Hand Caught in Forwarder Engine Fan

Hazard Alert

Hand Caught in Engine Fan

An employee finished fuelling a forwarder at night (9:50 p.m.).  The employee was standing on the ground and had disconnected the power cables from the machine used for the operation of the electric fuel pump and had placed the fuel hose on the trailer.  As he was closing the engine compartment panel on the side of the machine, he noticed a stick in the engine compartment.  He reached for the stick with his left hand while his right hand was resting on the front tire.  He felt the stick jerk, which caused his hand to be flung toward the fan assembly of the running engine.  His left hand came in contact with the fan and/or fan belt assembly.

Employee was given first aid on site and then driven to the South Shore Regional Hospital where surgery was performed.  The left thumb required extensive surgery and the index finger and middle finger required sutures on the top and bottom of the fingers.  The ring finger required sutures on the top of the finger only.  The employee was released from the hospital and has feeling in all fingers.

Recommendations to Prevent a Recurrence

When completing any type of maintenance activities inside an engine compartment, ensure the machine is not running and locked-out.  Use adequate lighting (a flashlight at night) to assess possible hazards.

Goals of the FSSNS

  • Save lives and reduce injuries.
  • Reduce all costs associated with work place accidents.
  • Improve profits.
  • Maintain compliance with regulatory bodies.
  • Manage and establish ownership of industry managed loss control programs.
  • Reduce Workers' Compensation rates.
The Forestry Safety Society of Nova Scotia is registered under the Societies Act of Nova Scotia. It is a separate entity, having a Memorandum of Association and By-Laws. The Society is governed by a Board of Directors, representing all sectors of the forest industry.