Franklin River Division, Vancouver Island
Date of Incident / Close Call:
Details of Incident / Close Call:
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This was an un-witnessed event.
- Worker was bucking a large Red Cedar Windfall (A) from the root wad.
- The worker had recognized he had a “situation” and had some communications with his partner leading up to this cut.
- The windfall he was bucking was cradled on top of windfall Root Wad (B).
- The orientation of both of the windfalls was uphill.
- Root Wad B had previously been long-butted 12 feet up the stem.
- Due to the physics in play, as the cut released, a chain reaction started.
- The bulk of the weight of Windfall (A) was above Root Wad (B).
- It is believed that as the cut released (“popped”) Root Wad (A) would have started to stand up, creating a pull on the log.
- Simultaneously the top of Windfall (A) would have fallen to the ground (due to weight) striking the road prism thus creating down hill pressure on Root Wad B.
- This weight shift caused Root Wad B to stand up (natural tendency).
- In the process Log A (now detached from stump) was being forced down slope in the air (the act of Root Wad B standing up accelerated the shift of Log (A) down-slope).
- There is evidence that while in the process of being forced down hill, Log (A) came in contact with its original stump (sap wood embedded in the butt of Log (A)).
- As Root Wad (B) stood up the right hand side of the top of the long but came in contact with Log (A) catapulting it further into the air down slope and to the right along the escape trail.
- It is believed that as the deceased worker was heading out along his escape trail he was struck by Log (A) and trapped beneath it.
- The deceased was found approximately eight feet (8’) from where he had been bucking Log (A) from its root wad.
Learnings and Suggestions:
When risk is elevated and recognized to where a person feels uncomfortable or unsure of the situation, the expectation is to STOP and RE-ASSESS.
- Supervisors and workers must ensure all options are considered when overcoming hazards.
- Alternate methods utilized by this crew included: calling for assistance, blasting, hitting a hazard with another tree, repositioning during the Yarding phase.
- Supervisors and management must constantly reinforce the use of alternate methods.