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Four Point Harness Systems

With the significant increase in steep slope harvesting occurring around the world, manufacturers of forestry machines are looking to ensure operators are kept safe in the event of a machine rollover.

Indeed, substantial effort has gone into the design of Operator Protective Structures (OPS) and in-cab safety features and, for example, most purpose-built forestry machines now have a factory fitted four-point harness system.

These harness systems have substantially reduced the chance of severe injury to the operator in a machine roll-over.

Retrofitting our Older Machines – Requirements:

An analysis of recent injury incidents has shown that not all machines working in the cutover had four-point harness fitted. And, with more machines operating in steep slope harvesting situations the number of rollover incidents has increased, meaning a response is necessary.

Taking “all reasonably practicable steps” suggests that machines in most forestry operations require to have a four-point harness fitted, to keep operators safe. This will require some machines to undergo retrofitting.

Some key points and product information/advice follows:

  • Most machines can have a four-point harness system retrofitted to the existing seat.

  • Consult with the manufacturer (or an engineer) to ensure the OPS is not compromised.

  • Approximate cost: Harness systems that fit onto the existing lap belt like the one pictured above cost between $NZ 500-$NZ 1,000.00 (retractable belts cost more).

PF Olsen Requirements: Where machines are working in the cutover and operating on slopes where our GSR’s have been exceeded – 18° rubber tyre machines or 22° tracked machines – the machine shall have a four-point harness system fitted for operator safety by the 1st of April 2019.

View this article in Safety Bulletin 116