Innovation and collaboration between PCBU's

In 2017 PF Olsen entered the annual Safeguard Workplace Safety Awards, winning category 7 – Best Collaboration Between PCBU’s. This entry highlighted a great deal of good work on the part of a range of forestry PCBU’s.


PF Olsen aim to submit an entry or two into the workplace awards each year to commend the good work we see, and hopefully earn some national recognition. This year, PF Olsen Ltd made two entries, one in each of the PCBU and individual categories.

We also supported a submission by a Rotorua engineering company, 3D Industrial Engineering, who developed a grooved drum and drum sleeve to improve the safety of cable harvesting. This was done in conjunction with PF Olsen's Hamish Macpherson, FPNZ Ltd and one of our contractors.

This entry definitely ticked all the boxes in respect of consultation and collaboration. It was also highly innovative providing an engineering solution to a critical forestry risk. Starting with an initial conversation between Hamish and 3D Industrial Engineering, it then moved to a collaboration between PF Olsen, 3D Industrial Engineering and Ian Harvey, the principal of cable harvesting contractor FPNZ Ltd.

Replacing the ropes on a cable hauler carries a significant risk explained best by Ian Harvey, who has spent a lifetime with cable haulers: “To get the first layer (of rope) on, you need to get down between the drums where the rope is under huge tension, shafts are turning by your feet, drums are turning, and you are hammering the bottom layer on because 1mm of gap on the bottom layer equates to a huge gap towards the top.”

Poor spooling presents another risk as it can lead to catastrophic rope fatigue and breakage. This is a serious risk to the breaker-outs on the hill hooking on the logs.

You can view the Spoolpro lagged drum and sleeve in operation by clicking onto the following link. https://nz.pfolsen.com/environment-safety/safety-bulletins/2018/january/new-lagged-drum-sleeves/ 

3D Industrial Engineering developed a solution to mitigate a well-known risk. The solution is simple and removes the need for anyone to be in harm’s way. 3D’s sleeves can be retrofitted onto any yarder or winch assist machine drum already in operation, reducing both cost and downtime.  

PF Olsen backed this nomination for many reasons, but the main motivator was because of how well these PCBU’s had responded to our encouragement to innovate – to find solutions that improve safety and efficiency. Innovations like these in the forestry industry need to be recognised and applauded.

Post Script: The 3D drum and sleeve submission was not accepted as a finalist. Whilst this is disappointing, what remains is a product that will improve safety. PF Olsen will continue to encourage and help others to take every opportunity to communicate and showcase forestry initiatives and the exceptional works in progress. Let’s all aim to be tall poppies.