(lifepr) Groß-Umstadt, 25 June 2007 – In the year of 2006, 2 fatal accidents with loaded forwarders driving backwards occurred. This was the central issue at company talks staged by the Kuratorium für Waldarbeit und Forsttechnik e.V. (KWF) [German Center for Forest Work and Technology] in Groß-Umstadt. The labour protection & safety features and equipment division at the head office of the administrative district of Kassel provided important information on legal framework conditions, here.
According to the EC Machinery Directive, the manufacturer of a forwarder has the obligation to observe basic safety and health requirements laid down in Annexe I of the Directive, once he markets his equipment. Under this Directive, the design of machinery has to warrant that no persons are jeopardised when the equipment is used in accordance with specifications and regulations. To this end, the machinery has to be supplied with all vital dedicated equipment and accessories to ensure that it can be set up, maintained and operated without risk. In particular, the view from the driver’s seat gas to be so good that the driver can handle machine and tools under the specified conditions of application without any danger to himself or other people. If necessary, hazards due to insufficient direct view have to be countered by suitable auxiliary devices.
When backing up a loaded forwarder, the driver has no view of the road and may thus endanger himself and other people. Under the current state of the art, only a system consisting of video camera and monitor is suited to fulfil the requirements of the Machinery Directive.
Forwarders which are already in operation have to be upgraded by the employer/operator, if required.
A survey by KWF has shown that practically all manufacturers and distributors of forwarders plan to deliver their machines only with rear view cameras in future, in order to offer maximum safety for the operation of these machines. For existing machines, upgrading options are offered.
KWF too, reacted to this situation, which is the result of current accident experience and new technical opportunities offered by low-price, highly functional rear view cameras: in future, forwarders without rear view camera will not be admitted to the KWF serviceability test any more.
Source: Life ID9359 Kultur/Gesellschaft KWF-Firmengespräch