Poleman injured when skyline rope broke

A poleman was badly injured – and left with a permanent disability – when a skyline rope broke and hit him.

Circumstances

The logs being hauled failed to move. the 28 mm skyline rope being used to haul the logs broke 70 m from the head spar. the broken end of the rope whipped back around the skyline block and struck the poleman who was sitting on the steps of the hauler.

[image] Shows the angle of the skyline rope in relation to the hillside

Circumstances

The logs being hauled failed to move. the 28 mm skyline rope being used to haul the logs broke 70 m from the head spar. the broken end of the rope whipped back around the skyline block and struck the poleman who was sitting on the steps of the hauler.

Investigation

The investigation determined that: – the breaker-out had attached the logs to a bull-rigging that was not set up so that it would break out when placed under extreme pressure – the tensioned skyline had insufficient deflection – due to their inexperience, neither the hauler operator nor the breaker-out recognised the potential risk created by the extreme tensions that had been generated by the faulty bull-rigging – positioning the hauler just 15 m from the head spar was ill advised – the hauler should not have been operating while someone was sitting on its steps.

WorkSafe New Zealand advice

At no stage during operations shall any person be positioned on a hauler, or under or in the bight of tensioned ropes. A poleman must always observe from a safe position during both the in and out haul stages of an operation.


Published: October 2010. Updated August 2017.

While this bulletin has not been updated to reflect current work health and safety legislation (the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 and regulations), it may still contain relevant information and practices to keep workers and others healthy and safe. Please read this guidance in conjunction with all relevant industry standards that apply to you as a PCBU. This guidance will be progressively reviewed and either updated, replaced with other guidance, or revoked.

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