Wood Chipper Accidents

Wood chipper operators are seconds away from potentially fatal circumstances so safety devices are essential.


Wood chippers present a unique issue in safety guarding. With operators just seconds away from potentially fatal circumstances, safety devices must be in place to allow the user to stop or reverse the feed mechanism at a moments notice. However, manufacturers are hesitant to design safety devices that could potentially slow down chipping operations if the device were too often unintentionally activated by branches or logs entering the mouth of the chipper.

Common wood chipper safety devices include upper feed stop bars, bottom or knee feed stop bars, three-sided feed stop bars, and hanging feed stop cords. The accessibility of the various safety devices becomes paramount in an emergency situation. All too often operators become entangled or caught on branches being fed into the chipper and are unable to activate a safety device in time.

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Since 1982, Knott Laboratory has been providing comprehensive forensic engineering and computer animation services to reconstruct accidents.

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Our forensic engineers are experts in accident reconstruction, failure analysis and cause & origin. Our forensic engineers work directly with our in-house animation department to create state-of-the-art forensic animations for use in court, arbitration, mediation or settlement negotiations.

Richard M. Ziernicki, Ph.D., P.E.

President & CEO, Principal Mechanical Engineer

(303) 925-1900
rziernicki@knottlab.com

Ben T. Railsback, M.S., P.E.

Director of Mechanical Engineering

(303) 925-1900
brailsback@knottlab.com

Steve D. Knapp, P.E., CFEI, CVFI

Senior Engineer

(303) 925-1900
sknapp@knottlab.com

William H. Pierce, P.E.

Senior Engineer

(303) 925-1900
wpierce@knottlab.com

Ricky L. Nguyen, M.S., P.E.

Mechanical Engineer

(303) 925-1900
rnguyen@knottlab.com

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