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Planting Season – knees and ankles!

Each year during the planting season, slips, trips and falls increase resulting in sprains and strains, with some leading to injuries that incur lost time or requiring surgery!

The planting season, which is typically 3 to 4 months in duration, furnishes our records with around 42 incidents. That equates to one incident every few days and most are slips, trips and falls. Some recent examples include:

  • Minor Injury 04/07/17 (INC147): A Plotter slipped while setting up a QC plot. Started moving downhill and slipped on some slash landing heavily on tailbone.

  • Minor Injury 13/07/17 (INC192):A tree planter stood in a hole while planting and twisted his knee, re-injuring a rugby injury from 3 months before.

  • Lost Time Injury 17/07/17 (INC172):A worker stood on some slash, which did not hold his weight. He twisted his knee before falling onto the same knee, damaging it.

Planting sites have high levels of hindrance (logging slash and re-growth). This tends to obscure the holes and hollows that planters come across. So what can we do to protect ourselves?

  • Training and supervision are vital – spending time showing workers the various hazards and how to approach them can certainly help avert or limit the risk!

  • Tree planting is a very physically demanding job – adequate rest at night, good nutrition at home and at work, and decent breaks during the workday are vital.

  • Quit alcohol and drugs – their after affects provide no help for any workers!

  • Wash daily and treat minor cuts and scrapes promptly, before they become infected.

  • Wear safety footwear with good support and take the time to be sure of your footing.

  • Use experienced planters in riskier areas – no planter should work near slips or bluffs.

  • Clear away undergrowth from each planting spot – a stitch in time saves nine!

 Are You Carrying A Sports Injury!

Sports injuries, like work injuries are covered by ACC – from the ‘earners’ account. Please be sure to inform your employer of any sport injury. This helps them obtain the right assistance for you and (potentially) to place you on light duties until you are better.

View this article in Bulletin 108