Safety Library

Broken nose – high lead extraction harvesting site

Scottish Woodlands Health & Safety Toolbox Talk

A choker operator was struck in the face by a timber length which sprung up after being snagged by haul-in chains on a high lead extraction harvesting site. 
The choker position was being moved to enable a felled tree to be turned, to then allow it to be winched butt first, up to the landing area. The choker operator requested the slack to be taken up and the carriage to be moved further up the hill. There was nothing attached to the choker set at the time. The chains snagged on an old tree length which had been felled and left from a previous job, the tree length compressed and then recoiled striking the operator in the face before he could react.

What can we learn?
When planning or undertaking any site works, consider the residual site condition and how this may impact on the operational logistics and the safety of those undertaking any follow-on works.
Remove or mark-up snags or danger trees in the area before work begins, these can be thrown a significant distance if caught in the path of a tightening rope, a hauled load, or, as in this case, the choker chains during repositioning.
Ensure you always stand ‘in the clear’ – out of the way of any foreseeable hazards, in the logged off area if possible.
• Above and behind the turn
• Clear of swinging logs
• Out of the bight
Always have your visor down. While it will not prevent blunt impact injuries to the face, it may lessen the damage of these, and it will offer significant protection to the eyes from penetration injuries.

Read the full Tool box talk below.

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