Designated Safe Zones at Logging Operations

Date: January 31, 2023

Nathan Arnold, Risk Control Consultant

Safety Recommendations for Truck Drivers, Employees, and Contractors on the Loading Dock

Loading and unloading logs are dangerous practices, and the potential for injury or death should never be underestimated. It is essential that those involved in the process are aware of the risks and take the necessary precautions to ensure their safety. All drivers, employees, ground workers, and contractors should be adequately trained in the proper procedures and safety protocols to minimize the likelihood of an incident occurring. The cost of an incident can be exorbitant, and it is in everyone's best interest to ensure the safety of all involved.

What is a Safe Zone?

Creating a designated safe zone is an important part of loading and unloading at a logging operation. A safe zone is a clearly identified and marked area where drivers, employees, contractors, and visitors stand while at the logging operation. This area should be in a location where the Loader Operator can easily view it and be able to communicate with the individuals occupying the safe zone. Some may consider the truck cab with a headache rack a designated safe zone. However, this is not considered an acceptable practice by our team of experts.

Good Practices to Use on the Loading Deck

  1. If you are on the logging deck, always wear the appropriate PPE, such as a hard hat and high visibility vest. These items are non-negotiable.
  2. BITCO strongly recommends that truck drivers stand at least two tree lengths away from the loader or other equipment when it is in operation. Make sure to designate a "safe zone" to ensure the safety of all personnel.
  3. For extra precaution, if employees and/or drivers are in the service truck, ensure that the loader operators have a clear view of those units. This should also be a designated "safe zone" area.
  4. Before approaching the loading area, always communicate with the loader operator. This will ensure that you do not put yourself in any dangerous situations.
  5. To avoid potential hazards, always pull the loaded log truck away from the loader before securing the load, or have the loader man exit his equipment and help.
  6. Proper signage should be used to indicate to workers the areas to avoid while loading is taking place.
  7. Always maintain a safe distance from the truck and trailer and remain alert.

Keep workers safe and shelter in the safe zone. For more forestry safety tips, subscribe to our blog. Click the button below to find a BITCO 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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