Understanding the hazards of thrown objects: Incidents, research and resolutions
Improved rotating cutting devices (teeth on a disk/drum or cutters on a chain) for forest operations have produced hazards for operators and others from thrown objects. Anecdotes and actual incidents show fatalities and serious injuries are possible and likely under certain circumstances. Some mechanisms for thrown objects are clear (thrown cutting teeth) while others are less obvious and need explanation (chain shot, thrown spears and stubs). Research on thrown objects and protective materials provides insights on the problems. Resolutions to the problems come from improved guarding, protecting operators and others, and changing operating practices. The effectiveness of a specific no-entry force field around the machine is questioned. Safety standards at the state, national, and international levels address the issues. Authors discuss implications for anyone working in the vicinity of cutting machines.