affects restraint requirement i.e. 75mm (belts) and 50mm (upper torso), which change to 46mm for both under ISO 6883 and therefore what is written in the Approved Code of Practice for Protective Structures on Self Propelled Mobile Mechanical Plant, Company auditing systems, and WorkSafe NZâ€™s Mobile Plant Assessment Tool (2018).
Â The NZ Forest Industry (in association with the Forest Industry Safety Council) is currently considering the issue of a practice note advising the change in standards and requirements going forward.
Â Machine owners should wait for this advice before making any changes to machinery.
Â We cannot say how the current measurements will be affected, however, where machines have the 46 mm belts fitted, they should also have a tag displaying the relevant standard â€“ see example in the image below:
In some recent machine rollovers, glass from the breaking windows has become embedded into the buckle or the retractor mechanism making it impossible to disconnect the belt to free the operator.
Several operators have reported a solution and advise carrying an emergency seatbelt cutter which can be clipped to the operatorâ€™s clothing or key ring.
View this article in Safety Bulletin 117