Private landowners account for more than 80 percent of the timber volume harvested in the United States annually. Most of this private timber volume is harvested from family forests and is likely the only timber harvest on their forestland ownership in their lifetime. These landowners are often not aware of the potential hazards of a logging operation.
Logging is one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States. Logging incorporates the use of large equipment with movement of large weights that can shift and fall. This, combined with environmental conditions such as steep terrain, snow, ice, rain, cold and wind, presents a risk to those working in and around logging operations. The forester or logger should review the dangers of the logging operation with the landowner prior to the start of logging operations.
Landowners Safety Rules Around a Logging Operation
Entering the Logging Operation
- Be cautious of your surroundings while entering your property during harvest operations. Be aware of trucks hauling logs. Log trucks always have the right-of-way.
- Ask the logger or forester the best way to communicate with them prior to entering a logging site on your land.
- You may ask if they have a radio you can use during logging operations that are active on your property. Ask how to communicate with truck drivers when entering the property.
- Park your vehicle off the road and away from log piles.
On-Site of the Logging Operation
- Protective gear must be worn to enter a logging site. This includes a high-visibility vest, hard hat, boots, and safety glasses.
- Maintain a distance of at least 300 feet from running logging equipment.
- If you need to approach the logger while harvesting, always approach from the view of the operator and not from the rear or sides.
- Wave to gain the operator's attention until they acknowledge you and completely halt operations.
- Stay clear of piled logs and never climb or attempt to remove wood from these piles as they may shift and fall.
Author: DJ Aderman, FutureWood Corporation
Reviewed by Tim O’Hara, Manager, Lake States Region
When approaching operating logging equipment, wave to gain the operator's attention until they acknowledge you and completely halt operations.