HAZARD: Hammering hard steel

Safety Alert Type: 
Hand and Power Tools
Coastal Woodlands
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
Company Name: 
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

After splicing a haulback, the worker used a hard steel hammer to drive a marlin spike to remove a log staple that had been used to secure the wire rope to a log.

While hammering, a shard broke off the marlin spike and hit the Hooktender in the back of the left hand penetrating his glove. He was working approximately 7 feet away.

A plastic surgeon removed the metal shard as it was embedded close to tendons and nerves. This had the potential to be much more serious.

This was a repeat of similar very serious incidents (using hard steel hammer on hard steel) that happened in April 2017 and April 2019.

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  • NEVER hammer hard steel with hard steel
  • Use the correct tools for the job - A soft steel hammer. “Railway Spikes” are better than staples to hold wire. Mounted splicing box is the best.
  • Always wear proper PPE when hammering or grinding steel.
  • Workers need to take the time to identify hazards, conduct adequate risk assessments and follow Safe Work Procedures, regardless of repetitive or routine tasks.
  • Speak up if you see a safety hazard or potential issue. Help look after fellow workers’ safety.


For more information on this submitted alert: 

Gary Bauer, Coastal Woodlands Operations Gary.Bauer@interfor.com


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