FATALITY - Safety Alert 2012-01-16 Grapple Skidder

Safety Alert Type: 
Heavy Equipment
Southern Interior
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
Company Name: 
BC Forest Safety Council
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

On Monday, January 16, 2012 in the southern interior of British Columbia, an operator of a grapple skidder was fatally injured. The investigation into the incident is still at an early stage and no final determination has yet been made as to the cause of the incident; however preliminary findings have determined that the operator died as a result of being run over by his skidder while he was outside of his machine.

We recommend that all equipment operators and supervisors take the time to review the following general guidelines relating to equipment operation with co-workers and crews:

  • When working on or around equipment/machinery it is a best practice to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for ensuring that the pieces of equipment/machinery are safely secured or locked out prior to performing maintenance, clearing debris, or working outside of the machine. Lockout, shutdown or stopping/parking procedures should be specific to the machine being operated and should prevent the inadvertent movement of a machine caused by the following energy sources:
    • Gravity / Slope
    • Mechanical
    • Hydraulic
    • Electrical
    • Pneumatic
  • Wherever possible, when conducting maintenance, stop the machine in an area that is flat, open and out of the way from other traffic or hazards.
  • When working on a piece of machinery / equipment ensure that the proper PPE is worn and that the appropriate tools are available.
  • Get a second opinion or ask for assistance when a situation arises that is out of the normal routine.
  • Ensure that when locking out a machine or piece of equipment that it is in a zero energy state prior to working on it.

As more detail is made available, the Council will provide additional resources and information. Further information on Risk based assessments may be found at: http://www.bcforestsafe.org/RADAR

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Additional information and related alerts on skidder incidents can be found on the WorkSafeBC publications website @ http://www2.worksafebc.com/publications/hazardalerts.asp . Once on the site enter “skidder” in the search field.

Grapple Skidder

The picture shown above represents one of the many skidders used in the forest industry and was not connected with the specific incident described above.

File attachments
BCFSC 2012-01-16 Fatality Alert.pdf

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