PPE & Operator Protective Structures (OPS)
7097 26/05/2015 - Lost Time Injury
When using a static delimber the machine operator places the large (butt) end of the stem into the delimber (blue) then pulls the stem through to its small end (see Fig. 2). NB: Delimbers are not generally designed to remove large or heavy branching.
In this incident, a machine operator was attempting to delimb a heavily branched stem by pushing the stem through the delimber (see Fig. 1) whereas the heavy branches should have been removed with a chainsaw.
A large branch entered the cable of the machine (Fig. 1) and struck the operator on the leg resulting in a fracture!
NB: The reason for not cutting the branches off with the chainsaw may lie with the fact that the operator was not wearing safety boots on the day!
There is no Substitute for Best Practice!
This is both dangerous and very hard on the equipment. It also results in poor log quality e.g. large holes as the branch is ripped out of its socket.
WorkSafe NZ issued an improvement notice, on the employer, for failing to ensure that the operators' cabin frontal area was protected by safety glass.
View this article in Safety Bulletin 92