Logging Deck Safety

Date: July 26, 2021

Nathan Arnold, Risk Control Consultant

Forestry Good Management Practices

A landing area or "deck" is the heart of any logging operation. The deck is the busiest place on the entire logging operation. To be safe and efficient, everyone must take responsibility to prevent incidents.


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, logging workers have had one of the highest fatal injury rates of any occupation since 2006. Recognizing the hazards can help prevent injuries. Many incidents occur on and near the log deck:

  • Striking overhead power lines
  • Being caught in-between
  • Drivers getting struck while loading or trimming their loads
  • Trips and falls
  • Injuries to unsupervised visitors

Use these good management practices to stay safe on the jobsite.

Deck Conditions

Loading decks should be level, not on slopes, and should always be clear of stumps and debris. Employees or equipment should also regularly remove all limbs and debris to prevent possible trip/fall hazards. Be mindful of overhead powerlines and other utility hazards.


Employees must always be aware of all motorized equipment at the operation. Drivers and ground workers are required to stand two tree lengths away from the loader on inbound skidders.

The loader operator should run the deck and be provided with radios and cell phones or use the horn. Employers should always supply a pole saw to drivers and deck men to trim logs on trailers.

Personal Protective Equipment

Personal Protective Equipment provides extra protection in case of an accident or any possible exposure. Employees and contractors are required to wear a hard hat, high-visibility safety vest, slip-resistant boots, ear protection, and eye protection. Chainsaw operators are required to wear gloves, chaps, and cut-resistant, safety-toe boots. Chipper operators must wear face protection.


Trucks are often on the deck. While at the operation, everyone must look out for drivers' blind spots, especially while backing up. Drivers should never be allowed inside trucks while being loaded and unloaded, and drivers must move the vehicle from under the loader before securing or trimming their loads.


Visitors on site should be supervised and must stand a safe distance from all operations. They must also wear the proper PPE.

With over 70 years of experience in the forest products industry, our experts are here to help you run a safer operation. 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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