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Operational safety and efficiency in a sustainable forest-industry wood chain - commissioned reports


Date: 2004
Title: Assessment of firearm moderators
Authors: Elizabeth Brueck
Full report: PDF

Summary
Large caliber rifles are used by the Forestry Commission for the culling of deer. These rifles produce high levels of noise in excess of the peak action level given by the Noise at Work Regulations. Hearing protection is used but the response of hearing protectors is difficult to predict when using firearms. Only a limited range of moderators were selected for testing, as the intention was not to validate all the devices available but to find whether any were effective with the chosen rifle types.


Date: 2004
Title: Karabiner safety in the arboriculture industry
Authors: J Statham
Full report: PDF

Summary
Following instances of inadvertent opening of three-way karabiners, HSE commissioned HSL to carry out research into the use of karabiners in the arboriculture industry. 


Date: April 2003
Title: Risk perception by members of the public visiting forests
Authors: Entec UK Limited
Full report: PDF

Summary
The aim of the research was to evaluate the reasons why the warning and prohibition signs are ignored and why people knowingly or unknowingly put themselves at risk of injury. There are 5 elements to the research:

  • What do people understand the current system of safety signs used by the Forestry Industry to mean?
  • Is the signage clear?
  • Why do people ignore it?
  • How does risk and safety feature in the way forestry work is understood by visitors to forests?
  • What changes to the existing system are needed to better inform visitors to the forest of possible risk?

Date: 2002
Title: Ropes and Friction Hitches used in Tree Climbing operations
Author: Paolo Bavaresco, Treevolution
Full report: PDF

Summary
This report presents the results of a research project carried out into ropes and friction hitches commonly in use in tree climbing operations in the United Kingdom. The ropes and friction hitches in question are used by arborists as part of roped systems for ascending into trees, positioning themselves within trees, and descending from trees.

The background to the research project is described in some detail, followed by a discussion of the results and conclusions based on the findings. The data arising from the various tests are presented in full in tables at the end of the report and in summary within the body of the report.


Date: 2002
Title: The security of cross loaded round timber
Authors: TRL Limited
Full report: PDF

Summary
TRL Limited has carried out a programme of work to examine to security of cross loaded timber being transported on public roads and forest sites. The objective of this project was to examine whether current methods of transport for cross loaded round timber were appropriate and safe. The project examined the load shedding mechanism, the factors which trigger load movement, the methods of load restraint and examined the implications for driver loading.


Date: 2001
Title: Safe working methods with top-handled chainsaws
Authors: Treevolution
Full report: PDF

Summary
For the past ten years the HSE has had concerns over the safety of the use of top-handled chainsaws, which allows the chainsaw to be used one-handed. It is the expressed opinion of the HSE that this design ignores one of the fundamental design aspects of conventional chainsaws. The aim of this research project was to determine safe working methods that minimize the risk of injury when using top-handled chainsaws.


Date: August 2000
Title: Drying of transplants after insecticide treatment
Authors: John Boyd
Full report: PDF

Summary
The experiments in this report were part of an investigation into methods for treating transplants with insecticide. A feasibility study carried out by SAC in January 2000 explored some possible configurations for the treatment equipment. Following that feasibility study, FC and SAC agreed that development of a continuous flow treatment system should be postponed, and that a simple bath system should be constructed.


Date: 2000
Title: Review and assessment of the procedures for dealing with hung-up and windblown trees
Author: P Bavaresco, Treevolution
Full report: PDF

Summary
The number of accidents occurring during manual felling is thought to be due to either lack of training or the adoption of incorrect working practice. This report highlights that, despite adequate training provision and copious safety guidance, accidents still occur during the takedown of hung-up and windblown trees.