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Is your Equipment up to Scratch

Winter conditions have arrived!

Winter brings tougher conditions adding an extra level of challenge to forestry work.  Not only is the cold, wet and dark harder to cope with from a human perspective, it’s harder on our kit as we try and make it complete the same workload as it does in more favourable conditions.  We certainly want to make the job as comfortable and productive as we possibly can and that starts with looking after ourselves and ensuring plant and equipment is in tip-top running condition.  Here are some things to think about:

  • Take a second pair of boots to work and protect leather boots e.g. with silicone spray.
  • Pack a second set of clothes for those wet days, and don’t forget your rainwear.
  • Wear layers of lighter clothing that can be removed if the day warms up.
  • Remember to pack warm clothing and check that its Hi-Viz properties are in good order.
  • Thoroughly check equipment for wear and tear – if at all in doubt replace the item.
  • Winter is the time for a ‘steady pace’ – not rushing in wet and slippery conditions.
  • Take care on tracks and roads – the risk profile may have altered for the worse.
  • Stay well away from edges, which may be sodden and/or give way under load.
  • Pay special attention to washes, streams and rivers – especially following heavy rain.
  • Re-visit information and processes to manage ‘Adverse Events¹’ and check your policy.
  • Drive and operate to the conditions – generally there will be less traction and visibility.
  • Good tyre tread is as important on machinery as it is on passenger vehicles.
  • Where night work is required, ensure the level of illumination is suitable – ACoP p. 23

¹ Refer to the PF Olsen Ltd – Safe OP – Adverse Events see ‘Principles for Managing Adverse Events and Making a Policy.’

View this article in Safety Bulletin 107