Injuries and fatalities have been occurring in the forest industry due to processor ‘Chain shot’. Chain shot is when a processor chain breaks and the broken link is whipped or shot (sometimes in excess of 8,000 feet per second) from the processor head. This link travels at such a high rate of speed that it can severely injure or kill a worker if struck.
Recently, K&D Logging experienced a ‘chain shot’ which pierced through a 12mm Lexan window (see photos in attached pdf) and lodged in an operator’s leg, just below the knee. The operator required surgery to remove the 2 links from his leg.
Currently, K&D Logging has a chain re-sharpening program. The current program disposes of chains when: there is a broken link, damage to 2 or more teeth, excessive wear or more than 3 sharpenings. There will be more information on this topic as we learn from our chain supplier (Stihl) and from others who manage a chain sharpening program.
WorkSafeBC is working with manufacturers and dealers to develop engineered controls (barriers or guarding) to limit the risk of chain shot. Until these controls are finalized, operators need to ensure proper head positioning while cutting and avoid using chains with excessive wear.