Board contacts grading machine photoeye

Safety Alert Type: 
Sawmills and Reman
Castlegar, BC
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
Company Name: 
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

The Lineal High Grader (LHG) operator went to pull the LHG out in order to clean the scanner. At the same time, the Planerman was doing an adjustment to the Planer.

As the LHG was being backed out to be cleaned, the Planerman jogged a board forward, pushing it into the LHG. The board made contact with the infeed photo eye.

The LHG was shut down, stop button pushed, and permissive button pressed to prevent the rolls from moving. The PLC controls stopped the “planer feed auto” but did not stop the “jog” function. The PLC controls did not allow this fuction previously and had been changed at some point to allow this to happen.

This procedure did not require a lockout because employees were never entering the bite and only cleaning from outside of the area using an air wand. Potential for LHG damage or possibility of boards protruding from the feed line exist.

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  • The Safe Work Procedures for the LHG now requires a full lockout of the LHG when cleaning or inspecting. This means that a lockout is required any time the LHG main frame is moved to the “out” position or out of the feed line.
  • The LHG frame acts as a safety barrier and when in the “out” position, the potential for someone to enter the bite exists. Serious injury could occur.
  • PLC Controls cannot be used as a safe guard when removing guards or barriers, where potential for injury or damage exists.


For more information on this submitted alert: 

Tony Mackie, Safety Coordinator Tony.Mackie@Interfor.com

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