An evaluation of three different brands of leg protection devices for motor manual felling

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University of New Brunswick


The purpose of the report was to evaluate the relative effectiveness of three different brands of leg protection used in motor manual felling. Little is known about the quality of different brands because no national standard for testing exists. In order to test the relative effectiveness of different brands, an experiment was designed that subjected the leg protection to possible failure situations that could occur in the forest. The three brands tested were Nordforest Revar, Husqvarna, and Big Bill. The results showed that the Nordforest brand experienced failure in 50 percent of the tests, while the Husqvarna and Big Bill brands experienced 33 percent failure rates. The tests indicated that chain speed and horizontal leg angle were variables that affected performance, however statistical correlations were not possible due to a small sample size. It was also concluded that lack of protective material in the back of the leg was a major cause of failure in many tests. The lack of a national standard has created a situation in which government regulations and product labelling use ambiguous terminology relating to leg protection. The report has four recommendations. First it is recommended that a national standard for testing be adopted in order to improve product labelling and to allow a method of comparing pants constructed of different protective materials. Secondly, there is need to do further testing in order to determine how chain speed and horizontal leg angle affect performance. It is also recommended that leg protection be required for the back of the leg from the knee down. The final recommendation is that the N.B. government improve the wording of their regulations in order to encourage innovation in product design and eliminate ambiguous terminology.