Recent incidents involving the use of chainsaws resulted in a minor laceration requiring hospital treatment and a near miss where there was resultant damage to equipment.

There are several lessons from this incident:

1. Chainsaw operations must be conducted in accordance with the SWMS Chainsaw Trim and Cut Felled Trees Basic & Intermediate felling V2.1 and the equipment operator’s manual. Both these documents are to be reviewed and acknowledged prior to commencing operations.

2. Pre-start checks, daily and periodic maintenance and chainsaw operations are to be conducted in accordance with the operator’s manual.

3. DRA specifically certifies chainsaw operators following completion of training or other competency assessment. Only operators who are certified as Basic or Intermediate tree fellers may cut down trees and then in accordance with the SWMS.

4. Chainsaws are only to be operated by competent and experienced personnel who can demonstrate their current skill to a competent person at the commencement of the wave. This also known as Verification of Competency (VoC) and it may be necessary to outsource this activity.

5. On-site training is not to be conducted unless authorised in the OPORD.

6. A Safety 5 is to be conducted by the STL at each new site or when new people join the ST.

7. Loose fitting clothing, PPE and long hair are significant hazards and resulted in one of the incidents above. Operators and supervisors are to ensure such items are close fitting.

8. During tree felling operations, a strict exclusion zone equal to twice the tree height is to be enforced and no person or vehicle other than the operator is to be within this zone.

Please ensure appropriate distribution of this alert.

The Operations Team

3 March 2021