Waratah wins pres­ti­gious Na­tional Safe­guard Award

Australian Forests and Timber - - Steep Slope -

WARATAH NEW Zealand, a lead­ing man­u­fac­turer of me­chan­i­cal tree har­vesters based in Toko­roa, has been awarded the “3M Best use of in­no­va­tive New Zealand de­sign or tech­nol­ogy to elim­i­nate or man­age a risk” award at the re­cent Safe­guard New Zealand Work­place Health and Safety Awards for its head ori­en­ta­tion sen­sor. The award was given to the New Zealand-orig­i­nated de­sign or tech­nol­ogy ini­tia­tive which best demon­strates a so­lu­tion to a spe­cific health and safety is­sue, in­clud­ing new de­signs or con­trol meth­ods which help to elim­i­nate or min­i­mize a risk.

Chain shot is a phe­nom­ena that can be caused when a saw chain breaks dur­ing op­er­a­tion, po­ten­tially re­leas­ing high speed frag­ments dur­ing the op­er­a­tion of a cut­ting head on a me­chan­i­cal tree har­vester ma­chine.

There are cur­rently ef­fec­tive fea­tures al­ready fit­ted to me­chan­i­cal tree har­vesters to re­duce the risk of chain shot. The Waratah head ori­en­ta­tion sen­sor is a con­cep­tual sup­ple­men­tary sys­tem de­signed to alert the ma­chine op­er­a­tor when the chain saw is aligned with the ma­chine cab. The op­er­a­tor can then ro­tate the saw to a dif­fer­ent ori­en­ta­tion to re­duce the risk of chain shot im­pact­ing the ma­chine. Waratah ap­proached New Zealand com­pany Hunter Safety Lab to see if they could adapt their award­win­ning IRIS tech­nol­ogy for po­ten­tial use with me­chan­i­cal tree har­vester heads. IRIS was orig­i­nally de­vel­oped to help pre­vent hun­ters from ac­ci­den­tally tar­get­ing other mem­bers of their hunt­ing party. The head ori­en­ta­tion sen­sor con­sists of a highly ruggedi­zed in­frared laser sen­sor which is mounted to the har­vester head. The sen­sor de­tects retrore­flec­tive tape which is ap­plied around the perime­ter of the cab win­dow, di­rectly in front of the ma­chine op­er­a­tor. When the sen­sor de­tects that the saw is aligned with the cab, the sys­tem then alerts the ma­chine op­er­a­tor that the head po­si­tion is not op­ti­mal and that it should be ad­justed away from the cab.

The Waratah Ori­en­ta­tion sen­sor prod­uct is still un­der eval­u­a­tion and fur­ther ver­i­fi­ca­tion on all car­rier types.

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