Forestry Good Management Practices


Date: February 2, 2021

Greg Tatum, Risk Control Consultant

Feller Buncher

The logging industry has been considered one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States. According to NIOSH, "In 2010, the logging industry employed 95,000 workers, and accounted for 70 deaths. This resulted in a fatality rate of 73.7 deaths per 100,000 workers that year." With hazards such as falling trees, rough terrain, tail swings, and logging equipment, workers often face significant risks.

Our Risk Control Consultants regularly visit logging operations to identify potential risks and develop practices to reduce risks. Use these Good Management Practices on your next job to help keep your workers safe.

Exterior Inspection

Begin by inspecting the exterior of the feller buncher. We recommended performing a walk-around inspection at least twice every day. When the feller buncher is not being operated, ground the felling attachment.

While performing the exterior inspection, check the sawhead for any loose hardware, broken, or missing teeth. Check for any debris from accumulation areas such as windows, belly pans, and attachments.

Interior Inspection

After the exterior of the feller buncher has been inspected, the operator should use the three-point contact method to enter and exit the cab. Once inside, check the visibility, as well as the fire suppression system.

Operating the Feller Buncher 

Once the operator is ready to use the equipment, never operate the buncher/sawhead within 300 feet of other equipment or personnel to prevent being struck by equipment.

The operator should always stump sawheads to stop before returning to the deck or servicing equipment and only operate the unit within rated capacities and limitations.

Finally, when performing operations and travel, move in an up/down slope angle only.

Our goal is to help you run a safer operation. Interested in learning more tips on how to reduce the risks in the logging industry? Click the "Find an Agent" button below and locate an agent near you.

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For information purposes only. BITCO's blog content does not address all potential circumstances and is not a substitute for business, safety, or legal consultation.

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