What is the issue?
Following an incident this year, we are concerned that the 12 mm polycarbonate screens used as log intrusion protection in machinery may not be adequate. We will be seeking industry views on the issue to determine whether changes are required.
Earlier this year a 20-30 cm, 6 m, 400 kg log smashed though the 12 mm polycarbonate front and rear screens of a forwarder in the lower North Island. The operator was very fortunate to avoid almost certain serious injury.
We have worked alongside the PCBUs directly involved through the Duty Holder Review process and they have identified some setting specific improvements to make, including adding steel screens.
However, we are considering whether there are broader issues around the use of 12 mm polycarbonate as a primary or sole protection against log intrusion. We are planning to meet with manufacturers, FISC, FICA and the FOA on this issue.
In the interim we urge all operators to ensure that the steps being taken to protect operators from log intrusion are fully effective for the particular situation that the machine is being used in. These could include:
- ensuring you are using the right machinery for the job. This includes providing suppliers and certifiers with an accurate understanding of the task and situation you will be putting the machinery to use in.
- ensuring that all manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations are being followed.
- reviewing if additional safeguards are need such as increased cab protection.