News Archive

Grapple Saws

During ALLMI’s most recent Technical Standards Committee meeting, the use of lorry loaders for the Grapple Saw application was discussed at length. This meeting was attended by a number of manufacturers, as well as a representative from the HSE, and the general consensus was that the use of Grapple Saws with lorry loaders created at least two possible hazards:

  • Potentially impedes the operation of the Overload Protection and Stability Control systems.
  • The risks associated with ‘chain shot’, especially when the operation is taking place in urban areas. This is the high-velocity separation and ejection of a piece (or pieces) of saw chain when its loop is broken. Whilst ALLMI does not have expertise in this area, chain shot has been identified by the HSE as a potential problem.
As a result of this meeting, it was agreed that ALLMI would join an HSE / FISA (Forest Industry Safety Accord) Arboriculture Working Group to investigate whether any control measures could be put in place to mitigate the associated risks to a reasonable degree, although whether this is viable remains to be seen. The meeting also led to several manufacturers independently taking the view that they will refrain from supplying lorry loaders intended to be used for this purpose, until at least such time as the Working Group has concluded its research.

ALLMI will keep the industry informed as Working Group discussions progress, but in the meantime is seeking to raise awareness of the potential hazards associated with this application. Should you have any queries regarding this matter, then please contact ALLMI.