For the forest machine operator
A collection of good advice when it comes to a sustainable workday
Operating a forest machine is a tough job. Here you can learn about the ergonomic challenges. They cover everything from safety to health problems, that may be related to tasks and work postures in the cab and the external Environment.
Common problems and solutions
Shock, pinching, crushing and cut injuries
Falling and slipping injuries when climbing on or off the machine.
Most common is that these types of injuries occur outside the cab during service and maintenance work. Things to keep in mind: Are the service points centralised and easily accessible to minimise the need to climb up on the machine? Use the intended ladders and platforms for service, and when climbing up or off the machine.
Environmental (inside and outside) problems
Eczema, allergies, headache, fatigue, dizziness, swollen feet, etc. Disorders that clearly show how varying and exposed the operator’s work environment is. Causes: Strong sunlight during the summer, exposure to pollen and exhaust fumes from outside, handling of oils and diesel fuel, etc. Swollen feet and legs are caused by extended sitting that restricts blood circulation from the lower part of the body; the blood stagnates in the feet and legs. Things to keep in mind: Seat type (no edges that block circulation), seat adjustment, sun blinds, pollen filter, etc.
Stress, diet, etc.
Fatigue, headache, upset stomach. The type of problem can depend on many things: For example, stress due to high productivity demands. High demands on concentration; a harvester operator must make up to 100 decisions each minute. Poor diet, food that is too heavy. Things to keep in mind: Dietary and exercise habits, calorie intake versus calorie burning.
Injuries/symptoms related to noise and vibrations.
Modern forestry machines are generally under the limit values for pure noise injuries. But the operators are subjected to several different more or less stressful noises on a daily basis. For example, low frequency noise from the engine and high frequency noise from the hydraulics. The effects can include everything from physical and mental fatigue to decreased performance. Vibrations are also a type of low frequency sound that produces similar effects. Things to keep in mind: Use hearing protection and take opportunities to take breaks from exposure to noise.