Safety in Loading

Topic: Forest Products
Date: March 23, 2021

Greg Tatum, Risk Control Consultant

Forestry Good Management Practices 

When proper safety procedures and equipment are not used, workers in the logging industry are at a high risk of injury and death. National Traumatic Occupational Fatalities reported that 59 percent of all logging-related deaths occurred when workers were struck by falling or flying objects or were caught in or between objects. Good Management Practices are designed to help manage risks and keep loggers safe on the job. Here are some of our recommended good management practices for safety in loading logs.

Stay in the Safe Area

Logging decks should be located on level ground. The operator must verify that the transport driver has exited the truck cab and is standing in a safe area.

A safe area should be set up at the initial stage of operations, prior to loading at the log landing, and marked in a conspicuous manner as to indicate to all visitors at the cutting location. The area should be the size of a full swing radius plus half the log length in the beak and should be in the operator's line of sight. The transport driver should not leave the safe area until the loading operator has given permission and the loader's grapple is placed on the ground.

Logs should never be lifted over the cab of the truck to prevent potential hazards and risks such as the driver being hit by falling, rolling, or sliding logs.

Proper PPE

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) can help prevent serious injury or even save your life. All personnel must wear proper PPE, including high visibility clothing, safety footwear, and a safety helmet at all times when standing outside of the machinery.


The loading operator should establish and confirm oral, visual, or radio communication for the completion of the loading. The grapple should be placed on the ground and the loader operator should sound the horn.

Are you 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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