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Log Handling
Wood Products: Sawmills eTool Log Handling, Sorting and Storing
Wood Products: Sawmills eTool Log Breakdown, Related Machinery and Facilities Wood Products: Sawmills eTool Dry Kilns and
Wood Products: Sawmills eTool Lumber Storage
Plant-Wide Hazards
  >> Log Handling, Sorting and Storing

Conveyance to Sawmill
This section covers the hazards involved with getting logs from the water or unloading site into the sawmill. Click on the following links for more specific information:

> Receiving and Storing
>> Conveyance to Sawmill
> Rough Sizing and Debarking

Water Log Dumps Top

Workers may suffer electrocution from circuits that are operating with too much voltage.
  • Circuits that set ungrounded, electrically powered hoists into action must operate at less than 50 volts to ground. 1910.265(d)(2)(ii)(a)
Workers may be pinched, struck, or crushed by moving logs.
  • Roadbeds at log dumps must be a sufficient width and evenness to insure safe operation of equipment. 1910.265(d)(2)(ii)(b)

  • An adequate brow log or skid timbers or the equivalent must be provided where necessary. Railroad-type dumps, when located where logs are dumped directly into water or where entire loads are lifted from vehicle, may be exempted providing such practice does not create a hazard. 1910.265(d)(2)(ii)(c)

  • Arrange unloading lines so it is not necessary for the employees to attach them from the pond or dump side of the load except when entire loads are lifted from the log-transporting vehicle. 1910.265(d)(2)(ii)(d)

  • Unloading lines, crotch lines, or equally effective means must be used to minimize the possibility of any log from swinging or rolling back. 1910.265(d)(2)(ii)(e)

  • When logs are unloaded with peavys or similar manual methods, provide a means to minimize the danger from rolling or swinging logs. 1910.265(d)(2)(ii)(f)

Workers may fall into the pond and drown if proper safety measures are not in place.
  • Guardrails, walkways, and standard handrails must be installed. 1910.265(d)(2)(ii)(g)

  • Approved life rings (see: 46 CFR 160.099 and 46 CFR 160.050) with line attached must be provided and maintained. 1910.265(d)(2)(ii)(h)

Log Booms and Ponds Top

Defective pike poles may be hazardous to workers. Metal pike poles may electrocute workers if used near electrical conductors.
  • Wood pike poles must be made of straight-grained, select material. Metal or conductive pike poles must not be used around exposed energized electrical conductors. Do not use defective, blunt, or dull pike poles. 1910.265(d)(1)(ii)(j)
Worker moving logs from pond onto jack ladder with pike pole.
Worker moves logs from pond
onto jack ladder with pike pole.

Workers may fall into the pond and drown if proper safety measures are not in place, or if equipment is not used in a safe manner.
  • Walkways and floats must be installed and securely anchored to provide adequate passageway for employees. 1910.265(d)(2)(iii)(a)

  • All regular boom sticks and foot logs must be reasonably straight, with no protruding knots and bark, and must be capable of supporting the weight of an employee and equipment. 1910.265(d)(2)(iii)(b)

  • Permanent cable swifters must be arranged so that it will not be necessary to roll boom sticks in order to attach or detach them. 1910.265(d)(2)(iii)(c)

  • Periodic inspection of cable or dogging lines must be made to determine when repair or removal from service is necessary. 1910.265(d)(2)(iii)(d)

  • Stiff booms must be two float logs wide secured by boom chains or other connecting devices, and of a width adequate for the working needs. Walking surfaces need to be free of loose material and in good repair. 1910.265(d)(2)(iii)(h)

  • Boom sticks must be fastened together with adequate crossties or couplings. 1910.265(d)(2)(iii)(i)
Hot pond inside mill
Hot pond inside mill

Chain conveyor moving logs from boom pond into mill.
Chain conveyor moves logs
from boom pond into mill.

Hot pond in small sawmill where logs are dumped for conveyance into mill
Hot pond in small sawmill where logs are
dumped for conveyance into mill
  • Employees who work from boats, floating logs, boom sticks, or walkways along or on water must have and wear appropriate buoyant devices. 1910.265(d)(2)(iii)(g)
Boom pond worker without personal flotation device.
Boom pond worker has no
personal flotation device.

  • Floating donkeys or other power-driven machinery used on booms must be placed on a raft or float with enough buoyancy to keep the deck well above water. 1910.265(d)(2)(iii)(j)

  • All sorting gaps must have a substantial stiff boom on each side. 1910.265(d)(2)(iii)(k)
Non-slip material on pond boat
Non-slip material on pond boat

Stagnation or pollution in log ponds can lead to health hazards for nearby workers.
  • Artificial log ponds must be drained, cleaned, and refilled when unhealthy stagnation or pollution occurs. 1910.265(d)(2)(iii)(f)
Fire on pond boats and rafts may lead to serious burns. Attempting to escape from a boat fire may result in drowning.
  • The applicable provisions of the Standard for Fire Protection for Motorcraft, NFPA No. 302-1968, which is incorporated by reference as specified in Sec. 1910.6, must be complied with. 1910.265(d)(2)(iv)

  • Boat fuel must be transported and stored in approved safety containers (Underwriters' Laboratories, Inc.). 1910.265(d)(2)(iv)(c)
Pond boat
Pond Boat

Pond boats in action
Pond boats in action

  • The bilge area must be inspected, maintained, and ventilated to prevent accumulation of highly combustible materials. 1910.265(d)(2)(iv)(d)

  • Adequate ventilation must be provided for the cabin area on enclosed cabin-type boats to prevent accumulation of harmful gases or vapors. 1910.265(d)(2)(iv)(e)
  • Powered pond boats or rafts must be provided with at least one approved fire extinguisher, and one life ring with line attached. 1910.265(d)(2)(iv)(b)
Life ring on pond boat
Life ring on pond boat


Log Hauls and Slips Arrow

Workers receive injuries from the log chute or slip and fall if footing is inadequate along walkways or log hauls.
  • Walkways along log hauls must have a standard handrail on the outer edge and cleats or other means to assure adequate footing and enable employees to walk clear of the log chute. 1910.265(d)(2)(vi)(a)

Workers receive injuries due to equipment failure or by using equipment in an unsafe manner.
  • Log haul bull chains or cable must be designed, installed, and maintained to provide adequate safety for the work need. 1910.265(d)(2)(vi)(b)

  • Log haul gear and bull chain drive mechanism must be guarded. 1910.265(d)(2)(vi)(c)

  • Substantial troughs for the return strand of log haul chains must be provided over passageways. 1910.265(d)(2)(vi)(d)

  • Log haul controls must be located where the operator will be in the clear of logs, machinery, lines, and rigging. In operations where control is by lever exposed to incoming logs, the lever must be arranged to operate the log haul only when moved toward the log slip or toward the log pond. 1910.265(d)(2)(vi)(e)

  • Install a positive stop on all log hauls to prevent logs from traveling too far ahead in the mill. 1910.265(d)(2)(vi)(f)

Employees may be struck by moving logs on the log deck.
  • Provide overhead protection for employees working below logs being moved to the log deck. 1910.265(d)(2)(vi)(g)

  • Provide log wells with safeguards to minimize the possibility of logs rolling back into well from the log deck. 1910.265(d)(2)(vi)(h)

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