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TimberWest November/December 2013

July/August 2015

Kathy Coatney captures Franklin Logging working at W.M. Beaty and Associates’ salvage site after the Day Fire.

Stone’s Extraordinary High Wire Side
Wayne Stone Logging takes on the challenges of steep slope logging

The First Steps to a State ParkWyEast Timber Services carves out a unique reputation for its ability to handle the difficult projects

California Fires—the Good,
the Bad, and the Ugly

Loggers discuss salvaging from
the 2014 fires

Log Hauling is in the Family Blood
Williams-Ford family restores
the family business

Woody Biomass Column
California’s Biomass Conundrum

Regulate or Be Regulated
Choices regarding operator restraint systems

2015-2016 Buyer’s Guide
A directory of industry products, manufacturers, distributors and services


In the News

Association News

Machinery Row

Guest Column
Russian Timber Companies Plan to Increase Exports of Unprocessed
Timber to the U.S.






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Regulate or Be Regulated

By Nate Burton, Technical & Safety Services Manager, Association of Equipment Manufacturers

Mobile equipment operator stations include protective operator structures; ROPS or TOPS. These include operator restraint systems, commonly called seat belts.

Return Home Safely

Most forest machines are constantly on the move, more than other machine types. Slopes and uneven terrain are routine. Booms with heavy attachments handle heavy tree parts and frequently cause sudden tilts and tips—unrestrained operators can be seriously injured.

  • An unexpected machine pitch from uneven terrain, high centering, or shifting center of gravity, can cause an unrestrained operator’s head to strike on a window, door post, or guarding resulting in serious injury.
  • A tip over/roll over can result in multiple blows to head, shoulders, and arms.
  • Machine upset requires fast exit. Blows that impair mobility or awareness endanger operators and those who render aid. Sometimes help is not near.

Operators, commit yourselves to returning home safely. Buckle up!

Forced to be Safe

To reduce injuries, the regulators—OSHA, WorkSafeBC, etc.—prefer forcing manufacturers to design and install solutions instead of punishing workers who ignore safety equipment.

New models so equipped can be clumsy and irritating to operate, and the solutions add cost and complexity to new models (remember passive car seat belts in the 1980s?). Higher new machine cost and complexity may cause contractors to delay new equipment purchases, resulting in older models operating longer.

Add It Up

There are solid reasons to buckle up. Here are just a few:

  • Buckling up increases the likelihood of returning home safely in an industry where injuries are too common.
  • If we all use seat restraints, it will help avoid the introduction of irritating manufacturer solutions that almost dare us to find a way around them.
  • Restraints that force operators to buckle up add cost and complexity to machines, which may cause operators to delay buying new models.

Self-regulate, or be regulated. It’s your choice.