Logger Struck by Jackstand Crank
On a summer day in the Southeast, a logging company’s “set-out man” was staging loaded trailers for drivers to pick up and return to the site after delivery. The set-out man’s work included coupling and decoupling log trailers to his assigned truck, a process that involved raising and lowering the jackstand (landing gear) via a hand-crank winch.
This logging crew’s set-out man was in his early 20s and had only been a part of this logging crew for a few years. The individual consistently wore a hardhat and complied with his company’s safety standards. He was considered a safe, reliable, and hardworking employee.
When the set-out man went to drop a loaded trailer for pickup and lower the jackstand, he had one hand on the crank handle and used the other hand to remove the holding chain that would allow the jackstand to be lowered down into place. (When the chain is released from a hook or notch, the weight of the truck on the stand puts the hand crank under a lot of tension.)
When lowering the jackstand, the set-out man lost his grip on the handle of the hand crank.
The handle spun around several times, striking him once in the mouth and another time on the head.
Fortunately, he was wearing a hard hat and received no injury from the second blow that struck him on the top of the head. His fellow crew member assessed his injury and provided first aid. His upper lip had been lacerated and bleeding, but he did not seek medical attention and was back on the job the next day, with no loss of ability to perform his usual work functions and no further injury issues.
Recommendations for Correction
- Give your full attention to the job at hand and eliminate distractions before starting.
- Wear the required PPE.
- Always perform jackstand lowering and raising on flat ground to avoid log trailer rollover.
- Make sure the winch and jackstand mechanisms are working properly.
- Always position yourself perpendicular to the hand crank and away from the jackstand so that if the crank slips from your grasp, the handle will spin without striking you, and the jackstand will fall freely without striking or crushing any part of your body. Do not grab the spinning handle!
- Be sure your hands are clean and free of dust, oil, or other lubricants to ensure the crank handle remains securely in your grasp. Wearing non-slip gloves will provide additional grip and protection.
- When in the raised position, always be sure the jackstand is securely fastened in place.