Logging machine in front of a stack of logs.
Keep personnel out of the danger (crush) zone! Moving or rotating heavy equipment can unexpectedly displace logs from decks, causing them to suddenly roll or swing around to strike ground personnel working or walking nearby. Make sure each deck is constructed and located so it is stable and provides employees with enough room to safely move and work in the area. Situate equipment maintaining at least 36 inches of clearance away from log decks, other equipment, and immoveable objects. Always look out for ground personnel before swinging or moving logs around.

Manual or mechanical logging operations are complex, highly hazardous, and subject to sudden changes. These aspects combine to make logging one of the most dangerous occupations in Washington State.

Injury prevention begins with identifying possible safety issues like:

  • Dangerous machinery and tools
  • Unsafe work practices
  • Ineffective communication
  • Moving cables (as logs are drawn)
  • Falling, rolling, and sliding trees and logs
  • Storm-damaged trees
  • Stumps and other obstacles on the ground that cause unplanned movement of logs
  • Hazardous terrain conditions (steep slopes, uneven or unstable ground) that cause slips, trips, and falls.

Once known, a hazard can be eliminated or minimized by:

  • Safety planning
  • Using the right safeguarding on mechanized equipment and tools (power and non-powered)
  • Keeping mechanized equipment maintained for better safety
  • Creating safer work procedures 
  • Using personal protective equipment consistently and properly
  • Training employees and crew leaders on safety for each task they do
  • Finding safety solutions when new dangers arise.

Related topics:

More help from L&I

For general information, call 1-800-423-7233.

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