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SA: amputation injury sustained while felling trees

Date: 
Tuesday, 7 January, 2020 - 17:00
Category: 
Incidents & prosecutions
Location: 
South Australia

A 24 year-old-male worker was recently using a chainsaw to fell trees and sustained a serious injury from a falling limb, resulting in amputation.

The incident occurred at Mount Compass in South Australia, and SafeWork SA is currently investigating the incident.

The regulator said that each year, Australian workers are seriously injured or killed during tree felling and related activities.

Businesses that they must, so far as is reasonably practicable, ensure people are not exposed to health and safety risks resulting from the work activities being performed, according to SafeWork SA.

This includes determining and implementing safe systems of work to eliminate or minimise risk.

Safe systems of work are based on a risk assessment process, involving those performing the work.

The method in which the task will be performed will become your safe work procedures (SWPs).

On-site assessment must be undertaken to identify and control site-specific risks on every new tree felling job.

When felling trees with a chainsaw, only trained operators should be performing the task and appropriate PPE must be worn at all times while a saw is being operated.

Activities involving chainsaws have the potential to expose workers to hazards that could result in a serious injury requiring immediate first aid.

SafeWork SA also said to always have access to a trained first aider and avoid working alone.