This week in Sydney Australia a person had his leg severed when a rope that was attached to a log that was being fed into a wood chipper. The incident highlights why wood chippers can be so dangerous. I am sure Workcover NSW will be thoroughly investigating the incident. Any injury is unfortunate, but it does serve to highlight the need for comprehensive training in safe operation of woodchippers.
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Why do I need to do Chipper Training?
Chipper training is something that is done seldom by Arboricutural and Tree Servicing Companies in Australia. There is a unit of competency designed specifically for the operation of commercial wood chippers FWPHAR2206 – Operate a mobile chipper mulcher. The unit is included in the Cert III Arboriculture but is also often trained as a stand-alone unit. The unit covers the safest ways to operate and maintain a large commercial size chipper (6 inches and up).
Further, in recent years many Electrical Service companies will require companies that work on their powerlines to ensure that all staff who use a woodchipper are appropriately trained and that this training is refreshed every 3 years. This has created an industry standard that it can be expected that a Work Health and Safety regulator such as Workcover NSW or Worksafe ACT would impose. The regulator would expect all employers to ensure their staff had sufficient training, and that training would be FWPHAR2206 – Operate a mobile chipper mulcher.
Further, it has been our experience that many Workers Compensation insurers are beginning to require that companies train all staff who use a woodchipper or higher premiums will be charged.
Who is a chipper course for?
Not surprisingly, any staff member who uses a wood chipper should receive appropriate training in how to safely use them. We have trained everyone from Arboricultural companies to National Parks and Wildlife agencies and local government.
What do I learn in a Chipper Course?
Lemke Timber Training have been training this course for 5 years now. We have refined the course to cover the key issues that you or your staff will face when the use a wood chipper. This includes
- Safe manual handling of awkward branches
- How to correctly startup and shutdown a woodchipper
- Pre-start checks, risk assessment and SWMS
- How to correctly feed a wood chipper
- daily maintenance including greasing and how to change chipper knives
- Techniques to maximise safety on the worksite