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Notify WorkSafe Call 1300 366 322

Inadequate guarding found on mobile plant used in forest industry

WorkSafe inspectors identified items of plant being used in the forest industry with inadequate guarding. The inspectors have identified excavators:

  • being used under the forest canopy with glass windows in the operator’s cabin (glass could shatter if struck by an object)
  • with HEX mounted cut off saws that do not have a chain catcher attached (to reduce the incidence of chain shot occurring if the saw chain breaks)
  • with HEX mounted cut off saws without a limit switch attached (to prevent the saw operating when the dipper arm/stick is angled back towards the operator’s cabin).

The Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU) must provide and maintain safe plant. This includes by ensuring all machines used in forestry operations are fitted with a protective structure, or made of material that will reduce the risk of injury to the operator when driving, should the machine:

  • overturn, roll over or tip over, and crush the cabin
  • be struck by a falling object, or
  • be struck by an object that might enter the cabin.

For example, this might mean ensuring machines are fitted with a roll-over cage, and any glass cabin windows are replaced with a polycarbonate-type material that will achieve compliance with the standard set out in section 10.7 of the Forest Safety Code (Tasmania) 2007.

Note: Any reference in this Forest Safety Code to ‘WST Guide 33’ means a reference to the Australian Standard AS2294.1 Supplement 1–2003: earth-moving machinery–Protective structures–General–Operator protective structures fitted to plant used in the timber industry (forest operations).

The PCBU must also ensure all machines with HEX mounted cut off saws attached have:

  • a chain catcher attached in accordance with the saw supplier’s specification, to prevent (as far as is reasonably practicable) chain shot occurring if the saw chain breaks
  • a functioning limit switch attached in such a way as to prevent the saw operating when the dipper arm/stick is angled at less than 90 degrees to the ground and towards the operator’s cabin.

Resources

Forest Safety Code (Tasmania) code of practice


First published in August 2014

Updated: 9th December 2019