Wood chipping fatality
Date: 8 December 2020
A 28-year-old worker sustained fatal injuries after becoming caught in an organic waste grinder while carrying out wood chipping activities. The worker was feeding wood chips into the grinder using a front-end loader with the grinder being operated by remote control from inside the front-end loader cabin. For reasons unknown, the worker has left the front-end loader with the milling heads of the grinder still running and became caught in the grinder. This is the second fatality in NSW in just over 12 months involving wood chipping activities.
Consider ‘reasonably practicable’ control measures to manage the risks associated with wood chipping activities. You must make sure:
- safe working zones are set up around any machinery prior to work commencing
- all moving parts are adequately guarded. All guards are in place and secure to prevent access to moving parts
- workers are trained and competent to operate machinery
- operators are not wearing anything that could be dragged into the machine or could catch on material being dragged into the machine, such as loose-fitting clothes, watches, gloves, etc
- machinery is always operated and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions
- any machinery comes to a complete stop, and is isolated, before attempting to clean or clear any blockages
- machinery is never left unattended while in operation
- appropriate PPE is always worn.