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Author Topic: Portable Sawmills  (Read 1614 times)

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Offline Bill Johnson

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Portable Sawmills
« on: August 28, 2001, 06:02:29 PM »
I picked this bulletin up off the Manitoba Gov't site.
It's not specific as to the type of portable mill involved but since some of you folks operate portable mills I thought I'd paraphrase the bulletin here.

A portable sawmill worker was fatally injured when he was struck on the side of the head by an unguarded runaway drive shaft.

A log loader had accidentially backed into the mill causing it to shift off its support blocks, which in turn allowed the unguarded shaft which connected the mill to the power generator unit to break free and strike the victim.

The main causes were attributed to poor visibility of the loader when backing up and no protective guard covering the rotating drive shaft to prevent it from disengaging and flying away from the sawmill/power generator.

The findings go on to list several general safety factors for portable mills these include:


-Possible vibration of sawmill components causing shifting
-Proper blocking and levelling of all sawmill components to prevent movement,
-Personal Protective Equipment, hard hats, safety boots, eye protection, hearing protection, hand protection, etc.
-Ensuring all connections, cables and cords are kept in good repair
-Ensuring lighting is adequate for work at night or in low light conditions.
-Ensure saw blade is guarded to prevent accidental contact by workers
-Have a power KILL SWITCH in an easily accessible location
-Have proper fully charged fire extinguisher immediately available
-Have a fully stocked first aid kit on hand at all times and know how to use it.
-Have some form of communication readily available in the event of an emergency ie radio, cell phone, cell/sat phone etc.
-Have appropriate form of transportation available for emergency use.
-Avoid congestion problems, take time to perform regular housekeeping on job site
-Ensure any and all workers are trained in the general requirements of the job as well as their specific job.
-Ensure regular maintenance program is in place for sawmill components
-Install backup alarms on all mobile machinery used on job site
Check all work procedures BEFORE the job starts.


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