17 November 2000

Wood chipper risk

MOBILE wood chippers can be fearful machines to operate, says the Health and Safety Executive; they need careful design and operation to be safe.

A series of accidents have graphically shown the dangers, with operators losing hands, arms and, in some cases, their lives.

The HSE has now published Power-fed mobile wood chippers- operator protection at infeed chutes (AIS 38)* which advises on chute design, protection devices at the infeed chute, and the training and safe working practices for operators.

Neil Craig, from the HSEs Agriculture and Wood Sector, says all users of wood chippers need to check their machines against the guidance in the AIS 38 document.

"If the machine does not meet those standards, users should contact the supplier or manufacturer of the machine," he insists. "Nearly all makes have a retrofit kit available to bring the machine up to the new specification."

*Available from HSE Books (01787-881165). &#42