Safety Alert: Trailer Spot Man Breaks Hand on Landing Gear Handle

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Trailer Spot Man Breaks Hand on Landing Gear Handle


On a winter afternoon in the Southeast, a logging crew member was jockeying setout trailers on a harvesting operation. The weather, ground conditions, and topography were all favorable.


The 35-year-old logging crew member was the “spot man” — his job was to hook and unhook loaded and empty trailers, moving the loaded trailers to a site off the log deck, unhooking them, and leaving them for the road trucks to pick up. He had been employed on this logging operation for 2-1/2 years and was considered fully trained. He had one previous accident in his employment history. He was wearing a hard hat but no gloves.

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The spot man was turning the handle to wind up the landing gear. He had the landing gear all the way up and was attempting to put the pin in the hole with his left hand while holding the handle with his right hand. He was not using landing gear’s safety latch, although it was in working order. He was in a hurry and was not paying close attention to his actions.


With the landing gear wound all the way up, the spot man’s hand slipped off the handle. The handle rotated rapidly around and hit the back of his hand.


The spot man broke two small bones on the back of his right hand. He required medical treatment and lost 8 or 9 weeks of work.


1) Be sure to use the locking mechanism or latch to hold the weight of the landing gear while securing it in place — develop and follow safe operating procedures.

2) Pay attention to where you place your hands and head.

3) Wear gloves when they will provide additional protection.

4) Get assistance from a fellow employee if there is any problem with the locking mechanism.

5) Be aware that many accidents and injuries occur when a worker is in a hurry and fails to ask the “what if” question before starting a task.

Source: Forest Resources Association