Sun Glare Causes Near Miss

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It was a sunny day in January in the Appalachians. The temperature was in the 40 with moderately dry ground conditions. A forester was visiting a logging site and had a discussion with the owner of a logging crew who described a near-miss incident involving their skidder.

Personal Characteristics:

The operator was in his early 30s and had been working in the logging industry for over five years. He was considered a very safe and conscientious worker.

Unsafe Act:

As the skidder operator approached the landing, he was driving directly into the sun during the mid-afternoon hours. The sun’s glare caused reduced visibility and prevented the operator from seeing a high stump he was approaching. The machine tire went into the stump, climbing up on it and abruptly dropping off. This caused the machine to tip violently from side to side.


No accident occurred because the operator maintained control of the machine.



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Recommendations for Correction:

Ensure the skid road into the landing is routed to avoid a direct approach to the sun throughout the day. Make sure to clean the windshield daily or more frequently throughout the day. Ensure that stump heights along skid roads are cut low, preventing the operator from losing control.

Source: Forest Resources Association