LOWBOY RAMP INJURES LOGGER
BACKGROUND: A logging crew supervisor was loading a skidder onto a lowboy trailer on a clear, breezy spring day in the South.
PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS: The logger had 15 years' experience in the logging industry and supervised the day-to-day operations of his company. He did not have a written safety plan but relied on weekly informal safety meetings. This system, and some common sense, helped him maintain a relatively safe work place until this accident. The logger was considered a good supervisor and would not tell someone to do something he would not do himself.
UNSAFE ACT OR CONDITION: The logging crew supervisor lifted heavy objects without mechanical or manual assistance.
ACCIDENT: The supervisor and his crew were completing their preparations to move to a different location. As everyone else watched, the supervisor loaded and secured a skidder on a lowboy trailer. He used a winch line to pull both trailer ramps up, unhooked the line, and began to secure the ramps with one chain. The supervisor fed the chain through the first ramp and had moved to the other ramp to do the same when the first ramp fell, causing the second ramp to fall on top of him.
INJURY: The crew leader suffered a cracked disc in the lower back area and lung damage. He is unable to lift over 15 pounds.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CORRECTION: The logging crew supervisor could have asked for assistance in lifting the ramps and used two separate chains, rather than just one, to secure them-but did neither. He also could have kept the winch line secured to the ramps until the chains were fastened.
Never place yourself in a position where equipment or attachments could fall onto you or another worker.
2301 Hwy. 190 West
DeRidder, Louisiana 70634
Reviewed by: Jason Cutshall
Southcentral Region Manager