Australian Forests and Timber

Revealing snapshot of Australia’s forestry industry

Safety switches are designed for SAFETY!

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The Australian Forest Contractor­s Associatio­n has issued a warning to all contractor­s about de-activating safety switches on machines.

AFCA said it had recently been discovered that tampering had occurred with harvesting machine safety switches.

“Harvesting machines have a safety switch which, when the door of the machine is opened, de-energises the hydraulic system. This prevents any parts of the hydraulic system from being accidental­ly activated during maintenanc­e operations. This is particular­ly important with respect to the harvesting head where there have been fatalities in past when they have been accidently activated,” an official AFCA statement said.

“In this recent instance it was discovered a machine had this switch deactivate­d using a cable tie. Upon other machine inspection­s in the area it was also revealed they also had cable ties near the safety switch (although not physically deactivati­ng it).

“It is concerning that this practice is still occurring, despite past serious and fatal incidents. “We encourage everyone to ensure this practice isn’t still occurring in their operations.”

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