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Were You Properly Trained?

How many times do you have a task while at your job that you sort of know how to do, but never actually received proper training at the task. When your employer fails to properly train you and other employees, the risk of being injured while on the job signficantly increases.


A Brink Forest Products Ltd. employee who was seriously injured while preparing to change the knife assemblies on a wood waste chipper was carrying out the work while the machine was still moving, according to a WorkSafeBC incident investigation report.

The report, which stems from a November 2014 incident, said the worker was on the day shift but was part of the crew that reported to work earlier in order to change the blades, which is done prior to every shift.

According to evidence deduced by the WorkSafeBC investigator, he turned off the chipper disconnect and entered the chipper room while the machine's disc was still rotating.

To reach the knife assemblies, secured on a 48-inch disc that turn on a shaft supported by external bearings located on both sides of the chipper frame, he removed the two bolts fastening the protective shroud to the machine frame.

"The metal hinge securing the bottom of the shroud to the chipper frame was able to move from side to side about 1.27 centimetres," the report said. "Once the two bolts were removed, the vibration of the chipper caused the shroud to move sideways, enough for the knife assemblies and then the fins to contact the rotating disc. The transfer of energy from the rotating disc to the shroud caused the shroud to open with considerable force and a loud bang [striking and seriously injuring the worker.]"

Other workers who were interviewed by the inspector said it takes up to 15 minutes for the chipper to come to a complete stop. An 18-step "safe work procedure" was posted in the chipper room for changing the knives, but "wait for equipment to come to a complete stop" was missing, the report noted.

While it seemed that it might be "common knowledge" amongst other employees of how to properly accomplish this task, it is apparent that the proper procedure wasn't explained by the employer. 

Now, take a look at your day-to-day job responbilities...are there aspects to them that you think "yes, I guess I sort of just taught myself how to do that" or "that's just the way other employees do it"? If that's the case, you're being put at a risk of injury.

Your employer is acting negligent if he isn't properly training his employees. When accidents happen, your employer should and will be held liable.

Let Eric, Randy, and Sarah fight for you. Let us fight for your rights and to ensure you receive your full and rightful compensation. Call us at 515-225-4485!

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