Tethered Felling and Winch Machine Rollovers
The Approved Code of Practice at clause 6.2.2 states: Where the stability of mobile plant is compromised by slope, weather or ground conditions then a specific hazard management plan shall be developed, implemented and monitored.
While section 6.4 has specific rules for winch-assisted harvesting on steep slopes machine stability on slopes is a fundamental requirement.
NOGGIN INC2170 23/03/20 - Property Damage.
Description - A winch-assisted felling machine was sidling around hill when it hit a stump, causing the winch rope to tighten. Due to a change in angle, once the rope tightened it tipped the machine over.
NOGGIN INC2539 22/06/20 - Property Damage.
Description - A sudden release of the tether (rope) from around a stump changed the angle of the rope so that it was out of lead from the machine placement. Unaware, the operator proceeded to make a line shift. The angle pulled the winch machine over causing damage to the Operator Protective Structure (OPS), its windows and the tether ropes, all of which needed to be replaced.
Injuries No! Costly Damage Yes!
Over the last two years there have been eight rollovers of felling machines and one of a winch machine. The operators have not been injured, apart from scratches, bruises, and shock, nonetheless, these events have caused significant property damage and downtime and the repair costs have come at an unwelcome time for the Contractors involved.
View this article in Safety Bulletin 121