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Worker fatally injured when struck by log bundle rolling down river bank

Date of incident: November 2013
Notice of incident number: 2013162000394
Employer: Dry land sort company

Incident summary

A worker employed to strap bundled logs in a dry land sort yard was in the work area, but the loader operator was not aware that he had arrived. The loader operator, believing that he was alone, drove a wheel loader up to a self-tripping log bunk containing a strapped bundle of logs. The loader operator pushed the loader against the logs to trip the stakes and release the bundle. The bundled logs rolled from the bunk, down the ramp, and into the water. At this time, the worker was either behind or below the bundled logs, and was struck by the bundle. He was likely pushed by the moving bundle of logs into the river. While the loader operator was working on another bundle, he noticed the worker's body in the water. The worker died from blunt force trauma injuries.

Investigation conclusions

Cause

  • Worker struck by moving log bundle: The worker died as a result of a significant blow. The worker was found directly beside the recently launched log bundle, so it appears likely that the worker was struck in the head by the moving log bundle.

Underlying factors

  • Inadequate safe work procedures: The worker was in a hazard area on the river side of the loaded log bunk when the bundle was released. The worker was able to freely enter and move about the worksite without anyone being aware that he was there. The hazard zones were not clearly identified. There were no specific safe work procedures to prohibit entering the hazard zones or to notify site personnel when workers arrived on the site. There was a failure to control access to unsafe areas.
  • Inadequate training, instruction, and supervision of workers: The loader operator, who was the worker's supervisor, provided training and instruction that it was permissible to go behind the loaded log bunk and feed the straps through underneath the bunk. The worker had performed this task many times with or in the company of the loader operator, who often helped him strap the bundle in this manner. The worker was given inadequate training, instruction, and supervision, and this contributed to the circumstances that resulted in this incident.

Request the full report

Publication Date: Nov 2013 Asset type: Incident Investigation Report Summary NI number: 2013162000394