FATALITY - Safety Alert 2012-02-21 Loader Operator

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

It is with deep regret that the BC Forest Safety Council notifies the forestry community of our third fatality in 2012. On Tuesday, February 21st, a loader operator was fatally injured when he was caught between his loader and a log truck. The investigation into this incident is still in the early stages; however initial indications are that after the loader operator pushed the load off the logging truck (at a log dump into the water), the loader operator left his machine to assist the log truck driver. Sometime after the loader operator left his machine, the machine moved forward pinning the worker between the loader and the logging truck. This incident occurred in the West Kootenays area and the investigation into the cause is ongoing.

This is the second incident this year involving a machine operator being fatally injured while working outside of their machine.

We recommend that all equipment operators and their supervisors pause to review their operations safe work procedures and take the necessary steps to prevent similar incidents. Below are some general guidelines relating to equipment operation;

  • When working on or around equipment, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for ensuring that pieces of equipment are safely secured or locked out prior to performing maintenance, clearing debris, or working outside of the machine. Lockout, shutdown or stopping/parking procedures must be specific to the machine being operated and must prevent the inadvertent movement of the machine caused by the following energy sources:
    • Gravity / Slope
    • Mechanical
    • Hydraulic
    • Electrical
  • When locking out a machine or piece of equipment, test the equipment to prove that it is in a zero energy state prior to working around it.
  • Operators are often exposed to new hazards when they step outside of their machines. Assess these new hazards thoroughly and take steps to eliminate or control them.
  • When working outside of your machine, communicate this to your coworkers and wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Get a second opinion or ask for assistance when a situation arises that is out of the normal routine.


Learnings and Suggestions: 

Further information on hazard assessments may be found at www.bcforestsafe.org/RADAR

File attachments
BCFSC 2012-02-21 Fatality Alert_Final.pdf

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